Prince performs at Manchester Academy but cancels planned second appearance

Fans queuing for second show were allowed in for the encore

Prince performs at Manchester Academy but cancels planned second appearance

Photo: Press

Prince played a two-and-a-half-hour set at Manchester’s Academy last night (February 21) – although a smattering of fans took to Twitter afterwards to complain when a second surprise performance was cancelled within hours of being announced.

Unlike the London dates of his Hit And Run tour, tickets for the gig were sold online in advance, and predictably disappeared within seconds. The remainder were made available on the door when it opened at 7.30pm – with diehard fans queuing from 10pm the day before to get in.

At 8.40, 3RDEYEGIRL – comprising drummer Hannah Ford Welton, bassist Ida Nielson and guitarist Donna Grantis – arrived onstage and, as per previous performances, urged the baying crowd not to take photos. "The show’s going to be so much better if you interact with us," insisted Welton. "Don’t cover your face – we want to be able to communicate with you."

When the purple one himself appeared – with glitter specks in his hair and clad in a frayed, tassled gilet – he seemed to relish the relatively intimate surroundings of the 2,500 capacity venue, hauling some fans onstage to dance with him, and leading them in some moves that resembled a workout video. It set the playful tone for the evening that saw him marshal sing-a-longs and informing the city: "Manchester, it feels like we're on a first date".

Opening with 'Funk N Roll', the setlist was laden with hits such as 'Purple Rain', 'U Got The Look', 'Raspberry Beret' and 'When Doves Cry'. Covers included 'Crimson And Clover', originally by Tommy James & The Shondells, 'Train In Vain' by The Clash, and Wild Cherry's 'Play That Funky Music', while forthcoming album 'Plectrum Electrum' was represented by a number of songs including of 'Fixurlifeup'.

Although Prince and his new band were on incendiary form, the night did not pass without a sliver of controversy. When the show began, the Academy announced a second gig, with Prince’s manager, Kiran Sharma, also tweeting “HELLO Manchester!!! Guess what...??? You can now start a que for the SECOND SHOW 2NITE!!! :),’, which generated a further queue outside the venue. However, the performance did not happen, and the 150 fans that turned up were let in to see an encore – that began with 'Let's Go Crazy’ (which Prince dedicated to the “new people coming in”) and culminated with ‘Bambi’ – for £35 instead of £70.

Half an hour after the gig ended at 11.05pm and the houselights had come up, there were still chants of "We want Prince", before security eventually escorted people out at 11.40pm. It has since been agreed that all customers who purchased one of those 150 tickets would be able to watch his second date at the city – due tonight (February 22) – for free. Speaking onstage about the performance ahead tonight, Prince teased that there will be "surprises in store".

Prince played:
'She's Always In My Hair'
'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man'
'Plectrum Electrum'
'Forever In My Life'
'A Love Bizarre'
'When Doves Cry'
'Sign O' The Times'
'Hot Thing'
'I Would Die 4 U'
'Purple Rain'
'Let's Go Crazy'
'U Got The Look'
'Play That Funky Music'
'The Love We Make'
'Take Me With U'
'Raspberry Beret'
'Train In Vain'
'Crimson & Clover'

Read More On This Artist

More News
Metallica's Kirk Hammett reveals he lost his phone containing 250 unused guitar riffs
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to drug possession and threatening to kill former employee
Muse on meeting Kanye West: 'All he wanted to talk about was t-shirts'
Madonna deletes pro-Thatcher Instagram post following criticism from fans
Alice Cooper talks working with Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl and AC/DC's Brian Johnson
Kanye West denies that he is an Illuminati member: 'We don't run anything; we’re...
Panic! At The Disco return with new song 'Hallelujah' – listen
Surfer Blood guitarist diagnosed with cancer
Courtney Barnett covers John Cale's 'Close Watch' – listen
Unknown Mortal Orchestra reveal new song 'Can't Keep Checking My Phone' – listen
Twin Shadow postpone UK tour dates following tour bus crash
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder performs with The Sonics for Record Store Day – watch
Neil Young debuts new band and new songs at surprise gig – watch
Beck and Karen O cover Lou Reed songs at Rock And Roll Hall of Fame – watch
Liam Gallagher declines to comment on speculation regarding possible Oasis reunion
Madonna adds further dates to the Rebel Heart Tour 2015 due to demand
Jack White: 'Treat your local punk bands as well as you treat the new blockbuster movie'
Kanye West performs 'Alors On Danse' with Stromae at Coachella - watch
Zayn Malik tweets for the first time since leaving One Direction
Alex James says he isn't friends with neighbour David Cameron: 'I should have moved to...
Christina Aguilera performs at ACM Awards – watch
Kanye West collaborator on hip-hop project with Marcus Mumford: 'It’s going to sound...

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM