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The Latest Review: Lenny Kravitz, De Montfort Hall Leicester, 1991
It may be difficult to believe now, but there was a time when Lenny Kravitz was cool.
This time was the early nineties, when we were wading through the arse-end of grunge while we waited for Britpop to come along and let us go to the pub again. Lenny Kravitz's first album "Let Love Rule" got to Leicester around 1990 and was an instant hit amongst all the local bands, especially the song "Mr Cab Driver". Everybody learnt it and played it at gigs, and so when tickets went on sale for his concert at DeMontfort Hall we all eagerly signed up.
He was on tour to promote his second, rubbish, album, which would be the sudden and definite end to any vestiges of cool. We didn't know this at the time, of course, so me and my friend Simon dutifully queued up for hours at a local record shop to get our copies signed. Just ahead of us in the queue was a girl who, when she met Lenny, asked "How does it feel to have sold out?"
"SOLD OUT!?!" he yelled. "SOLD OUT? I've never sold out! Who says I've sold out? I have never, and will never sell out!"
"Er..." she replied, shocked, "I meant sold out of tickets for tonight's gig."
When we got to him we asked him to write "Voon are great" as the dedication. For the next six months we were thus able to completely truthfully put the recommendation "Voon are great - Lenny Kravitz" on every poster for our band, Voon. We desperately wanted someone to challenge our claim so we could show them the evidence, but nobody ever did.
After all that excitement the gig itself was a bit of a let down, as it consisted pretty much entirely of songs from the aforesaid disappointing second album. We sat patiently through song after song which dealt with the end of his marriage to That Woman Off Of The Cosby Show through the medium of lengthy jazz funk, hoping for something we knew. Finally, at the very end of the night he said "Thanks very much Leicester, I know the song you've come to hear!"
"Mr Cab Driver!" shouted back the entire crowd enthusiastically.
"Er... no. 'Let Love Rule'" he replied.
"Oh right!" we all answered politely but we knew, as I suppose did he, that our relationship had come to an end.
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