Lenny Kravitz

The man who put the funk into rock and the rock into funk

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Nationality: US

Genre: Funk rock

LISTEN HERE

Here’s the multi talented Lenny, who won the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, and since when it has become the sheer definition of uncool not to include him among your favourite artists.

So I can pride myself on being man enough to own up to the fact that I’ve never particularly been taken by this guy. Music is there to be enjoyed, and much as Kravitz is clearly an immensely talented man, I just never got much enjoyment out of what he does. Can’t put the old finger on it. Just don’t.

Others shared similar doubts about him when he first emerged. Was he ‘too black to be white and too white to be black’? Sort of lost in a musical no man’s land? After It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over reached number two in the US in 1991 and little was heard of him again, he looked destined for the one-hit wonder tag. How wrong we were. Are You Gonna Go My Way was a worldwide smash two years later, and from then on tracks like Fly Away and American Woman (the latter winning him a Grammy despite the fact it was actually a Guess Who cover) ensured his semi-legendary status, which also saw him providing his talents in different categories from musician to writer or producer to acts as big as Madonna, Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson. And those are pretty big acts.

Last August, Lenny brought out his 9th studio album, Black and White America (it was originally going to called Negrophilia). Continuing with his usual mix of white rock and black funk, it has reveived mixed reviews, and although it topped the charts in several European countries, reaching number 3 here in Spain, it was a relative flop back home, where the name Lenny Kravitz clearly doesn’t have the same ring that it had a decade and a half ago. As I hinted earlier, I’m no fan of Kravitz anyway, but even those that are have been heard to admit that although he’s still great to see live, nothing that he has written over the last ten years or so has really been up to the level of his earlier stuff.

Naturally, tracks from the new album, including singles in Come On Get It, Stand and Push, feature prominently in his latest show, but there are also plenty of his classic songs in the mix too. In the meantime, also look out for Lenny’s first foray into the acting world with his appearance in the forthcoming movie The Hunger Games, based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins.

He’s doing Granada, Valencia and La Coruña, as well as appearing at Rock in Rio in Madrid and in Barcelona on the same weekend as Primavera Sound, which may or may not be a good thing, and also at the new Ibiza 123 festival in early July.

Did you know: In December, Lenny was bestowed with the highest cultural honour in France, the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He announced that he was especially proud of the award because it was in France where he made his first major breakthrough, even before he was famous in the USA, and is also where he probably still has his most intense following.

DATES

Sunday May 27, 2012 Granada Coliseo de Artafe

Monday May 29, 2012 Valencia Velodromo Luis Puig

Wednesday May 31, 2012 La Coruña Coliseum

Sunday June 3, 2012 Barcelona Sant Jordi Club GET TICKETS HERE

Saturday June 30, 2012 Madrid Rock In Rio GET TICKETS HERE

Sunday July 1 to Tuesday July 3, 2012 Ibiza Ibiza 123 GET TICKETS HERE

POSSIBLE SET LIST

1. Come On Get It

2. Always on the Run

3. American Woman

4. It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

5. Mr. Cab Driver

6. Black And White America

7. Fields of Joy

8. Stand By My Woman

9. Believe

10. Stand

11. Rock And Roll Is Dead

12. Rock Star City Life

13. Where Are We Runnin’?

14. Fly Away

15. Are You Gonna Go My Way

Encore:

16. Push

17. I Belong to You

18. Let Love Rule

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