Nile Rodgers is to unveil Chic's first new material in almost 25 years at a special gig in London on the day of a solar eclipse.

The veteran musician and his band are set to perform at the British capital's Roundhouse venue on 20 March (15), the day of the spring equinox, when day and night are approximately the same length, and when a partial eclipse of the sun will be visible from Europe.

Keen astronomer Rodgers decided the special day would the perfect time to share Chic's new songs, and he delayed the release of upcoming single I'll Be There so it could be debuted at the gig.

He tells the London Evening Standard, "When I was a kid I was a junior astronomer. March 20 is the vernal (spring) equinox and you're getting about a 90 per cent solar eclipse. It's a pretty special moment and really cool to me. My record company wanted me to release in the U.S., but I lied to them and said my record wasn't ready. It was ready last year though - I just wanted to save it for London. It's an artistic decision. It makes sense with the artistic approach I made to this record."

The new album, It's About Time, is due to hit shelves in June (15). It features contributions from stars including Sir Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Chaka Khan and Janelle Monae.