Damian Lewis Came, Saw and Conquered Union Chapel!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, London conquest is complete! Having conquered the South (Omeara), the West (The Tabernacle) and the East (Hoxton Hall), Damian Lewis and his fabulous band headed to Union Chapel for their biggest gig to date. And they gave us an evening of musical feast at a magical venue! So please come join me at Union Chapel and live or re-live (if you were lucky  enough to be there) every single detail from that glorious evening.

Shall we?

4:35pm at Union Chapel on 11 July 2023. The only person standing in the line for Damian Lewis is… my husband! 🙂

Built in the late 19th century in the Gothic revival style, Union Chapel is a working church and a charity center where homeless people go to obtain food and other services. It is also a live entertainment venue with amazing light and incredible acoustics. And Damian is no stranger to the venue: he and Helen performed at the acclaimed Letters Live in 2018 and 2019.

So this time he just stepped down from the pulpit to play the guitar and sing for a captive audience!

Monique,Tsveti and me starting the line at Union Chapel!

My good friend Patrick and I have been plotting for a couple of months to be able to get seats in the front and center. The venue website says doors open earlier for those who make dinner reservations (even though I knew I would not be able to eat a thing because I lose my appetite completely on gig days!) to get into the venue a bit earlier than those in the general admission line. Still, we are cautious enough to arrive at the venue very early!

From L to R: Me, Patrick, Monique, Vicent, Tsveti, Vincent’s Mom

A line starts to form early on and I distribute the “I was there” fridge magnets – now a TRADITION!

Doors open at 6:30 for dinner but you are not allowed to get into the chapel immediately. They open the doors at 7pm but since you are already in the building you can run and get first row seats. And that is exactly what we do.

Here is our fab front row from Left to Right: Dalia who came all the way from Israel, Patrick, me, Gozde, Tsveti, and Monique and Vincent who came from the Netherlands! I met all these lovely people through Damian Lewis fandom. And I was very happy to see Bamm, Lauren, and Paola again. I also  met Keren, whom I have known on Twitter for a long time, finally in person! And it was lovely to see Sharmila Collins of Cure EB and Debbi Clark of Sir HvH Arts, two amazing ladies I deeply admire! 

The first surprise of the evening: There is MERCH! T-shirts and totes made by 3AQ Studio and signed CDs and vinyls!

Once we are in, we nick posters from the walls of the venue (Patrick is my hero!) and then we study the set list on the floor.

I now have this very setlist in my possession 🙂

And before getting into the details of  the gig, I want to take this opportunity to thank my best friend and my love Lewisto for his endless support – for taking photos and making videos so I can just sit down (even though I prefer standing venues way more since I love dancing!), relax, and enjoy the gig! I love you to the moon and back.

It’s full house at Union Chapel and Christy O’Donnell kicks off the evening as the support act. I am hearing his music for the first time, and I am obviously no music critic. But I am impressed by the sound as well as the lyrics in Christy’s songs…

…especially the song he wrote for his dad’s wife who had been diagnosed with cancer and given three months to live… Christy couldn’t understand it and wrote this song. It is beautiful. And the good news is that three months have been over for a long time and the lady this song was written for is alive.   I would also strongly encourage everyone to hear his “In Denial” and “When We Get Old.” Such beautiful tunes. They have heartfelt tenderness to them.

And it is time! Here is Damian and his fabulous sense of humor:

“So many devout people in one place. G, have you got your sax? May I please ask everyone please  to be upstanding for the National Anthem?”

😀 😀 😀

And he adds:

“I’d be interested to know who got that joke and who didn’t.”

And they take it away with Damian’s first single Down on the Bowery. It is such a great choice as a gig opener – gets you in the mood and leaves you crave for more!

“This next song is our second single. I used to go busking through Europe taking my motorbike, a tent and a guitar… One night I judged, crossing the Pyrenees very poorly… Night fell and electric storm raged overhead. I looked up and I had a rotting hole in the roof of my tent.”

