Saturday, May 12, 2007

First night: Prince at Koko

Prince's secret gig at Koko - secret in the sense that you weren't ever going to get to go, so forget it - has thrilled the press. Although it's not like he was playing the Camden Falcon, is it?

We're also a little surprised by who's considered a-list these days. RWD magazine were excited, but clearly they can't get out much:

RWD - as well as MIA, Will Young, Johnny Borrell, Carl Barat and Chris Moyles - was in attendance to see the triumphant return of The Prince after a nigh-on 10 year hiatus from our shores.

Chris Moyles? Will Young? The never-more-aptly-named MIA? Are they sure they weren't backstage at BBC Four's Music Hall programme or something? And can you have a hiatus from a nation?

London Lite's Andre Pain must have been standing near, but not right behind, RWD:
Little Britain star David Walliams, singers Mika and Will Young and DJ Chris Moyles were among the stars who saw him at Koko.

Pain saw the Moment Where Prince Fell Over:
Several fans were pulled on stage to dance and, amid a party atmosphere, one girl gave him a peck on the cheek.

Apparently joking, Prince fell to the floor, but a bouncer appeared and removed the fan from the stage. Prince disappeared and then returned with his head wrapped in a towel, muttering darkly about being kissed by a stranger.

Oddly, by the time the 3AM Girls get round to writing about it in The Mirror, the story has shifted a little"
PITY poor little Prince after the tiny star was toppled on stage - knocked off his heels by a way-too-zealous female fan.

The woman forced a kiss on the singer before straddling him as he lay prone on stage at a secret London gig.

He flounced off in a huff - only later returning with a towel over his head, muttering that he was ashamed.

But it seems that - while RWD and the London freesheet had been attending, the supposed premier gossip column had been amongst those of us relying on second-hand reports from the frontline:
Says our eyewitness: "As soon as this woman kissed Prince, he suddenly fell to the ground."

With her hero prostrate in front of her, the woman couldn't resist going further.

"She grabbed his arm and started straddling him," our witness goes on.

"Prince looked absolutely terrified. This clearly wasn't meant to happen. Then two bodyguards rushed out and hauled her off. Her arms and legs were flailing all over the place."

Luckily, it turns out that 3AM staple Beverly Knight was on hand to offer an opinion. Unfortunately, she seems to have confused Prince, the popstar, with a senior member of the British Royal Family:
Soul star Beverley Knight really felt for him. She told us yesterday: "It was so disgusting. I can't believe anyone would be that disrespectful. What makes you think you can behave like that with Prince?"

Clearly, though, Beverly thinks that it's usually okay to straddle people you've never been formally introduced to, just so long as they've never run their own record label.

Oddly, after this, the 3AM Girls are back in the room:
The incident was the one low point of a gig that was otherwise superb, though he didn't play enough hits for our liking.

But if you were there, why are you relying on an "eyewitness" for telling you what happened? (As it turns out, they could have just looked at the photo on Stereogum to have fudged their report.)

Either the 3AMies were at the venue, and are so inept you missed the incident - like Lizzie Archer nipping away from the vegetable show and not seeing the marrow explode - or you weren't there, and are trying to make it seem like you were.

Let's turn to's report to decide:
Prince ensured the fans had something to shout about with hits including 'U Got The Look', 'Kiss', 'Cream', 'Let's Go Crazy' and an impassioned version of 'Nothing Compares To U' in his set.

That sounds like quite a lot of hits to us. Although, of course, no amount of hits could probably compensate if you were stood outside with your ear stuck against the door.

The 3AM's moan, though, is at least refreshing in a sea of pliant press which would make Enver Hoxa jealous. The Telegraph's Tom Horan stressed how blessed we all are:
But for all the Brown-style fainting and showboating, the imploring and the pelvic fireworks, what was striking was Prince's humility. This was to be a party, not an ego trip. Having invited various audience members on stage, he found that one supremely lumpen individual had somehow taken his spot at the mike. Graciously he allowed him to sing the whole song. It brought the house down.


He did a dazzling cover of last year's Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy, reinventing it as a lampoon on all the people who have questioned his sanity over the years. Yet he barely dented the vast back catalogue of pop brilliance that is his to draw on.

Most of all, he just kept laughing and smiling. Prince is clearly in the mood for a party. How flattering that he has chosen to have it here.

We are not worthy to kiss his discarded head-towel. Prince, Prince, please shrug disdainfully in our direction.

You'd expect total capitulation from Hello, of course, a magazine which treats the daughter of a 1970s pop star and the presenter of a game show on Living TV with the same overawed reverence as Prince himself:
Revered the world over for his breathlessly sexy delivery, Prince is bound to draw a crowd of glamorous ladies anywhere he performs. So the coolest names of London's night scene, among them Lisa Snowdon and Peaches Geldof, flocked in droves to see the iconic funk artist playing a trendy London music venue.

Although what, exactly, is Hello trying to say here?
And it wasn't only the girls who were eager to see Prince in action, as Grace Kelly singer Mika, David Walliams and Will Young were in the audience, too.

It fell to The Times' Kevin Batholomew to try and turn in a review that attempted to treat Prince as just another performer. He nearly managed, it, too, but even by the end, Kevin was taking the Bible Studies guy's word as law:
[E]ven at the age of 48 did nothing to belie his status as music's supreme performer, but also by an ecstatic audience.

"You give me the energy to do this", he told us. "At the O2 we're gonna turn that thang out. They're gonna be the best shows you've ever seen." You better believe it.

Hattie Collins, who reviews for the London Paper and blogs at Hattie C In The Place To Be admits the existence of a phenomenon which causes journalistic distance to crumble in the face of the little man:
eing a music journalist, it's sometimes easy to become a cynical, boozy, grumpy, faded hack. But hey, every job has its benefits. Don’t get it twisted though; just because we take great pleasure in slagging things off, even we have a day-off from the haterade every once in a while.
For me, my journalism kryptonite is the one and only Prince. Quite frankly, he could arrive onstage and fart for four hours and I’d act like it was the best show ever.

Rubbishcorp has Purple Pixie pix and Koko video.

1 comment:

Chris Brown said...

According to Moyles the following morning, he only did the intro to 'Let's Go Crazy' before he launched into something else. But I'm *sure* the 3am Girls knew that...

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