O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in West London is drenched in history. Some of the biggest names have graced its stage, from thrilling new sensations putting an exclamation point on a celebratory run to acts with decades of bangers. For an artist to pack its hallowed hall without an album out? Well, that’s something special.
It’s no surprise Alfie Templeman finds himself here, though. Even with one member of the band down, there’s no stopping this path to the very top – fellow pop big deal Lewis Capaldi sneaking a view for himself of the hottest new firework in town. A historic stage? Yes, but for Alfie, it’s a proving ground for the sheer size his tunes have always teased at.
His set is not just about immediate celebration but ambition that’s impossible to sum up in one sentence. From the opening swagger of ‘Shady’, the room is Alfie’s for the taking, and that energy ripples through his every move. For every guitar swoon, the screams ring out – early favourite ‘Stop Thinking (About Me)’ drowned out by singalongs.
It takes one glimpse at the masses gathered to know how much of a chord he’s struck. ‘Wait, I Lied’, ‘Circles’ and ‘Obvious Guy’ are just a few of his ridiculous arsenal of bangers to trigger pandemonium. A night out with Alfie is about having fun and celebrating just how joyous things can be. If there’s ever a crowd to be in, it’s this one.
In front of a glowing moon, teases of debut album ‘Mellow Moon’ (see what he did there?) showcase a world of influences. There’s the shiny 80s neon gleam of ‘Candy Floss’, as sweet as it sounds, to ‘Colour Me Blue’, which sees giant blue balloons fall from the rafters in all its swirling indie majesty. It feels like now is the moment where Alfie Templeman locks his sights on the chart-smashing potential he’s had for many a year now.
It’s never been more evident than on a track like ‘3D Feelings’, which first debuted at the Camden Assembly and now feels like the landmark moment where the next chapter of Alfie Templeman began. That meld of frenetic energy alongside an unstoppable creative drive sets him apart. ‘Broken’, the latest tease of ‘Mellow Moon’, is born for the biggest stages and, when played tonight, sees rapturous devotion.
As Alfie gazes around O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, it’s clear that such a reaction touches something deeper within. “This is the best gig I’ve ever experienced,” he declares, rounding out the evening with ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’. His eyes are set on things just getting bigger and bigger from here – and wherever Alfie’s heading, you’d be a fool not to follow.