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Gentlemen. Let's broaden our minds... Laurence?

10 May 2007

Prince: 21 dates in London. Visit official site for infoIf you're a Prince fan, you're probably buzzing already at the man's plans to play 21 gigs at the Millennium Dome in August. In fact, if you're a real hard core fan, you might be at Koko tonight where he's following the press conference with an intimate gig. This post isn't for you, though.

This post is for the others: those who don't go to gigs often, or maybe have only been to one or two gigs ever; those who don't consider themselves Prince fans, but like a few of his songs; those who haven't even heard a Prince album, perhaps; those who have lost touch with him after liking his early stuff.

And it's to urge you to just go to the gig. Tickets are a very reasonable (and somewhat daft) £31.21 plus the usual booking fee and postage arm-twisting. You even get a free copy of his new, as yet untitled, album for that.

I've seen Prince four times before: Wembley (1990), Manchester (1992), Brixton (about 1998) and Hammersmith (2002). They were all great. Wembley was a stripped down greatest hits set, riding on the back of Batman. Brixton was a party all the way, with Chaka Khan and Larry Graham supporting. Prince joined in with his support acts (yelping "You playing my song, girl?" as he spun on stage with a guitar for 'I feel for you') and a human beatbox act blending all the night's acts seamlessly. Hammersmith was his difficult period, playing almost all new stuff, but was worth it for a jazzy rendition of Pop Life and a stunning solo acoustic set of mostly unreleased songs, as well as the highlights from The Rainbow Children.

So I know what I'm talking about when I say he puts on a great show. And it's not like I haven't seen a few other bands, either. Prince is one of the best live acts there is today.

The guy is a one-off. He claims to have rehearsed 150 songs for this tour and says he will be doing a different gig each night. He plays guitar, keyboards and (occasionally) drums as well as singing and he's damned good at all of them. In September last year, he reportedly did the splits at a show, which is not bad for a 48 year old. Word on the forums is that he's got his mojo back and the PR people claim he's playing his greatest hits for the last time.

This is your chance to see one of our finest living musicians, performers and songwriters doing his thing. If you're even curious, go along. You won't regret it. Tickets for the O2 gigs go on sale Friday 11 May at 9am here. Keep an eye on the official site and the unofficial forum for news of other gigs.

(Oh, and I don't get a kickback or anything for these links. I only want you to have some fun).


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