February 5, 2014 22:26
Prince plays two shows in one night at London's Electric Ballroom – updated
The performer said his 3rd Eye Girl group will appear in a different venue next time
Following his "open soundcheck" at the same venue the night before, fans had been waiting outside the venue all day with no details of how or when to buy tickets. In the end, those near enough to the front to get in were admitted for the price of just £10.
Prince and his band 3rd Eye Girl took to the stage for the first set at 8.10pm, exiting an hour later but returning for an encore. The set included an opening 'Let's Go Crazy', which incorporated elements of the Edgar Winter Group's 'Frankenstein'. Other tracks played included 'Funk N Roll', 'Guitar' and 'She's Always In My Hair', during which he changed the lyrics to reference his new afro, saying: "Always in Prince's little curly hair".
To the surprise of many present, the bars closed and house lights were raised at 9.30pm, at which point the audience was ejected to allow another group through the doors, many of whom had been waiting for longer than ten hours.
The three members of 3rd Eye Girl, Donna Grantis (guitar), Hannah Ford Welton (drums) and Ida Neilsen (bass), appeared on stage at 11pm to appeal to the audience not to use their phones and tablets to record or take photos during the performance. "Friend to friend, we want to ask you one favour: spend the night with us, not behind your phones or cameras."
Prince then emerged to play what began as an almost identical set to the first. Though he mentioned being jetlagged, there was no sign of fatigue as the band performed a longer, livelier show than the first of the evening. New additions included 'Lotus Flower' track 'Dreamer', a mash-up of two '60s hits, 'Crimson And Clover' and 'Wild Thing', and a cover of 'Play That Funky Music', during which Prince asked the crowd, "Who you calling white boy?"
The multiple encores included 3rd Eye Girl's 'Pretzelbodylogic' a short version of 'Purple Rain' and what some describe as a Prince 'sampler set', in which the singer employs samples of old hits to create a medley. It included 'When Doves Cry', 'Sign O The Times', 'Alphabet Street' and 'I Would Die 4 U'. "You know how many hits I got?" Prince said, as he flitted from one to another. At 1am, the house lights raised for a final time.
Towards the end of the show, Prince told the crowd not to expect him back at Electric Ballroom. "We're going to try and find someplace else to play in the city. As soon as we know, you'll know," he said. He also promised to stick around in London for the foreseeable future, telling the crowd: "We'll stay as long as you'll have us."
Meanwhile, Prince has ruled out playing any large venues while in London with his band, after playing his first show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden last night (February 4), hinting instead at small club gigs. Speaking to BBC 6 Music, Prince revealed that he is interested in playing the Electric Ballroom and venues such as Ronnie Scott's and the Bag O' Nails Club in Soho – although these are not yet confirmed.
Either way, he will not be replicating the O2 Arena shows he played in 2007. "That was a different time, this is a different band," he said. "We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues." Quizzed on how long he plans to stay in London, he said his trip was "open-ended", explaining, "We're going to be here until people don't want to hear us any more." Tickets for the upcoming shows will also be priced reasonably for fans. "We wanna charge about $10 a ticket. This is a new band, people are getting something new."
Prince's 'open soundcheck' in Camden last night (February 4), largely comprised of new material, including 'Guitar', 'Plectrum Electrum', 'PretzelBodyLogic' and 'Funk N Roll'. Click here to read the full report from the show.
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