Southampton born-and-bred Craig David used to DJ Bournemouth’s Cage and Zoo nightclub, but little did he know that sixteen years later he would be up on stage performing to thousands at the BIC. The superstar has long forgotten his Bo Selecta! days as he stands illuminated all in white on a large stage joined by a live band.
David begins with his new tropical dance number ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ from his latest album Following My Intuition. His velvet tinged soulful voice is flawless, note for note. However the original generation crowd that fills the venue do not have to wait long for some old classics: ‘What’s Your Flava’ and ‘Fill Me In’. An air of nostalgia resonates during ‘Walking Away’, that the artist describes as “a song that seems to grow with age” and ‘Rise and Fall’, “I never knew this song would change so many people’s lives”, he says.
He also pleases newer generation fans, playing his favourite tune ‘Louder than Words’ from his record and new single ‘Change My Love’. The singer displays that he can translate brilliantly across a multitude of genres from soul, to garage and “follows his intuition” with reggae infused dance tuned ‘Warm It Up’. He is then joined onstage by his first support act also matching in white, Lauren Faith and they duet co-produced Kaytranada song, ‘Got It Good’.
He finishes with old hit ‘7 Days’ before he runs offstage and about five minutes and a costume change later he rises up from the bottom off the stage complete with DJ decks – TS5 has arrived, and with an incredible lights show. Unpredicted and exciting, the crowd gets two shows in one as David go backs to his DJ-ing roots with as much swagga and energy as the rest of his set. He plays a mixture of garage classics and party classics complete with his own freestyling over the top.
This show would not be right, however, without Big Narstie, the man who made the artist famous and earlier warmed up the crowd, joining him onstage for collab, ‘When The Bassline Drops’.
What would make a better ending to this two hour show, than David bringing two generations together with his tune ‘16’, a remix of Jack Ü’s ‘Where Are You Now’, and ‘Fill Me In’.
Words by Rosalyn Boder
Photos by Isha Shah @ishaphotos