The White Stripes returned to the UK yesterday to play an intimate gig at the Rivoli Ballroom in south-east London.

Jack and Meg White had earlier played an acoustic set to a group of old-aged pensioners at the Royal Chelsea Hospital before heading over to the Rivoli for another show.

The band arrived on stage at about 21:15 BST to massive Cheers from the small audience which had crammed inside the tiny venue for the band's first full gig since 2005.

Coated in red velvet and with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, the White Stripes seemed to perfectly complement their ornate surroundings - even members of the Kensington Pearly Kings and Queens society were present.

The band opened with Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground as the heat was instantly turned up in the packed hall.

Noting the intimacy of the venue, Jack said: "If you wanted to know what our first gig at the 100 Club was like, you're sitting in it.

"Maybe this is a bit cooler," he joked.

A number of other musicians watched on from the crowd, including members of the Klaxons and Sam Duckworth from Get Cape Wear Cape Fly.

The band then played their new single Icky Thump, taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, before breaking into When I Hear Your Name, Hotel Yorba and the Dolly Parton cover Jolene - which the band released as a single in 2004.

New tracks Effect and Cause, Catch Hell Blues and I'm Slowly Turning into You were all well received by the crowd as the White Stripes interspersed newer songs with some well-loved classics.

A final three-track encore all taken from their album Elephant finished off the evening with the band tearing through Black Math, Ball and Biscuit and Seven Nation Army.

Proceeds from the show were donated to the Chelsea Pensioners' Fund and other charities linked to the Pearly Kings and Queens Society.

13/06/2007 11:33:07