This is Zaragoza. And here is what Clash Music says about the song:

“The lush blues sound of ‘Zaragoza’ perfectly blends his whisky-parched vocal with the excellent band surrounding him.”

“My guitar… decorated by my children in lockdown. It’s very beautiful.”


The next song is Hole in My Roof.

“Dave Archer  on the guitar… Honolulu Dave for you.”

😀 😀 😀

“Absolutely brilliant set up back here. There’s kitchens and everything. They serve us dinner and the remains go to homeless people tomorrow morning. It’s really good. The only thing is they served us the spiciest lamb curry I think I’ve ever eaten. Luckily, I have a towel.”

Lewisto still regrets that he had the eggplant and chickpea curry instead!

“This is about a very fantastic woman.”

Here is a snippet of My Little One, a celebration  of a phenomenal woman with a laugh and a growl <3

“Will Cleasby on the drums. Kitty Liv on the harmonica.”

Taken by the amazing Debbi Clark, the CEO of Sir HvH Arts and a professional photographer, this lovely picture shows everyone in our first row! L to R:: Vincent’s mom, Vncent, Monique, Tsveti, Gozde, me, Patrick, Lewisto and Dalia!

The next song is Soho Tango, one of my absolute favorites on the album.

Damian told in a recent interview with Metro UK what this song is about:

“…about meeting someone for the 
very first time and chatting her up on the streets of Soho and thinking I’d closed the deal 
and she got in the taxi and went home.”

So this can even happen to Damian Lewis!!!! 😀 The song has a part where Damian whistles and after the song  he jokes that whistling does not always work 🙂 And he and G have a plan that when G sees that whistling  is not goin well, he will come in  with a little sax to save him 🙂

“So those are all songs from our debut album Mission Creep… (applause) if you haven’t bought one… Buy now, there are on sale signed copies, as you leave tonight. CD or vinyl. Your choice.”

“Right. This is an old favorite. You all know this. It’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I love it. It’s a cover. It’s by Neil Young.”

Harvest Moon is one of the songs Damian recently chose as one of his songs in The Line of Best Fit Nine Songs. Here is the heartwarming story he shares about it:

“I love “Harvest Moon” as a song. It moves me, it’s a very beautiful song. Neil Young always moaned about the success of Harvest, because he said it put him in the middle of the road and he didn’t travel well there. He didn’t like it, but it was a massive, number one selling album.

It was acoustic and I have to put my hand up and say, I like middle of the road Neil Young. I loved Harvest. And then many moons later – many harvest moons later – he made “Harvest Moon”, and I don’t feel I’m there yet, but there’s something very touching about the autumn of your life, which is what he’s singing about.

The video is so touching, it’s just him and his lady as an older couple, shuffling around the dance floor having a little dance. It’s absolutely beautiful and I love it. It was a song I actually sent to Helen once, my wife, who I lost a couple of years ago. I remember I was filming in New York, and I learned to play it on my guitar and it’s now one of the cover songs that I play in my set and it’s also on my album.”

I certainly do not want to bring my feelings into every tune Damian plays/sings. And he has already said and rightly so that Mission Creep is not a grief album.

But this song is just so meaningful and Damian’s voice makes you feel it all. Deeply. Very deeply.

“Because I’m still in love with you, I want to see you dance again…”

Back to the gig…

“It’s Jamie on the piano.”

The next song is about spies: Never Judge A Man By His Umbrella.

For those of you that do not know: Never Judge A Man By His Umbrella is the title of a memoir written by former MI-6 Nicholas Elliott, the very man Damian is portraying in A Spy Among Friends!

“Giacomo Smith on the sax and clarinet.”

“Phil Donnelly on the bass & guitar. You know this one, too. This one, two, three. This one as well. It’s an old favorite. Enjoy it.”

And oh my God Damian rocks the room with his performance of Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London! In case you do not know the song,  it is about a well-dressed womanizer, a ladies’ man, a werewolf f you will, preying on little old ladies. We think it is a perfect song for Damian’s voice.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to grow old in Paris?”

