THE White Stripes surprised elderly British ex-servicemen this afternoon (12Jun07) by performing a special gig at a London hospital. The gig, which was the band's first in the U.K. for two years, saw the brother and sister team treat the pensioners to an acoustic set of six songs in a grand oak-panelled room in the Royal Chelsea Hospital. Jack White introduced the gig by telling the audience, "I'm Jack White and this is my big sister Meg. "We're from the United States, thanks for letting us into your home, we really appreciate it. We won't take up too much of your time, I heard it's your cocktail hour. Besides letting us into your home my sister and I also want to thank you for your service to your country and to the world, especially the United States." He also took the opportunity to introduce his new guitar to the veterans, telling them, "This is my new guitar called Rita I named her after Rita Hayward, there's a picture of her on the back. I remember her so you all must." The band - who donned traditional East London Pearly King and Queen outfits for the cover of new album Icky Thump - are playing a charity gig in London tonight (12Jun07), with proceeds going to the Chelsea Pensioners Appeal and the London Pearly Kings And Queens Society.