Craig David TS5 at XL Beach Club – review

Craig David performs live in Dubai as TS5. The Fill Me In singer’s Halloween party at XL Beach Club is a far cry from his garage roots

Craig David, the smooth face of noughties UK Garage, is back on the scene and this time it’s not all about the Rewind.

XL Dubai was decked out in full Halloween garb on Saturday night as the British singer slash DJ took to the stage. The revellers that swarmed the DJ booth hadn’t scrimped on spooky outfits yet the star they’d all come to see emerged just after midnight in casual fitted white hoodie, and took the mic.

TS5 is David’s new approach to performing. Well-known for being a crooner, David is putting his melodic vocals to a different use by playing popular R&B and hip-hop hits, adlibbing over the tracks and singing along in those signature dulcet tones. Ever the ladies’ man, he played the big crowd pleaser Loyal by Chris Brown, and followed it up with his own “empowering” female friendly version with the hook “I’ll make you loyal,” replacing the usual chorus.

Not straying too far from his own material, David would sing his own songs on top of big beats, and the crowd went nuts for Fill Me In sung over Skrillex and Diplo’s banger Where are Ü Now.

David’s TS5 gigs started out as a house party, as he’d rave with friends in his luxurious Miami pad, and the name TS5 relates to his apartment number. While there wasn’t a house party vibe at XL Dubai - certainly no clutching plastic cups, and we’re sure his house parties wouldn’t have had long queues of disgruntled ticketholders at the door– but once inside, the crowd enjoyed the best of both from David- plenty of urban hits to dance to plus a live PA.

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