I woke up on Monday and there, lodged in my headbox, so settled in my brain it was using my towels and discussing our need for a conservatory, was the song Seven Days by Craig David.
As I walked through Central London that muggy morning, humid air wetter than an otter’s pocket waterboarding me as I breathed, the lyrics ‘In front of me stood a beautiful hooooooneeeeeey with a beautifuuuuuuuul boooooooo-dy’ climbed their way to the surface of my brains, like a rat crawling out of a sewer. It was a defining moment.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Craig Davids and after Thursday’s shocking news, here is my tribute to Craig Davids. The UK’s lost star. England’s answer to Jay Z.
Craig Davids was born, more or less, in Southampton in 1981. I say born but in fact he sprang fully formed from the loins of Zeus. His first cries weren’t those of a baby but the lilting descant of he who was born do it, born to become the UK’s best R&B/garage/grime/soul crossover artist. As he looked into his mothers eyes and asked for a rewind, everyone there in the stable, the cows, the shepherds, the three wise men and all the donkeys knew that it was worth following that star.
Craig belongs to a lost tribe. A clan of peoples for whom one first name isn’t enough. Along with Michael Douglas and Jamie Oliver, Daniel Craig and Phil Neville, Craig David has two, count them, one – two, first names and this right has been afforded to him by the tribal elders from days of yore. This sets him apart from people like you and I and was a clear sign of how his future would be. He was a special one. The Special One. And one for whom the word ‘special’ isn’t enough. He’s SO special.
Craig Davids first song with the Artful Dodger was a smash. He asked the crowd to say Bo Selector, and we all wanted to, more than anything. More than life. More than breathing. More than food. Sadly his career from this point was blighted by this request. In recent years while working in Asda putting the trolleys back in the proper place in the car park people would shout at him, asking for a rewind, but Craig’s natural good humour and focus kept him good-humoured and focussed. This was the gift he gave people. The gift of music and joy. And love.
The lyrics were way ahead of their time;
‘Making moves yeah on the dance floor, got our Groupon, dancing yeah real hardcore’ was the first mention of the bargain shopping vouchers that have become so much of our lives now.
‘With Craig David all over your [Boing]’ Davids gave us a beautiful tribute to William Blake, and marked him out as a true visionary.
His next song, ‘Seven Days’ was pretty much a classic from the moment the first chords were played on the church organ Davids practiced on from morning to late morning, and then in the afternoon after a light lunch. Legendary guitarist ‘Fingers Hammond said in an interview in 1997 ‘We heard the first notes and Craig uttered those immortal words ‘Took her for a drink on Tuesday’ and the drummer literally exploded. Literally. Exploded. It took hours to clear up the mess but his loss was not in vain as we knew we were in the presence of something great. Plus, we didn’t really like the drummer. He was a bit of a dick.’
Seven Days is a true story and not at all made up. That happened. All of it. By Wednesday they were making love. Not on Wednesday, but kinda late on Tuesday evening. Some people get confused by this, thinking that they were making love on Wednesday but it was BY Wednesday. All true too.
Craig Davidson’s career went from strength to strength. He did a duet with Sting, and a rap with Nelson Mandela. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for Music, or would’ve done if there was one and then he gave it all up.
No more Bilderberg Group meetings for David, no more meetings with Heads of State. I know Tony Blair said of the Northern Irish Peace Agreement that we felt the hand of history on our shoulders, but in truth it was the people of Northern Ireland uniting behind the words of Craig David’s songs, hugging in the streets and throwing their bombs and violence away. And stuff.
After a wonderful career which crossed both music, life, ish and something else, the UK’s greatest garage act was now working in a garage. Doing the night shift. 10pm – 6.00am.
The reasons for his decline, like his song Rise and Fall, are unexplainable and nonsense. But all we’re left with now is a legacy which, like his chin and facial hair, crosses cultures and classes, races and religions. Everyone loves Craig Davids. And I love Craig Davids.
Your fan @ADadCalledCraigDavids.
I’ll leave you now with his song Seven Days, of making the sexylove from Wedenesday through to Saturday, a whole week and ultimately a weak hole. Thank you. For the music.