Prince plays two secret shows in London – eyewitness report

London's King's Place hosts the latest stop on the Hit And Run tour

Prince played two consecutive secret and intimate shows at London’s King’s Place venue last night (February 14).

The singer was joined by his new band 3RDEYEGIRL at the 420-capacity auditorium for the latest additions to his current Hit And Run tour.

Fans started lining up outside from 6:30pm for what was rumoured to be – and according to a cryptic tweet from 3RDEYEGIRL earlier in the day – an acoustic show with Q&A session. Tickets were confirmed to cost £70 but unlike at Shepherds Bush Empire days earlier (February 9), the price did not drop to £10 when doors opened at 9pm.

Fans watched a clip of Prince’s appearance in the Zooey Deschanel-starring sitcom New Girl, which was played on a screen behind the instruments, before 3RDEYEGIRL walked onto the stage and asked the audience not to take photos. They then announced four further Prince shows – at Koko on Sunday night, Ronnie Scott’s on Monday and in Manchester on Friday and Saturday.

As Prince joined his band – drummer Hannah ‘Ford’ Welton, bassist Ida Nielsen and guitarist Donna Grantis – began with ‘Take Me With U’ and continued to play, with acoustic versions of hits such as ‘U Got The Look’, ‘Raspberry Beret’ and ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’. The group also performed a number of covers, including The Clash’s ‘Train In Vain’, and an instrumental version of Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’.

The rumoured Q&A was short and peppered throughout the two-hour performance with Prince only managing to answer four questions during the set. Asked “How is London treating you?” he answered “Perfect” while to the question “How can you be so timeless and great?” he rolled his eyes and laughed. And of the London singer who let him hold a press conference at her flat to kickstart the Hit And Run tour, Prince told everyone: “Be nice to Lianne LaHavas, she’s our friend.”

After, the performance soon went electric. The curtain in front of the enormous drumkit fell, the cymbals rolled, smoke filled the stage and Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL unleashed an hour’s worth of Herbie Hancock-style jams, lounge funk and classic rock, including songs like ‘Dreamer’ and ‘Guitar’ along with unreleased material from their forthcoming album ‘PLECTRUMELECTRUM’.

Towards the end of the set, Prince announced that a further 500 people were still queuing outside and insinuated that he would be playing a further second show that night. After both gigs had finished, it was confirmed that Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL would also appear at the BRIT Awards 2014 ceremony on February 19.