Photos by Damien Crocker
Is it too early to be calling show of the year if we’re only in February? Because this is my number one contender for that title. Not only was Chevron Lighthouse one of the best venues I have set foot in, set out like an amphitheatre with plenty of seating that stretched to the back of the venue and a large standing area perfect for those fans already in the mood dancing away before the concert had even started but combine all of this with the energy and set given by the man of the hour, Craig David made this a show I am not going to forget anytime soon and wish I could experience every Friday night.
I went into this with minimal knowledge of Craig David and expected to be met with a full set of R&B but boy was I wrong. Kicking the set off with a favourite for the garage fans was his ’99 hit with Artful Dodger “Re-wind”. The following tracks “Fill Me In” and a remix of “7 Days” had me pleasantly surprised because it turned out I was able to recite them word for word which showed me I wasn’t actually going in blind. I’m going to credit early morning viewings of Rage in the 2000’s for helping me store that knowledge somewhere deep in the back of my mind.
The whole 65 minute set had the crowd wrapped around David’s finger, with an impressive mix of nostalgic tracks like Whitney’s iconic “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” followed closely by David’s track with Drum & Bass icons Chase & Status (featuring lyrics we all lived by “if you came to party, leave your worries at the door”) showed that this performance was something that would appeal to anyone and everyone in attendance. From the young to those who experienced David’s rise to fame in the 90’s dancing and singing with each other and enjoying every moment with the strangers around them, because we all had that one very important thing in common; a love for the music
David utilised every single second to showcase his array of talents from his smooth as butter vocals to his DJing and UK rap the hundreds of us in the venue were in awe and having the time of our lives singing along to his cover of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” and being pleasantly surprised by hits from House Of Pain’s “Jump Around”, TLC’s “No Scrubs” to Drake’s “One Dance” and an impressive mashup of Rihanna’s “Wild Thoughts” with Stardust’s 90’s club favourite “Music Sounds Better With You”.
The crowd did not lose momentum for a second and nor did David, bouncing from one end of the stage to another only slowing when he was DJing, the man is a born performer and knows exactly how to work a crowd, it seemed as though everyone was in a trance with eyes locked on him and whenever the songs ended a deafening roar erupted from the venue with everyone cheering and stomping their feet on the bleachers which had David grinning from ear to ear and expressing his appreciation. The crowd went on to reach another level of energy when party anthem “When The Bassline Drops” began and even more so with Monsta Boy’s “I’m Sorry”.
David spoke briefly between songs, making sure to keep the vibe of the night energetic and at an all-time high saying “Any dramas you had in 2019, leave it there. This year is all about positive energy just have fun and be playful in life” which was the perfect quote to accompany his performance of his hit with James Hype “No Drama.”
The night was coming to a close but it was clear the crowd still had a lot to give, jumping along to “I Know You”, my personal favourite from a collab with Kaytranada “I Got it Good” to finally ending the night with the original version of “7 Days” which had every single person in the venue moving, singing and cheering.
The TS5 tour originally started as a house party with the intent to bring that exact atmosphere to venues despite the size or attendance numbers and I can promise you that is the exact vibe we got at Chevron Lighthouse, a house party DJ Set hosted by Craig David. If you get the chance to see this show, go. Don’t pass up the opportunity to involve yourself in such a unique, inclusive and fun filled night.