Singer Prince performs in a surprise appearance on the "American Idol" television show finale at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California in this May 24, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello/Files
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: American singer, songwriter, musician and actor Prince performing in NYC at the Bottom Line on February 15, 1980. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Rock star Prince is shown during his performance onstage during the telecast of the Grammy Awards, Feb. 27, 1985 in Los Angeles. He won or shared three awards, including Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, with his band Revolution, for "Purple Rain"; Best Album of Original Score for TV or Movies, "Purple Rain"; and Prince took Writing Rhythm and Blues honors for "I Feel For You," recorded by Chaka Khan. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)
Rock singer Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., during his opening show, Feb. 18, 1985. (AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing)
Singing star Prince is all smiles as he addresses the audience at the American Music Awards, Jan. 27, 1986 in Los Angeles. He was up for several awards but did not place, but did present the award in the Pop-Rock Category for favorite single to Huey Lewis for his "Power of Love," hit. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Popstar Prince pictured performing to Dutch fans in the Galgenwaard Football Stadium in Utrecht Friday night, June 19, 1987 the first concert of three to be held in the Netherlands, part of Prince's European Tour. (AP Photo/Barbara Walton)
American rock artist Prince starting his European tour with a concert at the ice hockey stadium in Stockholm, May 8,1987.(AP Photo/Bjorn Elgstrand)
American pop star Prince sings at the beginning of his second concert July 10,1988 at Paris Bercy stadium, where he began his "Lovesexy" world tour.(AP Photo/Pierre Gleizers)
** FILE ** This undated file photo shows singing star Prince. Rock musician Prince was born on June 7, 1958. Prince will turn 50 on Saturday, June 7, 2008. (AP Photo, File) ** zu unserem Portraet **
Prince performing in Minneapolis on April 30,1990. (Photo: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)
American pop star Prince performing at Wembley, London, 22nd August 1990. (Photo by Graham Wiltshire/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
PRINCE IN "ROCK IN RIO" CONCERT, BRAZIL 1992. (Photo via Alamy)
American singer-songwriter Prince performs on stage, London, 1993. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
The Artist formerly known as Prince performing at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View Calif. on October 10th, 1997. Image By: Tim Mosenfelder/ImageDirect
FOR RELEASE WITH STORY BC-ENTERTAINMENT-PRINCE - The Artist formerly known as Prince seen here in a publicity photograph, July 29. The Artist formerly known as Prince has a new album "Newpower Soul" which was recorded, pressed and distributed by his NPG records label without the assistance of a major industry label.
05/16/00 New York City The Artist Formely Known as Prince reclaims his name 'Prince' and announces public tours at his Paisley Park Studio, during a press conference in New York City. Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
American singer Prince performs in Hong Kong Friday, Oct. 17, 2003. Prince's concert was the the opening act in a four-week government-sponsored music festival titled "Hong Kong Harbor Fest," aimed at boosting the image of SARS-battered Hong Kong. The singer was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (AP photo/Anat Givon)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Singer Prince. (Photo by Diane Freed)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Musical Artist Prince performs at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Singer Prince, who was presented the Vanguard Award, performs during the 36th NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, March 19, 2005. The award show will be telecast on the Fox televison network in the United States on March 25. REUTERS/Lee Celano ljc/MK
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 27: Musician Prince arrives at the 77th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 27, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 19: Musician Prince performs onstage at the 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2005 file photo, singer Prince arrives with his wife Manuela Testolini for the 77th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Prince, widely acclaimed as one of the most inventive and influential musicians of his era with hits including "Little Red Corvette," ''Let's Go Crazy" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead at his home on Thursday, April 21, 2016, in suburban Minneapolis, according to his publicist. He was 57. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)
Milan, ITALY: US singer Prince is pictured during Italian fashion house Gianni Versace show during the Spring/Summer 2007 women's collections, 29 September 2006 in Milan. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Musician Prince performs during the 'Pepsi Halftime Show' at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
MIAMI - FEBRUARY 01: Musician Prince performs during the Super Bowl XLI Half-Time Press Conference at the Miami Convention Center on February 1, 2007 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
**FILE** Singer Prince and actress Penelope Cruz,right, sit in the audience, in a Feb. 8, 2007, file photo, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Prince has angered the music industry and stirred up trouble among British retailers by giving away his new album with a tabloid newspaper this weekend. "Planet Earth" will be packaged with the Mail on Sunday at a price of $2.80. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
July 7th, 2007 - Minneapolis, MN, USA - The first ten fans in line for an exclusive Prince performance at Macy's downtown received photographs of the iconic Minneapolis funk rocker. Prince performed with his band on the 8th floor at Macy's downtown during an exclusive concert launching his new per
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Recording artist Prince leaving the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Mortons on February 25, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JUNE 01: Singer Prince performs onstage during the 2007 NCLR ALMA Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on June 1, 2007 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NCLR)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Prince on stage at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 3737 -- Air Date 03/27/2009 -- Pictured: Musical guest Prince performs during the Mercedes Benz outdoor concert series on March 27, 2009 -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
US singer Prince performs on October 11, 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris. Prince has decided to give two extra concerts at the Grand Palais titled 'All Day/All Night' after he discovered the exhibition hall during Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel fashion show. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S singer Prince attends John Galliano's Spring-Summer 2010 fashion collection, presented in Paris, Wednesday Oct. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Prince attends the Apollo Theater's 75th Anniversary Gala at The Apollo Theater on June 8, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic)
Prince Tour 2011
US singer and musician Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson) performs on stage at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris, on June 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO BERTRAND GUAY (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Saturday evening, Aug. 6 2011 photo American singer and songwriter Prince performs on the Isle of Amager in Copenhagen, Denmark. The concert was the first of two and it was interupted by heavy rain. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Jakob Joergensen) DENMARK OUT
Singer Prince and his date are shown seated before the start of the Versace for H&M fashion show in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
This photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 5, 2014 and released by 3RDEYEGIRL NPG Records on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, shows Prince performing in London. The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL. Details are being released in a trickle, but Prince said he planned to play "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails -- where Jimi Hendrix once played -- storied rock venue Electric Ballroom and Ronnie Scott's jazz club. "We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues," Prince said. (AP Photo/3RDEYEGIRL NPG Records)
U.S. pop singer Prince, left, watches the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Dusan Lajovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Monday, June 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
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LONDON (AP) - When Prince came to London a few years ago, he played more than 20 nights at the vast O2 arena. This time, he played a suburban living room to a dozen people.
The enigmatic star flew into London on Tuesday at the start of a still-evolving string of dates in support of forthcoming album "Plectrum Electrum," recorded with all-female trio 3RDEYEGIRL.
Details are being released in a trickle, but Prince said he planned to play "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails - where Jimi Hendrix once played - storied rock venue Electric Ballroom and Ronnie Scott's jazz club.
"We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues," Prince said.
His first stop was the East London home of British soul singer Lianne La Havas, who met Prince last year while she was touring the United States. The pair bonded over common musical tastes and a shared love of tea.
In her cozy living room in front of a crackling fire, the band played two acoustic tracks of what Prince called their "funky rock 'n' roll," or "funk 'n' roll," including the newly released single "PretzelBodyLogic."
Later, Prince and the band showed off its funk-laced, punk-edged sound in an unannounced late-night set at the Electric Ballroom, a landmark venue in north London's music heartland of Camden. He said he'd be back at the club on Wednesday - "a lot earlier and a lot funkier."
The trip to London, he said, is "open-ended."
"We're going to be here until people don't want to hear us anymore."
Prince said he planned to keep ticket prices as low as $10 - "because it's a new band and you're maybe not hearing what you'd expect."
The tracks on the new album were developed during epic jam sessions at Prince's Paisley Park studios near Minneapolis.
"We've been together for over a year and it's perfect," said Prince, who sipped a mug of strong tea with honey as he chatted to La Havas, her housemates and three journalists in the British singer's brick Victorian house. "The more we play, the more fun it is, and addictive it is."
Prince looked every inch the star in the incongruous surroundings, dressed head-to-toe in black and sporting a furry jerkin and large sunglasses.
The multinational 3RDEYEGIRL is made up of Danish bassist Ida Nielsen, Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis and American drummer Hannah Ford. Ford said the band sometimes jammed for 12 hours or more in days and nights of music interspersed with games of ping pong.
"That's our amazing life," she said. "And we wouldn't want it any other way. We are literally living a musician's fairy tale, and it is now our reality.
"Once you start jamming you sort of forget about the time," she said of the band's sessions with Prince.
"A lot of the time we didn't even know we were recording for an album. We were just jamming and vibing off one another."
Prince, she said, is "an incredible teacher in all the genres - rock, punk ..."
"And ping pong," added Prince.
For 55-year-old Prince - a genre-bending musical pioneer and outrider for more than three decades - the unusual promotional tour reflects a determination to do things his own way.
"I was in it (the music industry) and got out for obvious reasons," he said. "I'm just hooking up with like minds."
He said he's sworn off contracts and deadlines because "it's just no way to make art."
Prince said he hoped to record the band live during their stay in London, as well as buying "some clothes - and some tea."
Asked if - as rumored - he would play the Glastonbury Festival in June, he didn't issue a denial, but said he was trying to "slow time down" and live in the moment. "I can't think of the festival now."
He spoke about his decision to launch a lawsuit - later dropped - against fans who posted links online to unauthorized footage of his performances.
"Nobody sues fans," he said. "It's just a poor way to phrase it. A bootlegger is a bootlegger, a scalper is a scalper. They know what time it is.
"Just sharing music with each other - that's cool," he said. "It's the selling that becomes the problem."
He claimed not to have noticed that 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the release of his groundbreaking album "Purple Rain," regularly hailed as one of the best records of the 1980s.