The next song, Wanna Grow Old in Paris, is about a lady who wanted to grow old like a chic Parisian grand-dame and managed to do some of the things mentioned in the song…

“When I’m eighty… I will be your baby.”


And here comes Surprise number 2!

“Ok. We’ve got a couple of songs that are not on Mission Creep. And this is gonna be the world premiere of this song right here. And if you think it’s any good we’ll put it on the next album and bring you back here and force you to buy that one, too.”

The new song is called Fate and based on the applause it receives, it will be on the  next album 🙂

Damian now picks up his new electric guitar. It is Makin’ Plans time!

“Ok Will. Take it away.”

What a crackin’ tune this is. And David Nobakth from Buzz Magazine comments that Rolling Stones might be proud to have Makin’ Plans under their belt!
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Damian talks about how this song is connected to his life.  the story behind the song:

“I’ve had two motorbike crashes. One of them I was very lucky to come out of. Right outside Pentonville Prison on the Caledonian Road, I went straight into the windscreen of a car. Terrible, terrible, terrible crash. I woke up in the middle of the road a few minutes later. Had I not been wearing a closed helmet, I’d be very surprised if I was sitting here right now.”

It’s about plans going awry. And, you know, I’ve had to adjust a few of my plans over the last couple of years.”
I have to add that the song is not dark, it is playful, and ends in a hopeful tone that the man in the song has new plans and the horizon is calling him down the only road he knows – that should be life.
“How is everyone doing? You okay?”
“Yeah!” (Someone asks) “How are you doing?”
“Yeah I’m enjoying myself. Thanks for asking. I’m having  a really fuckin’ great time.”

“This is, a Jelly Roll Morton song originally, then a Leon Redbone cover, and our cover  of that…”

Here is Why. A wonderful New Orleans jazz tune and Giacomo’s solo is a true killer!

“Giacomo Smith, ladies and gentlemen. He can play that damn thing.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for coming out. How’s everybody doing at the top? (Cheers) If you like, can we hear a cheer from the boys? (Cheers) Let’s hear from the girls… (BIG Cheers)”

Obviously, we the girls got this!

“This is gonna be our last one.”

Last but not the least She Comes is actually the first song Damian wrote. He talked about the song when he released it as his fourth single along with a very moving music video.

“She Comes is the first song I wrote for my debut album, so that makes it… my first song – that I’ve shared with the world, at any rate. It’s about ghosts, and one ghost in particular. The album has hybrid sounds all through it but this song leans heavily on a folk set up before crescendo-ing with a jazz feel brought by my brilliant band.”

“We hoped to convey the feeling of an abandoned house, of the ghost of the woman that once lived there and a group of friends gathering to celebrate her.”

I suspect She Comes will always be my favorite Damian Lewis song.

“Thank you very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you.”
We make noise and want them back on stage for an encore and they come back!

“Okay. Here we go. This is a new song, too. I hope you  like it. She make me change.

“Manon and Gully, if you’re out there, I love you.”


In a recent interview with Metro UK, Damian said that there was quite a bit of teasing when he first shared with his kids that he would start writing songs and make an album. But now that the kids know that dad is taking this seriously they are very supportive.

Here is She Make Me Change.

