The Music Of Prince - New Purple Celebration Live Review

The Anvil Arts Centre Basingstoke - January 19th 2020

January 19th saw me attending a show rather than a gig at the Anvil Arts Centre in Basingstoke for a celebration of the music of my all time favourite artist, Prince.

When I first knew that I would be covering this show, I had some very real battles with myself over whether I can shoot this as a neutral or whether I would be too judgemental as I had seen the great man himself many many times around the world, and been up close and personal many times as well. I know there will never be another Prince, but I couldn't help but feel I would still really enjoy the music, after all it was still the music of Prince.

After a few correspondences between myself and the company promoting this show, I was all set. As I had never shot at this venue before, I was not familiar with the layout or access so I did request as much access as could be allowed so that I could cover the show fully and do it justice.


After arriving at the venue I was given a ticket at the desk and then taken to meet the floor manager before I would meet up with the tour manager. The floor manager was expecting me and handed me a AAA pass which was a nice surprise as that meant I would be getting some fantastic access and would be able to shoot the whole show.

I met up with the tour manager and the stage tech and one of the band members, and after some chat about the show etc, I was given stage access as well as anywhere in the auditorium as long as I didn't get in anyone's way. This was going to be awesome, cue ninja mode...


The show kicked off dead on 7:30 to around 600 people that had come out on a Sunday night to share in this celebration of a true musical legend.
The show was in two halves, the first half would be about an hour before they would have a twenty minute intermission before they started again.

Well right from the off the hits kept rolling, and also there were some more obscure tracks that were so cool to see in the set.


This was two and a half hours of fantastic entertainment and a really cool and respectful celebration of one of music's true legends. Congratulations to the New Purple Celebration for doing such an amazing job and I for one can't wait to see the show again. I highly recommend you try and attend one of the shows if they come anywhere near you, and all information can be found on their website or Facebook pages, links below...


The first half set list was as follows, 'Play In The Sunshine', 'Little Red Corvette', 'Sign O' The Times', 'Let's Go Crazy', 'Delirious', 'Let's Go Crazy Reprise', '1999', 'Mutiny', 'Partyman', 'Housequake', 'Shhh', 'Diamonds And Pearls', 'Guitar', and 'Empty Room'. A great collection of tunes performed wonderfully by a group of musicians who obviously love the music they are playing.

There was a twenty minute break then they were back at it. Second half gets underway with 'When Doves Cry' before the funky 'Musicology'. I had shot from the auditorium during the first half, and a few from either side of stage, but this half I decided to get on stage and shoot up close and personal as much as possible without getting in the way. The hits kept coming and at one point they even had some of the crowd up on stage as dancers which was a great opportunity for me to use them as a human shield to get some more amazing stage shots.


The second half of the show was as funky as hell and the crowd were on their feet dancing along. There was a wonderful vibe in the room and this was coming from the band and from the crowd. The second half came to an end and the band left the stage, but not for long as they soon re appeared for the encore which was just wonderful and finished with 'Purple Rain'. I mean what else could they finish with really?


The second half set list was as follows, 'When Doves Cry', 'Musicology', 'Alphabet Street', 'Everlasting Now', 'Controversy', 'I Wanna Be Your Lover', 'Head', 'Kiss', 'Raspberry Beret', 'Cream', 'C.O.O.L', 'Let's Work', 'U Got The Look'.
Encore, 'I Would Die 4 U', 'Baby I'm A Star', and 'Purple Rain'.