Sunday, November 07, 2021

Alfie Templeman felt the love at the intimate Camden Assembly

As we all squeezed into the Camden Assembly the air was filled with an unspoken exhilaration. Alfie Templeman’s career is just beginning, and he has already garnered a lot of attention for his unique sound that infuses classic indie beats with contemporary funk. 

To see an artist like him in a four hundred-capacity venue at this stage of his career is an experience no one in that room will forget, as we inevitably see the talented performer grow. It felt like there was a secret between us all, and for that hour we all shared it.

He and his band mates Jos ShepardJacob Wing and Alex Upex strutted on stage, gowned in casual attire suitable for the grounded image that they have cultivated. It was like watching four friends jam together – you can feel their benevolence. The stage glowed with hues of purple, blue and red that hit the faces of those on stage, bleeding into the audience and helping to break the barrier between creator and consumer.

The band opened with the laidback track ‘Shady’ which set the tone lightly as the smooth melody trickled over all the faces in the room. A set that was funk-filled and joyful, remaining up-tempo as if Alfie was begging us for enthusiasm and the audience gladly obliged. 

Throughout the performance, there was a memorising sea of people gently bumping into one another, like little charged particles, as the sparks of music filled our ears. A highlight of the set was ‘Obvious Guy’ – a track the group generally doesn't play. It was met with a huge uproar as its percussion-heavy production erupted. 

Chatting with the band after the show, they revealed it was a last-minute addition to the setlist at the request of someone in their team and the audience whole heartedly thanked them for it.

The four-song-long encore – a moment in time encapsulated in its own globe of existence. It featured a cover of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ which seemed an unusual choice but the band brought an optimistic nihilism to the track as the crowd experienced a song that is significant within music history. Alfie jumped into the crowd and was held up by the floating hands of admirers; the intimacy of the venue facilitated a moment of pure elation, everyone in that room was connected, even if just for a moment.

There’s a joyous nature to the music that they make, it’s filled with optimism as the edgy guitar riffs are softened by bouncy hints of funky production. It’s the antithesis of the gritty bare bone’s alt rock of the last decade, yet it feels even more sincere and purposeful. As the encore drew to an end, there was a subtle vibration in the air as we were all charged with something special; an evening that delivered not only music, but feeling.


Jessica McCarrick


Images: Jessica McCarrick

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