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February 5, 2014

Prince plays London living-room gig

LONDON (AP) — When Prince came to London a few years ago, he played more than 20 nights at the vast O2 arena. This time, he played a suburban living room to a dozen people.

The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL.

Details are being released in a trickle, but Prince said he planned to play "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails — where Jimi Hendrix once played — storied rock venue Electric Ballroom and Ronnie Scott's jazz club.

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

His first stop was the East London home of British soul singer Lianne La Havas, who met Prince last year while she was touring the United States. The pair bonded over common musical tastes and a shared love of tea.

In her cozy living room in front of a crackling fire, the band played two acoustic tracks of what Prince called their "funky rock 'n' roll," or "funk 'n' roll," including the newly released single "PretzelBodyLogic."

Later, Prince and the band showed off its funk-laced, punk-edged sound in an unannounced late-night set at the Electric Ballroom, a landmark venue in north London's music heartland of Camden. He said he'd be back at the club on Wednesday — "a lot earlier and a lot funkier."

The trip to London, he said, is "open-ended."

"We're going to be here until people don't want to hear us anymore."

Prince said he planned to keep ticket prices as low as $10 — "because it's a new band and you're maybe not hearing what you'd expect."

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