The upper floor of this Grade II listed Wesleyan chapel lay empty for 40 years before Mission Mars bought the building in 2012 and opened it up as a music venue. The only question is why didn’t anyone do it sooner?
This dramatic, beautiful space is perfect for live music. The stone archways, stained glass windows, and huge church organ still have the awe-inspiring effect that the Methodists no doubt intended. Only now the congregation is gig goers rather than church goers, and they don’t need a hymn book to know the words.
There’s a horseshoe balcony with seats, and the floor is sloped so you’re not stuck with a view of someone’s shoulders if you’re short. The bar, in the main hall, is handily close to the action. The toilets, down a maze of stairs and corridors are another matter; it’s a two-song trip there and back so time it well.
It’s worth noting that the performers seem to love this venue as much as the audience; the acoustics are good and that organ and the light from the huge windows makes for some stunning images.
It’s always a shame when an act gets too big for this 1,900-capacity space and books somewhere less magical for their Manchester show. Most of the bigger venues just don’t compare.