Usually the location of graduation ceremonies, lectures and seminars, this weekend the RDS Concert Hall was transformed into a club with a difference. For the first time in their history, the travelling Sencity came to Ireland. A live music event aimed in particular to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, Sencity enables its’ attendees to experience the music through touch, taste, sight and scent.
Opening proceedings while the crowds entered the hall was DJ Gavxmas, surrounded by large LED screens displaying visuals in sync to the beat. Upon entering the normally library looking hall, the first thing to catch eyes was a pole. Not a support pole, a pole for dancing. Sadly not a feature of most gigs but perhaps it should be judging by the amount of laughter and smiles coming from the area.
No festival is complete without a pamper area, Sencity not to be out done went one further. Not only could attendees have their hair styled and make up done, but a masseur was also on hand to sort out any aches and pains. Not letting a fabulous make over go to waste, crowds were gathered all night around the photo booth with props a plenty.
First act of the night was Northern Irish four piece The Wonder Villians. Now as said, Sencity aims to make music appeal to all the senses, one of the more impressive features of the evening was a central vibrating dance floor. Pulsing in time with the music, the consensus from all those we spoke to on the night was this installation was a highlight allowing everyone to feel included. How else to represent the infectious pop tunes coming off the stage? Sweets of course! Jellies, fizzy sweets, candy gums, mushroom jellies, jelly shots…basically name the childhood party sweet and it was there. Complementing the abundance of grub on offer, aroma jockeys wafted the area with sweet smells of fizzy sherbet with the aid of industrial fans. The combination worked a treat; there could not be a more fitting way to perfectly express the music and feelings of the act.
Although there was not a shortage of things to do and look at between acts, everyone’s eyes were drawn to the back of the venue for an amazing display for aerial hoop gymnastics. A magnificent sight, as the dancer contorted her body and held it in almost unnatural positions.
From the moment they arrived on stage, Torann Drums demanded the attention of the entire crowd. Loud and infectious sounds, it was almost as if they were tailor made to perform with a vibrating dance floor. The visual of seven men in sync hammering on an array of drums was itself a captivating sight. Strong wasabi peas were served up to those brave enough to try, while an aroma of what can only be called…well…fresh man smell filled our nostrils. Definitely an act to invigorate all of the senses.
A highlight for many in the crowd was rapper Signmark. Hailing from Finland, Marko Vuoriheimo as he is also know, signed a deal with Warner music in 2009, becoming the first deaf person to sign to a major label. Clearly a huge hit with the younger members of the crowd who gathered close to the stage, Vuoriheimo signs his lyrics while another band member raps orally. A mixture of smells including popcorn and bubble gum joined the feast of marshmallows and lollipops.
Closing the night was Kormac’s Big Band, if the crowd were not on a high already shots of pixie dust and flying saucers were dished out ensuring a large scale sugar rush leading to some spectacular dancing. Performing a selection of songs including a reworked Welcome To The House Of Fun and making the most of the screen behind them, a cacophony of smells blended with the array of sounds. (If you’ve ever walked the shop Lush, think of that smell amplified.)
An absolutely fantastic evening for all regardless of hearing ability; there was something to be taken away from such a unique experience. Music is so much more than just aurally pleasing and on attending an event like this you realise just how much of an effect it has. Hopefully it won’t be long before Sencity returns to our shores, make sure to attend next time around.