Craig David rounded-off Snowbombing’s Street Party last night, with a sensational performance in the picturesque setting of Austria’s Ahorn mountains. The theme at this year’s party, billed as “Europe’s largest outdoor fancy dress street party”, was ‘musical heroes’ – although not everyone in the crown adhered to the dress crowd. Instead, David played to an audience featuring a cigarette-smoking Mr Blobby; a pair of inflatable dinosaurs; a Crayola crayon; and a man wearing a large inflatable penis.
David captivated the crowd from the off, sauntering on stage with an acapella rendition of ‘When the Bassline Drops’, showcasing his impressive standalone singing voice. The singer then launched into ‘Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta)’, walking around the stage, gesticulating his arms, and singing hunched over into the microphone. David has a remarkable ability to capture the energy of a crowd – all raring to see him, and bopping like a choppy ocean – with last nigh proving no exception.
The set continued with smooth transitions between songs (the result of some on point DJ-ing by David), and mash-ups of several covers. These included Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’; House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’; Dr Dre’s ‘Still D.R.E’; and TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. David added his own flare to these tracks, freestyle rapping over the top of the music – at times with such ferocious intensity that the medics by the side of the stage, shuffling nervously on the spot, looked ready to intervene if he passed out.
The only downside to David’s set was his sampling of R. Kelly’s ‘Bump N’ Grind’, a poor choice of song given the recent harrowing allegations of sexual abuse against Kelly. And, although the male-heavy audience lapped this up without question, it’s the wrong message for David – likely without intention, given his usual well-meaning nature – to send out.
Apart from this shortfall, David delivered a nearly perfect set, which was made better by his humility. (Towards the end of the set, David paused to thank the crowd for their support, telling them: “From the bottom of my heart, I’m grateful for everyone single of you that’s been rolling for me since back in the day”.) He wrapped up with an electric performance of ‘7 Days’ – leaving the crowd singing the chorus without the music at the end – and finishing with “I Know You” from his new album ‘The Time Is Now’. David’s reinvention since 2014 has been epic, surely in part the result of a masterclass in PR, but also a consequence of his own sheer talent and hard graft.
Jax Jones fills up the Street Party
The British DJ – wearing an unseasonable short-sleeved santa shirt and bobble hat – started his set at the Street Party to small audience, but managed draw in a bigger crowd by the end of his upbeat slot. The DJ was meticulous in his attention to detail, with seamless transitions between tracks, playing banger after banger.
MistaJam gets emotional (again)
Having already played the night before, MistaJam was back at it on day two, getting the crowd going with his charisma and yet more emotional speeches. Like last night, MistaJam was all about uniting the crowd – regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or socioeconomic background. What a guy.
Mr Motivator motivates the mountain
Mr Motivator, the big-in-the-’90s fitness instructor, brought his cult following up to The Mountain Stage where he performed his “calypso stretch”. With a crammed room of eager participants, most fresh off the slopes, Mr Motivator provided a half-hour of intense exercise including squats, jogging on the spot, and some questionable thrusting (“ride the horse, ride the horse”). Mr Motivator also blessed the audience with uplifting phrases, telling them “remember when you smile at the world it smiles back at you, yeah?”, and, “if the whole world dancing there would be no time for hate”.