Entertainment & Arts

The Revolution announce Prince tribute shows

Prince performing in 1985 Image copyright AP
Image caption The Revolution were Prince's backing band during his 1980s heyday

The Revolution, Prince's backing band during the 1999 and Purple Rain era, will reunite for a pair of tribute shows honouring the late music star.

The group will play at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis - which was the partial setting of the Purple Rain film - on 2 and 3 September.

Key members Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Brown Mark, Bobby Z and Matt "Doctor" Fink will all take part.

Announcing the shows, they called Prince's death a "profound loss".

"Only by playing for you, the fans, can we be Prince's Revolution," they added. "He gives us to one another now, as we all start to heal and fill forever emptiness with sound. Together we are The Revolution."

Bassist Brown Mark hinted more dates could be announced soon, writing on Facebook: "Minneapolis First Avenue is just the beginning."

First Avenue became a focal point for mourners after Prince died in April, aged 57. Hundreds of fans brought traffic to a standstill as they gathered outside the club, laying wreaths and singing his songs.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince fans gathered at First Avenue as news of his death broke in April

Prince first played there in 1981, and visited throughout his career. His most famous song, Purple Rain, was recorded live at the club and edited down from the original 11-minute performance for release.

He later played warm-up shows for the Parade and Sign O The Times tours at the venue, last visiting for a late-night show in 2007.

"Playing there was always important," said Revolution drummer Bobby Z in an interview shortly before Prince's death. "It became his marquee, and it still is today."

The Revolution first announced plans for a reunion in April.

"We have decided after spending three or four days together now grieving over the loss of Prince that we would like to come out and do some shows," said guitarist Melvoin in a short video. "We want to let you know that we'll be there soon, so we want to let you know now."

Image copyright Brown Mark / Facebook
Image caption The band announced their intention to reunite in a Facebook video during the days following Prince's death

The musicians served as Prince's backing band from 1979, although they weren't officially credited as The Revolution until the Purple Rain album.

Prince abruptly terminated their career in 1986 - taking many of the members by surprise. Wendy and Lisa went on to have a moderately successful career as a pop duo, and now work as composers for television, with credits including Heroes, Nurse Jackie and Touch.

Tickets for the reunion concert cost between $65 (£50) and $99 (£76). Dez Dickerson and Andre Cymone, who played with Prince at the start of his career, will also take part in the show.

"I need this as much as you," wrote bassist Brown Mark on his Facebook page after the show was announced. "I have no closure, I have no peace and the void echoes loud in an empty space deep within.

"Playing my bass is the answer and sharing the music with you is what will heal."

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