23rd June | Bristol Amphitheatre

Craig David’s big comeback is one of the more surprising success stories of yesteryear. Crawling back into the realm of relevance was never going to be easy following his step back from music, and considering peers like Akon and Lemar retreated into the noughties along the way – he really had to nail this.

Thankfully a little after nine o’clock he comes onstage to a loud cheer and races into ‘Ain’t Giving Up’. He seems more enthusiastic than ever, especially launching into ‘What’s Your Flava’ encouraging the crowd to sing along – not that they really needed encouraging. It’s the arm swaying showstoppers that offer those welcome pauses in the set, like ‘Don’t Love You No More’ and ‘Walking Away’. The stirring R&B twinkle of his early work could feel dated, after all he mentioned “I’ve been around since 1999” – but who doesn’t love a dose of that much needed golden age nostalgia?

He seems keen to play only the most recognisable cuts from his latest album, ‘Change Your Love’ and ‘Nothing Like This’ among them. While these certainly make an impression, an extended version of ‘Re-Rewind’ (cue a million calls of Bo Selecta) and bold garage revival anthem ‘When the Bassline Drops’ gain the rowdiest reactions by far.

Maybe much of the well-constructed set comes down to retreading the classics, but nobody can deny grooving to ‘Fill Me In’ and ‘7 Days’, but he sneaks a few surprises in too. From an unexpected cover of ‘I’ll Bring You Flowers’ by Sweet Female Attitude to his Radio 1 Live Lounge edit of Skrillex and Diplos smash ‘Where Are U Now?’ mixed with ‘Fill Me In’, a killer combination which sounds much better executed than it ever would in your head.

Ending with this is the perfect reminder that despite being out the spotlight for a just short of a decade, Craig David isn’t stuck on rewind.

Check out ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ below.