Last night’s secret gig: Prince live at the Electric Ballroom in London backed by his new band 3rdEyeGirl. (Photograph PA)
❚ HERE’S THE GODLIKE ONE live onstage in the Electric Ballroom at about 1am this morning all in black with a furry sleeveless top plus wild afro hair. Prince was backed by his new band 3rdEyeGirl and his audience consisted of whoever ventured out in last night’s lashing storm.
His first London gig since he played 20 nights at the O2 arena seven years ago opened with a slow version of I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man and Prince told the smattering of fans: “You sound like ten thousand. We love each and every one of you.” His manager Kiran Sharma tweeted: “If you were there… you know :) See you tomorrow! Same place.”
Prince, now aged 55, said he hoped to play “iconic” London venues such as Ronnie Scott’s jazz club and the legendary 60s club the Bag o’ Nails, where Jimi Hendrix performed and recently reopened.
According to the passionate lifelong Prince fan Goldies Parade a series of “guerrilla gigs”, which mark the release of the PlectrumElectrum album, is expected to be held at the Electric Ballroom for the remainder of the week. Info is sparce but leaked out following the long-awaited “press conference” in the Leyton, east London, living room of Lianne La Havas, the British soul singer whose debut album became iTunes Album of the Year 2012. There Prince played two acoustic tracks, Pretzelbodylogic and FunkNRoll, bathed in purple light.
The London jaunt is, he said, “open-ended – we’re going to be here until people don’t want to hear us any more”. 3rdEyeGirl consists of Danish bassist Ida Nielsen, Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis and American drummer Hannah Ford.
Ticketing for further dates is to be handled by one outlet, but to avoid touts cashing in, tickets for this week – price £6 !!! “because it’s a new band” – will be available only on the door and only one per person.
This year of course marks the 30th anniversary of Prince’s astonishing debut album Purple Rain.
➢ On video: the monster queue for tickets in Camden at 3pm!
First pic tweeted last night: Prince live at the Electric Ballroom. Photograph @stephenbudd