Prince performing at his gig

Prince performing at his gig

Let's be honest, a casino in central London is not my usual Thursday night hang-out. But when I received an invitation with the words 'Secret Gig' and 'Prince' in the subject line, it didn't take me long to elbow my way past the hordes of tourists and school tours to get to the door of the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square.

The legend and his band 3RDEYEGIRL were to play at the Belle movie premiere after-party but no one apart from those invited were in the know. We were given strict instructions that phones were banned: no pictures, no tweets, no nothing.

'He kicked out three people from his last gig,' a girl in the queue behind me whispered to her friend.

'I will be fired if you take your phone out' one of the organisers shouted.

Then the A-list crew including Kate Moss, Bryan Ferry, The XX and Dev Hynes rocked up. Champagne corks were popping and everyone was chatting about how they couldn't believe it was actually going to happen.

Mary Charteris, Kate Moss and Robbie Furze at the gig

By 1.30am there was still no sign and the air of nervous anticipation was amplified. Then suddenly the lights dimmed, then flashed, the stage side door opened and Prince strutted out, grabbed the mike and started to belt out 'Take Me With You.' Everyone went wild. 

Wearing an oversized t-shirt with a print from the film Belle on it, a pair of white flares and white platform boots, he danced his way around the stage singing hit after hit including classics like '1999,' 'Raspberry Beret' and 'When Doves Cry,' alongside brand new songs from the new record Plectrum Electrum.

Prince performing at his gig

Without a phone everyone was fully engrossed in what was happening. All eyes were on the bona fida icon and not through a screen. And even if phone had been allowed no filter could ever capture what it was like.

As a burst of shimmering confetti exploded for his finale hit 'Purple Rain' and everyone sang in sync you couldn't help but feel the emotion in the room. Many things are classed as a once in a lifetime experience but this truly was.

By Chloe Mac Donnell

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