REVIEW: Craig David @ The O2, London – 25/03/2017

The Verse’s Will Craigie caught Craig David’s return tour at London’s O2…

A few years ago, it would seem like a silly suggestion that Craig David would be performing to a sold out crowd at the O2. It would have seemed unlikely he would have another number 1 album (but then they would have said the same about Rick Astley as well). Well, how times change. David has made of the most successful comebacks of this decade, going from years of mediocre success to his current popularity rivalling that of when he first came onto the scene in 1999. This isn’t lost on him – Rise and Fall is introduced as “predicting the next stage of my life” – and seeing him come on stage in an unmissable all-white outfit and beaming smile, it’s hard not to root for the guy and be glad he’s back. And it’s clear David is enjoying his moment.

While his music cannot be held up to be that of a great innovative artist, it has always been fun, smooth R&B which exists as escapism but without being generic and crass. A cheeky ice cream metaphor-ridden song like What’s Your Flava? could  probably not be pulled off by anyone else. And it is with this song and massive singles such as last year’s Ain’t Giving Up , and his debut  “Fill Me In” (which hit number 1 in the charts 17 years ago this year), that he chooses to open the show. Love him or loathe him, you cannot deny the man’s talent – his voice remains as strong as ever and on some songs even sounds better than on their studio counterparts. The first half played like a normal set and Craig hits all the bases -obligatory album tracks (Couldn’t Be Mine, Warm It Up), hit singles (Walking Away, 7 Days) and lesser known songs more for the hardcore fans (Don’t Love You No More – a criminally underrated tune if there ever was one). But it’s the second half where David really bring the party and mixes things up.

If his initial success was partily due to capturing the zeitgeist with regards to the then-emerging garage scene, then his success now could be said to be capturing the zeitgeist of nostalgia. David does this brilliantly by turning the show into a DJ set – the kind that he is becoming notorious for with. Old skool garage and house classics, early Noughties/90s R&B bangers and modern grime are spliced and changed with David mixing and freestyling over them (who knew a Still Dre//Walking Away mash-up could sound so good?) and the audience, who were predominantly, 25+ lapped it up. Show Me Love nearly brought the house down.

Mid-nostalgic frenzy, one clearly drunk lady said to me during A Little Bit Of Luck – “Do you remember this song when it first came out?” My answer was yes, a garagehead since nappies. That’s the beauty of Craig David music though – it spans generations, but still feels youthful and relevant. And my god, he puts on a fun show. It’s now strange to think that for many year he wasn’t popular, and hopefully this isn’t the case in the future. We need people like Craig David in music. If you want something quiet and reflective, go watch Radiohead. If you want to go crazy and dance all night long, Craig David is your man.

The Verse Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Glug with Good Heart - Coffee Week Returns to Brighton!

Tue Apr 4 , 2017
With UK Coffee Week swiftly approaching in Brighton to raise funds for coffee-growing communities, The Verse’s Csenge Krokovay tells us all we can expect from some of our favourite cafes… Have you heard of Brighton’s Coffee Week? If not, and you missed the last one, don’t panic – nationwide celebration of coffee […]
uk coffee week

You May Like

Get In Touch

Editor in Chief                                            Alice Pierre & Daisy Bradshaw

Student Voice Editor                       Sarah Tann

Arts Editor                                      Bethany Jo O’Neill

Entertainment Editor                         Federica Purcaro

Creative Editor                                  Roxanne Clark

News Editor             

Social Media Manager                                 n/a

Photographers                                                Alice Pierre                                                          Tate Batham

Website Manager                                          Amber Eder



About us

The Verse is run by students, for students. If you’re studying at University of Brighton and you’d like to get involved by writing for us or becoming a sub-editor, we welcome you to contact us via email.

The Verse is funded and supported by Brighton Students’ Union.

The views expressed on The Verse online newspaper do not necessarily represent the views of Brighton Students’ Union, its management or employees. For more information or for any enquiries, please contact the Marketing and Communications Team at