They describe themselves as The Ultimate Celebration of Prince – confident words, can they pull it off?
A 9-piece band walked on the stage, a damn good start as a 3-piece would not have cut the mustard! They pretty much looked the part too, as in funky, professional, serious and yes Jimi Love, looked a little like Prince, but wasn’t trying to be him (thank goodness).
Opening with ‘Sign O’ the Times’ set the quality for the night. Also allowed the sound guys some final tweaks with people in the venue – we did miss hearing the first brass solo, but it all came good.
There was a huge amount of energy from the band from the first and they carried it through to the end. Although lots going on, it added to the whole show. All the band members were talented and each got more than one turn to show off their talents, there was no ego on the stage, Jimi allowed his band to each take the stage and receive their own glory. It seems most of them could play more than one instrument so it was more than a 9-piece band!
The brass guys were dancing and playing, actually all the band members were dancing while playing. We had guitar changes, we had a keytar, costume changes, more brass, proper slap bass, superb drums, and we had special guest Giles King with a mouthorgan on a couple of tracks.
The first half was a very broad range of Prince tracks, from the popular chart topping ones to the more obscure album tracks, the hard-core fans would have been delighted.
The second half was full of the funkier songs and I’m not sure if anyone noticed the band barely stopped for a pause and a clap – they merged the songs together so it was non-stop party for the whole second half. Great effort and we all loved it.
The sound in the Corn Exchange must have been a challenge as the sound wasn’t the best unfortunately, You couldn’t hear all the instruments individually and a lot of the time they did all merge into one. The sound guys did work it out eventually and depends where you were in the room is where you got the best sound. I moved to the back and it was certainly better.
However, this didn’t diminish the enthusiasm from the audience. A wide range of ages with in the crowd and all looked as though they thoroughly enjoyed this celebration of Prince.
New Purple Celebration are excellent musicians and singers, no question. It was a joy to watch. These guys are a must to go and see as overall, they were totally fabulous – I want these people to be my friends as they were just having a party on the stage all night, in fact…..the band almost didn’t need the crowd as they were having so much fun anyway!
The Ultimate Celebration of Prince? I think so.The Ipswich Corn Exchange is a good venue with plenty of facilities and friendly staff. Nice to see enough bar staff to suit the number of people in the crowd.
Photo credit Barry Hughes.
This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE.