Interview : ‘New Purple Celebration’ Frontman Jimi Love


The millennium may be 20 years ago, but you can still party like it’s 1999 as New Purple Celebration celebrates the legacy of Prince this Saturday (11 January)!

This fabulously funky two-hour extravaganza from MRC Presents features the huge hits of one of the most beloved artists of all time including Kiss, Raspberry Beret, Diamonds & Pearls, When Doves Cry, Cream, Purple Rain  and many more.

We had a quick chat with New Purple Celebration frontman Jimi Love about this terrific tribute show…


What is your favourite song to perform from the set and why?

It depends what day of the week it is! Let’s Go Crazy is always a favourite, and it was the first Prince song I ever heard! Controversy is one I love playing live. It’s just so funky – always a dance party!

There’s so much I love from so many different eras, but the early 90s with the New Power Generation was a thing of wonder! Diamonds & Pearls, Love Symbol and The Gold Experience in four years – just wow! But then there’s the 80s stuff, and all the post-2000 stuff…Can I just say all of it?!

What do you like most about being on tour?

Being with some of my best friends, playing the most amazing music and meeting more of our purple family!

How did the New Purple Celebration start?

I’ve been into Prince since I was 10 years old, and playing guitar since about 15. The two things didn’t really come together though until about 14 years ago as the result of a bet with an old friend of mine, who ran a music venue after he heard us jamming Purple Rain one night! Since then it’s been a passion project – a group of friends who are all Purple Family and love playing his music together.

What have been your favourite gigs?

That’s a tough one…Cardiff is always bonkers and so much fun! Manchester is mad. Playing outdoors to 2,000 people in Dubai was pretty incredible too! Wherever we go there’s always a party, nobody does it like Prince fans!

Tell us five things you couldn’t live without when you’re on the road?

My guitar, tea, a couple of hours peace and quiet, our bass player Andy Trill and Nick Soumakis (our backline tech)!

Do you have a favourite on-the-road anecdote?

What happens on the road, stays on the road…

What things do you like best when it comes to audience participation?

I love the connection we have with our audiences. As musicians we all love playing with each other, I think the fact we’re having so much fun really spreads and creates the party atmosphere. Every show is genuinely a room full of love and celebration!

How many costume changes will there be per show?

Usually one, but it depends how hot it gets!

How do you like to relax after a tour?

My main job is sound engineer/backline tech work, so technically the tour is my relaxing time!

Could you tell us a bit about the band?

They are all incredible musicians and most importantly, they all love Prince! It’s more like a family than a band. Andy is obviously the patriarch with his big beard and other-worldly bass playing!

Sharlene is a funk drumming machine and literally never stops smiling! Renato and Tony on keys, our dancing horn section Becca, Nate and Yas, and the beautiful vocals from Emma. If you haven’t seen us yet, it’s the best show you’ve never been to!

To book your seats, please visit or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.