Hit and Run Part II

4 Jun

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I have seen Prince live at least 20 times, I first saw him live in 1988, I saw his 1990 Nude Tour 8 times, the last time I saw him was 6 years ago as part of his 21 Night Stand at London’s O2.

This year Prince has been doing Hit and Run shows, as the title suggests they’re often very last minute.

I checked into FaceBook yesterday at 10am (tea-break) to a message from Steve from The Beatles Shop, he informed me that Prince was doing two shows in one night at London’s Camden Roundhouse, that Ticketmaster were the only sellers and the tickets were on sale at noon that day (yesterday) oh, yeah and the concerts were for today.

I think Camden holds a special place in Prince’s heart, he had a shop there in the early 90s, and Part I of his Hit and Run shows at the start of the year kicked off up the road at Camden’s Electric Ballroom.

It was like Kate Bush all over again, so midday came and there I was nervously tapping my debit card details in as a clock in the bottom right of the screen counted down.

I had intended to get two tickets, but the short notice of the date and the fact that standing tickets were £82.50 each meant I just got the one ticket.

I worked late last night so that I could leave early today, as the doors opened at 5.30pm.

The tickets required Photo ID, it felt like a trial run for Kate Bush’s Autumn shows, The Roundhouse is bigger than The Hammersmith Odeon and with venue staff working the queue to check the photo ID, they stamped the tickets with an Approved stamp like you’d get in the library.

Quick purchase of a souvenir t-shirt and I’d got my place about 8 people deep from the stage, trying to avoid any giants in my eye lines.

At 7pm Prince’s band 3rdEyeGirl (who look stunning, and as I later find out play loud and fierce) come on to introduce Prince and also make it very clear that they want phones, cameras and video recorders to stay in our pockets and bags “We want to see your eyes, not your iPhones” and the audience seems to obey

I have to say it was tempting when there was a particularly good pose to want to capture the moment, almost as an instinct but I’m now writing this as a permanent record of the night 🙂
It was actually really great to be at a concert without the sea of phones, I had a great view for most of the night, and concert etiquette seems to be rapidly fading so I’m all for more phone-free gigs.

Prince started the night wearing a gold and purple frock coat but that was removed after the first few songs and he spent the rest of the night in a black hooded 3rdEyeGirl vest

It was practically a greatest hits show, and he looks so happy playing his old songs – some artists might begrudge playing songs from 30 years ago, but he has a big grin on his face all night and is constantly making eyes at the audience.

He started with a funked up version of Let’s Go Crazy, followed by Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, and U Got the Look – for most people these would be the big hitters to end a show with, but Prince just knocks them out to get things started and everyone warmed up.
In the next hour we get 1999, Little Red Corvette, When Doves Cry, Sign O the Times, and Nothing Compares 2 U … Prince asks if we’ve had enough hits yet… then launches into the sublime Kiss, Diamonds & Pearls, I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man and a blistering extended romp through Purple Rain – it’s at the end of this song that Prince suddenly looks serious ” the future is yours, younger generation”.

This is Prince so we also get a 10 minute guitar and drum work-out during Guitar (I love u London, but not like I love my Guitar) he finishes with the B-Side She’s Always in My Hair … we’ve had 2 hours in the presence of genius … and he is doing it all again now while I type this up.

 

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6 Responses to “Hit and Run Part II”

  1. tony wood June 5, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    He also did Play That Funky Music and Joni Mitchel’s A Case of You

  2. John Howard June 5, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Great review, Tony. I adore Prince, Very envious! I bought Dirty Mind in either ’79 or ’80, can’t recall exactly when now, and have loved him ever since. x

    • tony wood June 6, 2014 at 6:05 am #

      I think Dirty Mind was released in 1980, I being a pop kid wasn’t aware of him until the first time 1999 was a top 30 hit in 1983

  3. JonC June 5, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    It sounds like a fabulous evening – well done, you!

    …but £82.50 a ticket???!!! For The Roundhouse?! Prince may be fabulous, but he’s certainly not cheap… Jx

    • tony wood June 6, 2014 at 6:07 am #

      He might not be cheap but he was very cheerful – 11,000 fans paying £82.50 isn’t bad pay for one night’s work 😉

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  1. Hit and Run Part II | Snapshots in the life of vodkaangel22 - June 5, 2014

    Hit and Run Part II.

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