Prince plays secret gig in small north London venue ahead of UK tour announcement

Prince performs at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. Photo: @stephenbudd

US singer Prince surprised his fans after taking to the stage of a small north London venue for a secret gig ahead of an announcement of UK tour dates.

Mounting speculation of a surprise performance led to queues forming outside the Electric Ballroom in Camden late last night.

Wearing a dark hooded sleeveless top, he appeared on stage shortly after 12.30am backed by his new 3rdeyegirl band.

Prince appeared shortly after 12.30am. Credit: @stephenbudd

He opened with a slowed-down version of I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man.

The gig, which lasted for around half-an-hour, showcased new material from his forthcoming Plectrum Electrum record.

He told the tiny crowd in the north London venue:

Prince performs in front of the small crowd in north London. Credit: @stephenbudd

You sound like ten thousands. We love each and every one of you.

– Prince

Prince and his band left the stage briefly before returning to say "we'll be back tomorrow" and his manager Kiran Sharma tweeted:

He is expected to announce a number of UK tour dates today but details are remain scare.

Hip-hop artist Scroobius Pip tweeted this picture sent to him by a friend at the venue:

Prince said he hoped to play "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails, where Jimi Hendrix once performed, and Ronnie Scott's jazz club.

Before the gig at Camden's rock venue, he stopped at the east London home of British soul singer Lianne La Havas, who met Prince last year while she was touring the US, to hold a press conference.

In her living room, the band played two acoustic tracks of what Prince called their "funky rock 'n' roll," including the newly released single PretzelBodyLogic, the Associated Press reported.

We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues.

– Prince

He added that he hoped to record the band live during their stay in London, as well as buying "some clothes and some tea".