Prince kicked off his Hit & Run Tour with a secret midnight gig in London at the Electric Ballroom after a press conference and acoustic performance in the living room of Lianne La Havas‘ flat. Prince played to a handful of people at La Havas’ home – even running through 3rdEyeGirl’s new single “Pretzelbodylogic” – before resurfacing in Camden at the Electric Ballroom for what was billed as an “open press soundcheck” via the 3rdEyeGirl Twitter account:
Moving to the Electric Ballroom now for an OPEN PRESS SOUNDCHECK 🙂 @3RDEYEGIRL
— Kiran Sharma (@KIKITkiran) February 4, 2014
Both shows were intimate with La Havas reportedly hosting around two dozen people and about 500 people making it out to the Electric Ballroom, which holds over 1,000 people at capacity. Prince’s setup at Lianne La Havas’ home was captured by singer Marques Tolliver while Matt Everitt of BBC 6 Music News provided a recap:
Lianne La Havas’s front room in Leyton, east London, had been turned into a venue, with purple stage lights and acoustic instruments.
It is only about 9ft by 18ft and there was just me, two other journalists, Lianne, her two housemates and Prince’s crew – serious-looking sound guys and security (who numbered about 10) – all waiting for the man to turn up. And at 20:15 GMT, he did.
He led his new band – the three piece 3rd Eye Girl – through two new songs from the upcoming album Plectrum Electrum, including the new single PretzelBodyLogic. He described the new tunes as “funk ‘n’ roll”.
Lianne didn’t perform with Prince. But she did do a stripped-down performance of the Little Dragon song Twice and a brand new unfinished song off her next album, which has the working title of Shapes.
Tonight’s performance will probably be much more crowded than the first as a legion of fans are likely on standby for the time of Prince’s next set, which is scheduled to be held at the same venue. Prince has reportedly promised to play at “bigger venues”, provided people like the show (how could you not?) that he and 3rdEyeGirl are bringing to the stage. As dates and details continue to emerge at a steady trickle, Prince offers a bit of encouragement for fans hoping to catch him onstage at one of the city’s iconic venues during what he’s billed as an “open-ended” trip to the UK:
“We’re going to be here until people don’t want to hear us anymore.”
Check the footage below to get a taste of Prince’s performance last night in London. Godspeed to those of you in the UK, itching to catch one of these shows. Keep an eye on social media and the handy purple show timer. Purchase “Pretzelbodylogic” via iTunes. Stay tuned for more ahead of the Plectrum Electrum LP.