Review: Prince, SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Five stars

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After the guerilla gigs, we were ready for the invasion.Glasgow had received the memo and many had found something mauve to wear to honour His Purpleness. Some even sported raspberry berets, so it wasn't hard for Prince's people to find nine suitably clad fans to invite on stage for FunknRoll, one of the newer songs in a set that delved all the way back to Kontroversy. All credit to the blonde in the off-the-shoulder number who hogged centre stage for as long as she was allowed. Afterwards the man himself said that she was "too cool". "I liked the twister in the polka dots," he told us, and that's one frock that girl will never chuck out.

The number of dancers was no accident. Everything came in threes when Prince plays with the trio 3rdEyeGirl - the extra musicians, two keyboards and a backing vox majorette in a silver slip, formed another trio, and three screens above showed us close-ups, fellow funk legends like James Brown and Curtis Mayfield, and sometimes ourselves. "I got 12 thousand people saying ain't nobody do it like Prince do," and we sang in funkily in gender groups to prove him correct.

"Let's Go Glasgow!" he began, three times, and Glasgow went crazy as ordered as he romped through all the hits you'd hoped but never dared believe he'd play. At first it seemed as if the retro power trio sound of his new female team might overpower the subtler pop of Raspberry Beret (hats in the air!) with their raw, basic and heavy, if undeniably funky sound, but Donna Gantis, Hannah Ford and Ida Neilsen are made of more versatile stuff as Kiss, When Doves Cry, and Sign o the Times would prove.

There would be longeurs amid the fusilade of hits, and an altogether less pacy second half on the way to Purple Rain, but nothing compares to seeing this General in complete command.

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