LONDON (AFP) ― Prince has played his biggest surprise concert in London yet as he pursues his reinvention by fronting an all-girl band in a series of small concerts.
After playing to a few hundred ecstatic fans in Camden over two nights last week, some 2,000 enthusiasts waited hours to see the superstar strut his stuff at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire late Sunday.
The last time Prince played a series of concerts in London, it was a 21-night residency at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in 2007.
In more modest circumstances on Sunday, Prince played for two and a half hours, opening a funk-filled set with one of his best-known songs, “Let’s Go Crazy,” an AFP reporter at the concert said.
The show was only announced a few hours beforehand when members of Prince’s new group 3RDEYEGIRL appeared on a BBC radio show.
By 1 p.m., just an hour after word slipped out, 150 people were queuing around the venue despite the chilly weather.
Once the show began, the crowd roared its approval every time Prince took center stage, even for his new group’s song “Plectrum Electrum.”
The 55-year-old American also took to the piano for a solo medley including “Diamonds and Pearls,” “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry” and “Sign O’ the Times.”