For one night only, the Royal Albert Hall turned into a church – the first ever Gospel Proms

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I have never been to the Proms before, but last week I was told that I couldn’t call myself a Londoner until I had been … So off I went!

The standard Proms experience is to take cheese and wine to the top level of the Royal Albert Hall and sit on the bare concrete. I’m too old for that type of carry on, so I went the radical step and paid £16 for a seated ticket.

This was the first ever time a Gospel Choir had been included in the Proms line up, and it was magical.

150 singers from the best Gospel Choirs in the UK singing the songs even this atheist knows. It was warm, inclusive and a damn good show.

My two favorite bits of the show were all about contrast. The first was at the very start, where the very formal and quiet introduction by the BBC representative was followed by a hollered “Lets turn this into a church and bring God into this house” the the reverend MC for the evening.

And the second was watching a conservative British audience sedately clap along as if they were trying to conserve energy for the ride home. You can only imagine the reaction when the reverend asked for an AMEN.

A brilliant night that I highly recommend.