The White Stripes make full UK return with Ballroom gig

Jack And Meg preview 'Icky Thump' tracks at London surprise show

The White Stripes played a intimate gig at the Rivoli Ballroom in south London tonight (June 12).

Jack and Meg White warmed-up for their headlining slots at this week’s O2 Wireless Festival by playing their first full electric gig in the UK since 2005 at the tiny venue.

With the hall – complete with red velvet curtains and chandeliers – feeling like a time capsule, the ornate surroundings provided the perfect setting for The White Stripes‘ return, even if the venue had to hire an electricity generator to cope with the band’s needs.

Opening with ‘Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground’, there were immediately loud sing-a-longs despite the sweltering heat in the packed venue.

“If you ever wondered what our first gig at the 100 Club was like you’re sitting in it,” joked Jack about the temperature that also plagued the band’s first ever London show several years ago. “Maybe this is a bit cooler.”

The show, watched by members of Klaxons, The Mighty Boosh and genuine Pearly Kings and Queens among others, saw UK live debuts for tracks from new album ‘Icky Thump’ including ‘Effect And Cause’, ‘Catch Hell Blues’ and

‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’.

Meanwhile, with Jack offering to take “requests” mid-way through the show, there were plenty of old favourites with the likes of ‘Hotel Yorba’, ‘I Think I Smell A Rat’ and closer ‘Seven Nation Army’ all getting a loud endorsement from the crowd.

The White Stripes played:

‘Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground’

‘Icky Thump’

‘When I Hear My Name’

‘Effect And Cause’

‘Hotel Yorba’

‘Wasting My Time’


‘Catch Hell Blues’

‘I’m Slowly Turning Into You’


‘I Fought Piranhas’

‘I Think I Smell A Rat’

‘We’re Going To Be Friends’

‘Your Southern Can Is Mine’

‘Apple Blossom’

‘The Hardest Button To Button’

‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’

‘Black Math’

‘Ball And Biscuit’

‘Seven Nation Army’

Earlier support had come from David Viner and his band.

Proceeds from tonight’s show will go to the Chelsea Pensioners’ Appeal plus charities supported by the London Pearly Kings And Queens Society.

To mark their support for the causes, earlier this afternoon the duo also played a special acoustic show for an audience of Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital in London where they are cared for.

You can read a report from that unique set for the ex-servicemen on NME.COM now.