"Small Club, 2nd Show That Night" is probably the most famous Prince bootleg as it captures one of the many after-shows Prince performed throughout the years.
Many of these gigs have been recorded but none in such pristine sound quality. The listener gets to experience the performance as much as the audience did at that moment in time. After completing a scheduled concert performance at a large stage concert hall Prince and his entourage would appear later that night at a local club for an impromptu show to the astonishment of the lucky few that happened to be there at the right moment and in the right place.
The after-shows were a way to get off of the beaten track of tightly produced stadium events by playing other material, including covers, or regular material in different ways. This makes 'Small Club' stand out, decades after it was (illegally) recorded and first released on vinyl and on double CD one year later.
"Show of hands! How many of you are drunk?" Prince says to the audience "Alright, you mean you actually gonna hear what we play? You're not gonna make up the notes in your mind?" which is probably indicative of the mood this gig was captured in; part of the audience may actually have been drunk or on higher spirits, to Prince and his fellow musicians it was all about the music.
The 3rd track 'Just My Imagination' - a Temptations cover - forms one such shining example, as it also features one of Prince's best guitar solos - ever. 'Kansas City' and 'I'll Take You There' are the two other cover tracks on this recording. 'Cold Sweat' probably best sums up the atmosphere of that night, the intensity and quality of playing at an unscheduled and unrehearsed gig in front of a couple of hundred of people. In the freaky funky 'People Without' you will hear Prince say "People without, do cocaine" - which seems to hit home with parts of the audience. The show ends as it started - with a jam. 'Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic' with pieces of 'It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night' in parting.
Prince had the uncanny ability to 'add' to his songs on the live stage when compared to the studio versions of the tracks. 'House Quake', 'Forever In My Life' and 'Still Would Stand All Time' are stripped from their poppy R&B studio gloss, revealing the raw, uncut, Funk and Soul cores.
Wild, raw, loud, eclectic, energising and electrifying, this registration of a so-called ‘after show’, recorded in a small club, shortly after conducting a big stadium concert, with only a few hundred people to bare witness, contains all the elements that made Prince’s music great and shows why Prince is one of the greatest artists of all time, for generations to come.
Bumped from #Soundcloud, #MixCloud and of course #Youtube, prohibited from sale on #Discogs, (OMG what else?), this video upload is our final attempt to share this truly unique soundboard recording by Prince and the New Power Generation. Not to make a quick buck off of Prince’s legacy but to preserve his legacy and present it to a wider audience as a piece of music history.
This one-off event, besides being a musical masterpiece, holds so many stories, so many connections can be derived from it, that it would be a waste to let it gather dust in a vault.
How the man himself would evaluate an unauthorised screening like this is open for debate. During his career, Prince fought for artist copyrights and ownership of their audio masters. Not just for himself, but for the music arts as a whole. Video and audio material outside of official channels were rare and under constant scrutiny of his legal counsel.
The deluge of material that became available on platforms like Youtube had not started upon his passing away, but already in previous years. as the mostly live performance videos, bootlegs and other obscure publications, would revive interest in him and most likely attracted new audiences to his live concerts. Concerts that (re-)gained commercial significance as the business model of the music industry drastically changed over the years. Prince was after all also a business man.
Prince & The New Power Generation
August 19, 1988, Paard van Troje, The Hague, The Netherlands
Prince (vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums)
Sheila E. (drums, vocals)
Levi Seacer Jr. (bass)
Miko Weaver (guitar)
Dr. Fink (keyboards)
Boni Boyer (vocals. keyboards)
Atlanta Bliss (trumpet)
Cat (dance, vocals)
0: Sound Check
1: Instrumental Jam
2: D.M.S.R. 13:38
3: Just My Imagination 21:43
4: People Without 29:45
5: House Quake 39:54
6: Blues In C / Down Home Blues / Kansas City 44:39
7: Cold Sweat 53:39
8: Forever In My Life 1:03:53
9: Still Would Stand All Time 1:15:43
10: I’ll Take You There 1:27:51
11: Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic 1:32:38
12: It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night