This Saturday the team at XXL will be paying tribute to the late, great Prince – a year after he passed away. In the club’s Fur Lounge, DJs Joe Egg and David Robson will be mixing up the hits and here both DJs tell us what the purple genius means to them.
I once lived with an Algerian actress called Fatima who swore she saw Prince dancing alone in Trafalgar Square as she walked home in the early hours. I was never sure how true this was, but Prince was such a strange creature, it’s somehow feasible. We know so very little; His Name Was Prince and He Was Funky. We know that much because he told us so on a 1992 single. But he revealed little else. He was free of oxygen tent style scandal, permanently reclusive, but music oozed out of him like sweat – a new double, triple, quadruple album every month it seemed. And it sometimes got overwhelming, if you were actually there in those delirious days of 1980s Dynasty attitude.
The general consensus is his best records came out during the aforementioned decade, but I never stopped investigating the later albums, looking for, and occasionally finding, hidden gems in records that were either stuck to the front of The Daily Mail (yes, really), or only unofficially released, with weird fan artwork. (From the current decade I’d recommend Whitecaps, but even the most casual Prince lover will tell you of something worth hearing he put out this century.) And now the world quietly waits for those Paisley Park vaults to be properly excavated. There will be gold down there.
In the meantime, everybody’s still got a bomb and we could still die any day, so come and let the sweat of your bodies cover me in the purple bathed arches of XXL this Saturday.
On the day Prince died last April, it started to snow. A day and time I will never forget. As the news hit I was preparing to lay to rest my stepdad, Tony, after his life was cut tragically short only a few weeks before. In a moment, one of my musical heroes and a big part of my family were gone.
I have seen many acts in concert over the years; Whitney, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Cher, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Diana Ross, Kate Bush and many more. But it was on 19 May 2014, with me ol’ mucker Mark Neal, that I ventured up to Birmingham to witness Prince on his Hit and Run Tour. It was the greatest concert I have seen, and will likely ever attend. All killer and no filler. Here was a man looking back at his astounding career and asking us to join him by celebrating his many hits. Take Me With U, Raspberry Beret, U Got the Look, Pop Life, 1999, When Doves Cry, The Beautiful Ones and the spine-tingling Purple Rain.
I can’t wait to celebrate this icon at XXL this Saturday. There’s just SO many hits to choose from and only a few hours to play them. It’s a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that while we live in a time where the likes of Ed ‘dull’ Sheeran can dominate the charts, a Prince can and will reign supreme.