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Review: Szentek at The Vic

Isabel Loubser reviews the music and art collective's second event of the semester.

‘Sweat, strobes and smiles all round’: This is what was promised by Szentek’s second event of the semester. At first, I was unsure whether this promise would be fulfilled as I walked into an empty Vic at 10pm. But, as I reached the top of the stairs, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the Szentek team had managed to transform the venue into a wonderland for the senses. Vibrant tapestries adorned the walls and painted lanterns hung from the ceiling. This created an immersive experience – a feature which truly distinguishes Szentek from St Andrews’ rather saturated music scene.

Szentek has established itself as an equally well-known and well-loved music and art collective which aims to involve the entire St Andrews community. Through this, it has impressively managed to donate upwards of £35,000 to Variety Scotland since 2016 – a charity that funds and delivers life-changing programmes for disabled and disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

Of course, each set brings a different sound and the line-up delivered by Szentek provided an impressive melange of all things dance – from afro beats to garage. Attendees boogied their night away to the sweet sounds of home-grown DJs: Patrick, Mac Càba; Alex, Nikita, Sanders, Corran and Tracey’s Speaker. By the end of the night a synthy mix of bass and thumping, sprinkled with an overtone of elegant electro reverberated round the room. The crowd came alive in a forest of colour, created by artsy projections and a pulsating strobe. Freshers and fourth years alike had been taken on a journey with the trancey melodies providing something for everyone. For only £5 a ticket, the atmosphere alone ensured that you wouldn’t regret your purchase.

Co-head of Art Milla Hamm French gave The Saint a brief insight into what we can expect from Szentek this year: “Like last year, we’ll be hosting creative nights in Aikmans Cellar where all are welcome to come flex your artistic muscles and collaborate with our artists in residence to make original pieces for our main events”, she said.

“Alongside that, we’re especially excited about our upcoming pop-up with Le Freak records later this month and the debut publication of our magazine ‘Szine’ which will feature an array of art, music and literature”.

Of course, the highlights of the year will be their two main events in November and March – where Szentek’s full creative potential will be unleashed. More exciting still, this year Szentek has changed their location to switch to the more intimate setting of Falside Mill – a decision which they hope will further aid them in showcasing their interactive art installations.

If this small-scale Vic night is any indication for what is to come, I, for one, am excited.

Photo: Isabel Loubser

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