Craig David performing his Following My Intuition Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Tuesday 28th March 2017

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Last night a packed Motorpoint Arena must have been asking where Craig David has been for the last fifteen years after having hit the charts way back in 1999 with Artful Dodger’s Re-Rewind. After a busy few years scoring hit after hit, being nominated for twelve Brit Awards and two Grammy’s he dropped out of the public’s consciousness resulting in collapsing sales and merciless mockery on the sketch show Bo’ Selecta!

But he has been busy, helped along by a second career as a DJ under the moniker TS5 and no doubt getting himself ready for this current sold out Arena tour. As he advances from the back of a pitch black stage in a white tracksuit, the crowd were immediately on their feet for new song Ain’t Giving Up, and Craig David was well and truly back.

The first hour of the show was exactly what you would have expected from him; a virtuoso seven piece band delivering a superbly honed set of upbeat urban hits, such as What’s Your Flava?, Fill Me In, 7 Days, Walking Away and Rise & Fall. There were songs from his latest album, Following My Intuition, which went down a treat. There were coloured spotlights, a green laser and large screens which helped showcase new songs Nothing Like This and Couldn’t Be Mine.

But it was the second part of his show that set the place on fire. The stage went dark, a sheer curtain dropped and when it rose again a large DJ booth stood in the place of his backing band, to give a TS5 experience. And the promised party began as he launched into a varied set of old and new school garage with Craig’s vocals giving them a new lease of life.

He expertly rode the mixers, dropping out the beat as he sang and rapped along, blending his own hits with the likes of Drake, Sean Paul, and Justin Bieber until the Arena was transformed into a seething warehouse club. Bringing in London MC Big Marstie who had previously had his own set for a raucous double act on the recent single When The Bassline Drops.

Closing on mash up single 16, he had reminded his fans old and new, that he is a clever songwriter, a very gifted contemporary R ‘n’ B singer as well as a skilled DJ, mixer and rapper. Craig David is definitely back, make no mistake about that.