“Okay. This is really the last one and you will all know it again. Enjoy! Glide into the night and enjoy that, too. And have a drink.”
Here is the cover of J.J Cale’s After Midnight.
First line of business once the gig is over: Get the set list. And then get another one for Gingersnap 🙂 Second line of business is to make sure Damian gets to meet the front row groupies! 🙂 And he knows us well:
“You are the front row. I know you.”
Then he gives a big hug to a guy like they have known each other for all their lives. And guess what – that guy is Lewisto! Damian should have some special affection for him because he bears with me 🙂
Here you go. There is a lot of hugging and kissing.  And I admit that all  fans who kiss the man are either Turkish or half-Turkish. Yes I know. We’re relentless 🙂
The third surprise of the evening  is that Lewisto and I were invited to the after party for family and friends of Damian and the band at The Grace, a cosy pub close to the venue. I am very grateful to Steve Abbott, Damian’s manager, for inviting me. Damian has such a close-knit family. His two brothers William and Gareth, his sister Amanda and his sister-in-law Hilary are all there to support him. I also catch a glimpse of Gully. He is becoming a very good looking young man.
One person I am so happy to have met at the after party is Ken Rea, Damian’s acting teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
When Mr. Rea released his book The Outstanding Actor in 2015, Damian was there to support him in addition to writing the foreword of the book. I made a post about it on Fan Fun and so I recognize Mr. Rea as soon as I see him at the after party.  Lewisto is shocked that I know Damian’s acting teacher. Haha.  It so shows Mr. Rea is very proud of his students: Damian, and also he mentions Joe Fiennes who is currently on stage in Dear England at the National Theatre and Oscar Pearce directs Possession that has just closed at Arcola Theatre. And I take a picture of the proud teacher and his student 🙂
I have my moment with Damian, too. But the reaction on his face?!?! What have I done to get him surprised like that?
It is my gift, ladies and gentlemen. Here is a video of the mug I give him that we made earlier so I can share it on the blog.
And for those of you that want to see the entire picture.
I think Damian really likes it! His friend says he is jealous that Damian has someone designing mugs for him. Haha. And Gareth watches on.
Damian: “It’s perfect size for a cup of Yorkshire Gold.”
Me: “It’s Brody’s favorite.”
Damian: “Yes.”
Awwwwwww. All roads lead to Brody. Always.
And I am hesitant to ask him – he was done with the gig, and signings and photos with fans after all – but he is very happy to sign a gig poster for the one and only Gingersnap who works her ass off for this man on damian-lewis.com every day! And the fan site has tons of pictures and videos from the gig. Just saying! 🙂
Here is Damian’s Twitter post after the gig.
Believe me, Damian, that’s one I won’t forget, either. Thank you for for the music and everything else. I am so proud of supporting you. You are ridiculously talented, incredibly witty, super cool and so lovely. Such a rare combination. Keep rocking on! And I will always be there cheering for you!
And here is my lovely Tsveti’s review sheet of the gig. Absolutely spot on and genius!
You can now follow Damian Lewis on all social media platforms:
Twitter: @lewis_damian
Facebook: Damian Lewis

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

14 thoughts on “Damian Lewis Came, Saw and Conquered Union Chapel!”

  1. Jesus Christ, you showed it here!!! This is the first one I drew heartily since my nursery age. Now it is famous. 😀 😀
    You incredible girl, with brain of a sage and heart of a child! You made me feel 7 again!!! And your enthusiasm is absolutely viral! I just can’t thank you enough for all the great time we had. As Monique said, LOVE EVERY SECOND we had together! (Love you, Monique!) Can’t thank enough Lewiston too for being such an an awesome and generous gentleman, while dealing with the crazy groopies!

    The mug is genius! Can I hire you as a gift-advisor? Your gifts are always like those life hack advices “make memories, not possessions”. It was so cool you gained the poster signed for Gingersnap!!! So well deserved!

    I’m still so excited, I can write 30 pages trying to figure out all the hype emotions I got from the gig. I hope Damian( the ONE AND ONLY!!!) and the band had back all the good vibes that they gave to us! Beautiful music! Beautifuly performed!

    Ps Today I would rank FATE much brighter. Now the question is how to convince Damian to issue FATE & SHE MAKE ME CHANGE as doubles vinyl single before the next album, so we don’t have to wait until sometime next year 😀

    Pps will print the pic of you and Damian. It’s the warmest thing I’ve seen in a while.

    Pps I ❤️ you and THANK you for all the love and care!!!

    1. Thank you so much my dear Tsveti for being a true friend! It’s a privilege to feel your support. THANK YOU! And haha your grade sheet is genius! Maybe we should turn it into a tradition!!!!

