16 February 2014 (released)
17 February 2014
Walking to work on an average Sunday afternoon (having made a last minute snap decision to save £1.40 and not get the train) I approached Mornington Crescent station. Listening to Prince on my iPod and dreaming of attending one of his infamous London secret shows I had no idea what miracle was about to grace my day…
My walk took me past Koko where I could see a large queue formed and a tall man dressed from head to toe in purple, it was too good to be true… I shakingly approached the man and asked what the queue was for, to my complete shock/delight/panic he replied with ‘Prince’.
Simultaneously ringing my boss and running to the back of the queue I constructed a pathetically lame story about vomiting on the way to work (by this point excitement made me feel not far off!) and proceeded to get a bollocking, leaving me likely to be unemployed…
At the end of the queue I became the 830th eager fan waiting to see Prince. Freezing, unemployed and soon to be overdrawn (tickets were £70 cash!) I didn’t even care. I met a lovely girl in the queue who turned out to be a member of Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and a friend of Paloma Faith and the late Amy Winehouse who was lovely company and shared Prince set rumours with me. The team spirit was incredible in the queue, with my story of losing my job becoming a Chinese whisper down the line (a girl even gave me a pair of thermal socks and a cup of tea!). After over four hours of waiting in the cold we were summoned into the venue to watch the first of three shows given that night.
Prince was a fiercely energetic performer, holding nothing back as he launched into the first set of the night. The gig experience was surreal as I sat on a table in order to glimpse Prince’s antics. Fusing new singles from his band 3RD EYE GIRL with classics such as ‘Raspberry Beret’, Prince confirmed his status as an overwhelmingly technically accomplished performer. Chants of “Rock and Funk” started by the singer summarising the feel of the intimate show and uniting a crowd with dance.
I have so much to say in praise of Prince as a performer that I could easily write a novel about him. Unfortunately however I felt slightly cheated at the £70 I paid to watch the holy purple one for only slightly over an hour and a half (the first two Prince shows this year only costing £10). Although the talent and stagecraft I witnessed was undoubtedly worth this, I just felt Prince’s ego dampened the spirits of so many fans.
Another negative aspect of the performance was Prince’s decision to bring Lianne La Havas on stage to perform with him. Although La Havas had a lovely tone, her singing was flat and boring in comparison with Prince’s soul and charisma.
Adding to the strange hype, Prince performed about four encores including Wild Cherry’s ‘Play That Funky Music’ and culminating in a piano rendition of ‘Purple Rain’, ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Sign O’ the Times’. Prince’s vocals were outstandingly haunting in this song, and redeemed him in my eyes; as someone so talented probably does have the right to charge the public so much. This show confirmed in me the theory that Prince truly is superhuman and proved that the hugest risks truly do pay off. Even though I may have lost my job (note to self: never again pull a sicky on second day!) I am left with a feeling of contentment that only a true Prince fan could feel after hearing ‘Raspberry Beret’ live in their own hometown.
3RD EYE GIRL banned the use of smartphones (a huge bonus in my eyes!) so there is no live footage of the night. However, you can check out Kitty, Daisy and Lewis below and Daisy’s husband makes some great beef jerky too: http://texas-joes.com/
The set list:
•Pretzelbodylogic (from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum with 3RDEYEGIRL, 2014)
•Let's Go Crazy (from Purple Rain, 1984)
•Endorphinmachine (from The Gold Experience, 1995)
•She's Always in My Hair (b-side of single Raspberry Beret, 1985)
•I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man (from Sign “☮” the Times, 1987)
•Screwdriver (from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum with 3RDEYEGIRL, 2014)
•Plectrum Electrum (from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum with 3RDEYEGIRL, 2014)
•Take Me With U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
•Raspberry Beret (from Around the World in a Day, 1985)
•Guitar (from Planet Earth, 2007)
•FixUrLifeUp (from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum with 3RDEYEGIRL, 2014)
•Lost and Found (with Lianne La Havas from her album Is Your Love Big Enough?, 2012)
•Stratus (Billy Cobham cover)
•Something in the Water (Does Not Compute) (from 1999, 1982)
•Purple Rain (from Purple Rain, 1984)
•Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
•Pretzelbodylogic (Remix) (from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum with 3RDEYEGIRL, 2014)
•When Doves Cry (from Purple Rain, 1984)
•Sign “☮” the Times (from Sign “☮” the Times, 1987)