The July Course, Newmarket July 21, 2023
by Mariana Monteiro
The air is filled with excitement and tension as the crowd anxiously awaits the result of the last race.
Some have been waiting for this moment all day, with some having rushed to secure their places in front of the stage even before the racing started.
Craig David is the latest big-name to perform at Newmarket, and the earlier betting on the races turns into wagers and speculation over which songs he’ll be playing following the conclusion of the action on the track.
He hits the stage with My Heart’s Been Waiting For You, and that gets everyone champing at the bit in anticipation of the night ahead.
He follows that with his breakout song, Re-Rewind, but as he moves on to What’s Your Flava?, it seems the runners have begun to tire.
Despite David having a huge catalogue of hits and great live vocals, the night somehow seems to lack something. As one song quickly follows another without much interaction with the audience, many of those who had been gee-ed up at the start are now just chatting amongst themselves – and some are even leaving early.
David engages with his band throughout, bringing backing vocalists into the spotlight during the set in a way that shows off his air of old-school charm.
And with a keytarist player in tow, the performance screams 90s and early 00s.
But none of the banter from the crowd receives a reply as he churns through his own songs and covers.
It’s only when David plays Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself that the place seems to gain its second wind. Quickly followed by Nothing Like This, the now significantly thinned-out crowd begins to once again engage with the night’s performer, and arms are in the air for I Know You, his hit collaboration with fellow recent Newmarket performer Bastille.
And it all ends on a high as David brings the night to a close with 7 Days, reminding us why we started listening to him in the first place.