Jim Beam Welcome Sessions present Wolf Alice
While the world around us may change, our welcoming spirit remains. Jim Beam Welcome Sessions explore the importance of connecting through music and hospitality, calling on musicians to remember the times and places they’ve felt the most welcome before returning them to their chosen stages for exclusive, one-off performances. Fortunately for us, they’ve all been artfully captured on video. Take a break, pull up a chair and turn your speakers up as we reconnect, virtually, with our favourite musical artists and the venues they call home.
Jim Beam’s first Welcome Session returned Jack Garratt to Village Underground for a live rendition of his first single in four years - Time. Up next, Ireland’s Fontaines D.C. were reunited with The Lexington for a one-of-a-kind performance of ‘I Was Not Born.’ Third time was most definitely a charm for Sweden’s José González, who returned to Berlin’s notorious Michelberger Hotel for a vibrant recital of his newest single - Valle Local, performed in the hotel’s famous courtyard.
Our fourth and final Welcome Session sees London band Wolf Alice reunited with the historic and iconic Union Chapel, where lead singer, Ellie Rowsell, spent her early years singing in the local youth choir. Formed in 2010, indie-rockers Wolf Alice have released only three full-length albums over the past decade, all of which were nominated for the Mercury Prize, an award they won in 2018 with their sophomore release ‘Visions of Life’.
The band’s chosen venue, Union Chapel, was built in the late 19th century and has been hosting gigs for the last 30 years. A fully functioning church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in centre, this multi-faceted space has welcomed some of the world’s greatest musical artists, including Bjork, Elton John, Amy Winehouse and now - Wolf Alice. Home to around 250 events per year, Union Chapel’s ornate architecture and acoustics make it a must-visit location for performers and music lovers alike.
Awarded Time Out’s ‘Best Live Music Venue’ accolade a whopping three times, Union Chapel holds fond memories for Londoner Ellie, as she explains. “When we had the opportunity to be part of Jim Beam Welcome Sessions, we immediately chose Union Chapel for the incredible acoustics and an energy that is palpable, but also for the sense of nostalgia it holds for me.” As the live music industry looks to find its footing once again, Wolf Alice’s Welcome Session reminds us of the magic of venues like this — those that create a spiritual union between artist and audience.
For this once-in-a-lifetime performance, the band have chosen a single from their latest album, Blue Weekend. “We wanted to play ‘Lipstick on the Glass’ for its melodic grandeur that we hope pays homage to the space we are in. It’s a privilege to play here and something we will collectively remember forever. This is our love letter to independent venues and the return of live music gigs.” Explains Ellie.
To toast the occasion, Union Chapel’s head bartender Dilyana Dashova has created her own twist on a classic Jim Beam Highball, inspired by Wolf Alice’s performance. A fruity mule with Jim Beam, Ginger Ale, soda, blueberries and basil, it’s effervescent, refreshing, and best enjoyed with the volume turned right up. Check the specs to make one at home.
Until we’re able to enjoy our favourite bands in the independent live music venues we’ve missed so much, Jim Beam Welcome Sessions are here to connect us virtually through the power of music, great hospitality, and an unforgettable welcome. Check out Wolf Alice’s live performance now, and browse the archive for shows from Jack Garratt, Fontaine’s D.C. and José González.
Check out their full video HERE!