Craig David, O2 Academy, Birmingham - review and pictures
There were few people more excited than me when Craig David announced he would be reviving his TS5 set and bringing it to Birmingham for the last of three special shows.
Fresh off the back of his nationwide Following My Intuition arena tour, where he threw just a little taste of his TS5 madness into the mix, I had high hopes for a Sunday evening that was anything but chilled.
As the single mixing desk came to life, with its illuminated TS5 letters brightening the stage in front of beaming strobe lights, the R ‘n’ B legend paced in front of his crowd, awakening the entire O2 Academy.
From the moment he kicked off the antics with Re-Rewind – the unforgettable 1999 hit he had with garage group Artful Dodger – Craig David had the crowd in the palm of his hands.
His energy was nothing short of electric throughout the 90-minute set, with his infectious party spirit turning the venue into a huge house party which felt as if it ended far too quickly.
Taking revellers on a rollercoaster through the ages of R’n’B, garage, hip-hop and jungle, the crowd was treated to a whirlwind nostalgia trip you couldn’t imagine getting anywhere else.
T2, Whitney Houston, Sean Paul, House of Pain, TLC and even Justin Bieber were just some of the artists featured in the mash-up, as Craig David gave each track a new lease of life with his own soulful vocals and ability to rap at lightning speed.
Unsurprisingly, his tunes including Fill Me In, 7 Days, What’s Your Flava and Walking Away proved they’re timeless classics, guaranteed to get the crowd singing along to every word.
But latest single Heartline seemed just as popular, while last year’s single 16 brought on a riot of cheers.
Anyone hearing the lengthy roars of screams and applause would think they were walking into an arena full of teenage girls gazing at heartthrob boy bands.
Catching his breath during a momentary pause from behind the decks, the singer seemed genuinely taken aback by the endless cheering and said: “The love inside this room is amazing. Trust me.”
But if you’re after an unrivalled night of raving to Craig David’s mixes, which take over like a superpower forcing you to bounce around, don’t bother getting seating as you’ll be left feeling as if you’ve missed out slightly.
What’s for sure, he has a knack for mixing crowd-pleasers and old school tunes into insanely-good tracks which turn the crowd wild as soon as the beat drops.
The ultimate comeback king has well and truly regained his rightful place in the music hall of fame.