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Review: Craig David and Rita Ora at Kent Event Centre, Detling, Maidstone

Thousands welcomed in the weekend and saw out the summer partying their Friday night away with music stars Craig David and Rita Ora.

The gig saw tens of thousands of music fans converge on the Kent Event Centre at Detling near Maidstone for the special summer gig, which was topped off by sunny skies and a dry, crisp evening.

As people arrived, kmfm's Rob Wills got people in the mood with a set of floorfillers. Solid support came from Samantha Harvey and Bobii Lewis, with Bobii's set, with plenty of banging bass, really warming the crowd up - he's one to watch.

The crowd at the Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone .Picture: Andy Jones
The crowd at the Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone .Picture: Andy Jones
Bobii Lewis Picture: Andy Jones
Bobii Lewis Picture: Andy Jones

It was easy to forget that she wasn't actually the headliner when Rita Ora stepped out on stage.

Rita Ora gives it her all at the Kent Event Centre, Detling. Picture: Andy Jones.
Rita Ora gives it her all at the Kent Event Centre, Detling. Picture: Andy Jones.

All smiles, she was like a whirlwind. Dressed in a skintight black shorts leotard, fishnets and black boots, Rita burst onto the stage with incredible energy, dancing and singing constantly for a full hour.

So at ease talking to the crowd, and never out of breath yet never pausing, she brought us her own favourites, which included Body On Me and For You (Fifty Shades Freed), plus plenty of hot moves.

Rita Ora Picture: Andy Jones
Rita Ora Picture: Andy Jones

I Will Never Let You Down got everyone dancing as she told the thousands: "This song is for... anyone!" and never had the lyrics "'Cause I’ve been sick and working all week" meant more to so many on a Friday night. The crowd were singing every word as she played Hot Right Now and buzzing by the time she came to Anywhere.

Rita Ora shows us her moves Picture: Andy Jones
Rita Ora shows us her moves Picture: Andy Jones

It was feeling like a long night when the man of the moment Craig David stepped on stage, but that feeling melted away as he brought everyone's hands in the air for hits from Can You Fill Me In to I Know You and What's Your Flava.

Keen to share his gratitude with his fans through the years, he talked about his career from his early years at 16 - complete with beanie - and was equally happy to play his classics including Rise and Fall and 7 Days, which had the crowd jumping, as numbers from his latest album.

With his faultless musicians and backing singers - who did much more than backing singing - Craig also brought us a flavour of his TS5 Ibiza sets; some acoustic versions, and a medley of his hits to round off the night, all with his trademark smooth voice.

Craig David Picture: Liz Hobbs Group
Craig David Picture: Liz Hobbs Group

Despite a large skirmish which broke out in the midst of the crowd (though if you were near the stage you wouldn't have noticed), and an expected hour-long queue to get out of the bottleneck that is the Kent Showground, the gig was a night to savour the summer of 2018.

Sharon & Vincent Mwaiwa Picture: Andy Jones
Sharon & Vincent Mwaiwa Picture: Andy Jones
The crowd at the Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone. Picture: Andy Jones
The crowd at the Kent Event Centre, Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone. Picture: Andy Jones

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