      About the gift: I thought about it when I developed my so-called “compass theory” (the father of the theory name is my good friend Patrick.” He calls is Bahar’s “Compass theory.” When the gig for the Tabernacle was announced – I said “ah okay, first it was the South, and now the West, and let’s see if the other gigs will be in the East and the North.” And when I posted about it on social media, both Damian and Steve liked those posts and that was enough for me to get confirmation that my “compass theory” works 🙂 And then I imagined the gift in my mind. I’m typically good with buying interesting gifts but I have to say Damian definitely inspires me to push limits of my creativity – from the birthday cakes to Alison’s art to the champagne at Rough Trade and this London Conquest mug. Maybe I should put all four London gigs together under a post now 🙂 Title: Damianista’s Compass Theeory! Haha!

      Finally, the picture! I know it’s so lovely and it’s so genuine (probably my favorite picture with Damian!) but I also think a few drinks may have helped there, too 😀 Sending lots of love and looking forward to our next adventure.

      1. Damianista’s compass theory is a ‘must do’ project! You ara a game theory player.

        The grade tradition – just give me a concert and a set list 😀

        1. Maybe I should do it! And yes let’s turn this set list thing into a tradition – it’s GENIUS!!!!!!

  2. I’m extremely honored to be “working my ass off for the man” at damian-lewis.com 😉 Just a little ole “news desk” chugging away LOL Thank you so much for scoring me a set list, gig poster and merch. I’m so excited to receive my care package!!!! I really, REALLY like both new songs Fate and She Makin’ Me Change. Let’s go, album number 2! As always, living vicariously through you. P.S. did he play keyboards on Never Judge a Man by His Umbrella like he did at Omeara?

    1. Thank you for being you! You deserve all the good stuff and more – you’re the best partner one can imagine! I’ll mail your care package as soon as I’m back in the US mid-August and I feel like I should insure it – it has treasures in it!!!!! The new songs are beautiful so yeah Album #2 is certainly in works and you can tell Damian is having such a great time on stage. And answer to your question is no. He only played the keyboard for “Umbrella” at Omeara. And ‘Little Trip’ (which I love) was not part of the set list this time.

  3. Thanks for a wonderful sum up (as always), of a great evening, that i was so lucky to take part in.
    Damian is a great and gifted artist, and also, a kind and lovely man.
    Love you guys, enjoy the NYC gig tomorrow!

    1. Thank you so much Dalia for reading and for your kind words! It was lovely to finally meet you and I am so glad coming all the way from Israel to see Damian perform was totally worth it! We were the best front row! We love you, too! Alas, I’m missing the NYC show since I’m here in Turkey for the summer. The trip to London was shorter, cheaper and had no jet lag – I’m grateful. Please keep in touch, sending much love your way!

      1. Well, Enjoy the summer in Turkey. We will keep in touch, that’s for sure. Best wishes to your lovely husband too.

        1. I said hi to hubby for you! We both send love your way! Hope to see you again at a future gig! We were a fabulous front row!

    2. Dalia, it was so lovely to meet you! Hope to see you soon at some gig (maybe next year, when the second album is wrapped). Sending lots of love to you and to Israel!

      1. Thank you so much dear, it was a pleasure meeting you too. I am sure our paths will cross again next year!


  4. Oh, I see now why you chose that incredible nail color! It was a part of the gifting ceremony, wasn’t it?:) How did I miss that and only discover it now? This article captures the event’s essence with such meticulous detail. I can revisit it again and again, reliving the memories of our extraordinary time altogether. It’s a night etched in my memory, one to be cherished forever. And you, my dear friend, played an integral role in making it truly extraordinary. Without you, it wouldn’t have been the same.

    1. My dear Ghursday, how nice to see you here :))) Firstly, thank you so very much for your kind words. And it wouldn’t have been more fun without you. I love your endless energy! We were the best front row!!! On and the nail color is my usual color and I probably subconsciously ordered the mug in blue since I love the color so much! 🙂 But yeah they matched well. Haha.

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