REVIEW: Craig David and Rita Ora shine on stage at Northampton gig
Two of the UK's biggest artists wowed the crowd at Northampton's County Ground on Saturday night.
Craig David may have been the headline act, but his special guest Rita Ora was equally popular with fans who were queuing outside the venue well before the gates opened at 4pm.
Singer songwriter Samantha Harvey and contemporary R&B soloist Bobii Lewis performed in the late afternoon sunshine as the warm-up acts before the big names had their turn in the spotlight.
Rita, who equalled the Official Chart record for the most top 10 singles by a British female artist, wore an eye-catching outfit for her energetic set of hits, including I Will Never Let You Down, Anywhere, Hot Right Now and For You from the latest Fifty Shades film.
She also paid tribute to Avicii while performing their hit Lonely Together following the Swedish DJ’s death earlier this year.
Rita’s performance seemed to tick all the right boxes for the crowd and she thanked them for their support before the final act of the night took to the stage.
Craig David, who has sold 15 million albums worldwide and staged one of the biggest musical comebacks after almost a decade away, was an instant hit with the crowd when he walked out wearing a metallic green jacket.
While his set included recent releases such as Heartline and Magic, some of the biggest cheers were for his earlier work including Seven Days, Walking Away, Fill Me in and What’s Your Flava.
Rewind was another highlight from the 37-year-old singer, who was keen to talk about his career and the support he has had since breaking back onto the music scene.
His performance of Rise and Fall seemed particularly poignant for him, stirring up the highs and lows of his time in the business.
But the evening was anything but downbeat - fans from both eras of his music were loving him and his band, especially with a number of stripped back versions of his biggest hits.
Other highlights included his Justin Bieber cover and when he was joined on stage by two young dancers, who danced their hearts out in front of the cheering fans.
After more than three hours of live music, the concert came to a close at about 10pm and all you could hear as you left the ground was the happy chatter of fans delighted to see two of the UK’s biggest stars performing right on their doorstep.
The only complaint we heard about following the event was the length of time it took for people to get a drink.
Some people took to social media to say it took them up to an hour-and-a-half to get a drink inside the cricket ground, but hopefully this was a minority as all in all, the night proved to be a massive hit.
And hopefully more star-studded line-ups will be booked to come to the county venue so music fans get to see their favourite stars without having to travel far and wide.
To see our picture gallery from the night, click here