Craig David at the IndigO2
With a new album on its way and his TS5 Sunday night parties creating a fair amount of Internet and radio buzz, it looks as though a Craig David comeback is once again gaining momentum.
The UK garage scene is a distant memory and while David claims – during an impromptu rendition of Rewind – that it’s on its way back, the audience seem happy enough to just enjoy the song’s nostalgic value.
His funk backing band start things off with the opening groove of What’s Your Flava and, as David struts onto the stage to sing the first few bars, he immediately has the venue in the palm of his hand. His voice is as crisp as ever and he’s lost none of his confidence in ornamenting with his trademark improvised harmonies.
The band are far removed from your typical set of soulless session musicians and David seems to have a refreshing rapport with them, allowing space for solos and the opportunity to enjoy themselves.
The set continues with Fill Me In and Shape of my Heart, then David finally addresses his fans: he tells them how good it feels to be back in London, thanking them politely and sincerely for coming out to support him for so many years. David reminds the crowd that he was just seventeen when he first broke onto the scene in 1998. It’s a touching moment and, as the guitarist breaks into the familiar acoustic riff of Walking Away, the audience couldn’t be more on his side.
David performs a few more favourites from his first couple of albums, before trying a new song in the modern R’n’B guise akin to artists like Neo. The track goes down well and shows off a different side of David’s ability. He follows this with a short DJ set – the concert hall version of his TS5 parties – that brings a club edge to the show and gets the crowd bumping, before finishing with the last of his big hits Seven Days.
Critics may continue to question whether or not Craig David can finally shake off the UK garage tag and prove himself worthy of the accolades and awards from the start of his career. On the evidence of this performance, he might just have achieved this.
Photos: Marika Parizzi
For further information and future events visit visit Craig David’s website here.
Watch the video for What’s Your Flava here: