On a sombre autumnal evening in West London, homecoming hero Central Cee was set to takeover Shepards Bush O2 Academy – a venue he manifested performing in. With his name sitting in bright lights above the entrance, there was definitely a presence in the air, setting a tone similar to the Saturday afternoon match day feeling. Previous legs of the tour included Glasgow, Dublin, Birmingham Bristol, and Manchester leading to a doubleheader back home in London.
Inside the venue, old and new fans eagerly anticipated his arrival, jostling for the best spot in what looked like a sea of phone lights on ground level and in the stands. Before Cench would carve out a moment in history, his DJ took centre stage creating hype with an intense warm-up set, making it look like effortless in the process. A compilation of tracks included cult classics Fredo “100” and Headie One “Both” merged with overseas sounds from US linchpins Future, Drake and Pop Smoke. The transitions were coming in thick and fast generating in sync movement and singalong moments amongst the crowds.
What has seemed like a seamless campaign so far, at this point Wild West reached a new height. Cench’s epic entrance scored by the infamous The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme song was accompanied by behind-the-scenes footage reflected on to interactive panels on stage for all to see. Before long the footage quickly switched to live in sync scenes of Cench making his way to the stage reminiscent of a classic Floyd Mayweather ring walk. By now, everyone was raised out of their seat and strapped in.
With the venue at full capacity, the instrumental to “Day In The Life” tore the roof of the building as Cench nonchalantly bopped onto the stage with his surrounding army – head to toe in Trapstar uniform. There was no surprise that the audience was rapturous in their response bellowing back each and every line. Taking on a strong presence from the go, his 10-man on stage entourage were perfect hype men even incorporating a hoax scuffle into the act – flexing ultimate crowd control.
Although the project was released back in March, his bangers were holding more weight than ever and Cench wasted no time getting through “6 For 6’” “The Bag” and “Little Bit of This” to the excitement of his alluring fans. With each tune raising the energy levels before the next, he momentarily took a moment to off-stage to regroup. This created a moment for further fan engagement in a “finish the lyric” style face-off driven by the DJ who played an important role on the night with the winner receiving pieces of merch.
In a matter of minutes, Cench returned to the stage, coming out to his most recent release “Obsessed With You” in collaboration with the illusive yet contagious soundscape from Pink Pantheress. A moment of introspectiveness came at this point, taking to the stage alone for the first time with just the microphone and a chair, slowing it down before the chaos commenced.
Exchanging the chair for his mob, Cench navigated the noise levels to go up a notch. Someone who seems unfazed by the new heights of success, onlookers were more than satisfied by this point which included non-other than Dua Lipa. Expressing the fact that he had no supporting acts so far on this tour, he announced that he had a surprise up his sleeve for his homecoming crowd.
Not one person in the room can deny the adrenaline shot received when Dave waltzed onto the stage to perform fan favourite “Clash” erupting the crowd. Before vanishing, Dave took a moment to speak to the crowd making the statement that Cench is “the hottest on the scene” right now. An unforgettable evening led by an inch-perfect set was capped with a finale performance of his most streamed song “Loading” to close a memorable night for all.