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Issue 1084

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Lenny Kravitz: Brixton Academy 01/07/09

LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09
LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09 LENNY KRAVITZ: BRIXTON ACADEMY 01/07/09

When Lenny Kravitz comes to town you know the show will be something a little special. But mix that with a 20th birthday celebration and what you get is pure fireworks!!

Its 20 years (time hasn’t just flown – it’s gone supersonic!) since Kravitz first brought us the seminal classic album ‘Let Love Rule’. With classics including ‘Mr Cab Driver’,’ Freedom Train’, ‘Be’ and obviously album namesake ‘Let Love Rule’, to name but a few. This in turn introduced the world to style guru and sub zero king of cool- Mr Lenny Kravitz, making him nothing short of a gravitational enigma. Such so, this show was sold-out WELL in advance... So to the review...

It was an exceptionally warm night at the 02 Brixton Academy, which I add, was about to get A LOT hotter as Kravitz strode onto the stage with rest of his band in tow. Multi talented Kravitz picked up his guitar and strummed that first note as the expectancy factor shot up to warp speed - The Brixton Academy suddenly erupted into euphoria and Lenny Kravitz was here! Dressed in grey/black denim jacket, jeans and a low cut (can you say that about men’s t-shirts?) black v neck t-shirt. The maestro had donned the self assuring swagger of the rock god that his fans had bayed for, whilst launching into his third chart release and first on the night from the ‘Let Love Rule’ album -‘Freedom Train’. Second musical instalment ‘Bring It On’ from the ‘Is It Time For A Love Revolution’ album was delivered as strongly as the first whilst Kravitz attempted to rock the roof clean off the Academy.

This was a night of so many highlights, first for me; one of my personal all time favourite tunes and always a summer classic ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s over’ sounded as fresh and cool as it ever did. Other highlights included the physcadelicly inspired ‘Believe’ sung almost in full by the crowd, as the whole venue was bathed in a silver almost serene light – coooool. ‘Dancing Till Dawn’ had awesome solos from both sax and bass guitarist, while at the same time morphing into Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ and then into the respect laden ‘Billie Jean’ for dearly departed Michael Jackson. Lenny even had the time to go walk about with a camera for over 5 minutes taking photographs of the audience, stopping to thank us for letting him take OUR picture! Then told us to check Facebook tomorrow (Least if they catch you at work you can say Lenny said!?) Further highlights came in the shape of two Grammy winning songs back to back (and why not) – The red, white and blue laden ‘American Women’ where the simple bar effect lighting behind the band lit up like two dozen electric fires turned to max (It certainly felt that way). Second in this top twosome was another crowd favourite ‘Fly Away’, again sung to the letter by the crowd who proved they knew the song inside and out and inside again!?

Almost finished, Kravitz thanked all for coming and said how he really appreciated his audience - walking off to cheers of Len-E, Len-E, Len-E ... So what better way to pay them back than by coming back on for an encore of ‘Let Love Rule’ - Chorus sung by every part of the audience, one part at a time; left, right, centre, upstairs, people in the toilets, people at the bar, security on the door (get the picture) rang on for five minutes or more (dam you Mr K, I was singing it all the way home!) At the end of this set, and I hasten to add, one I will long remember. He took us again down memory lane again as he recounted being sent here by his first record label twenty years ago - Living in Portabello Road to be exact. This is where he would hang out smoking weed with Mick Jagger and partying hard with Soul II Soul’s Jazzy B (It must have been terrible, poor bloke).

After all that, how do you finish such a night – easy! You sing ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ of course?! Supported with more fireworks than a Chinese New Year’s Eve street party. At the end of every chorus there was a flash, snap, crackle and huge pop as Lenny was determined to go out with a bang. Myself, and the rest of the Lenny Kravitz appreciation society were left hot, sweaty and VERY happy at over two hours and twenty minutes of pure magic. Happy birthday Len- roll on the next one...
Words LEE TYLER

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