Culture > Gig review: Deaf Rave

Posted on March 15, 2017

Joe Marshall infiltrates a new breed of dance party

It’s difficult to know what to expect from a deaf rave. Do deaf people listen to music? If so, how do they experience it?

Deaf Rave at The Amersham Arms in New Cross was much like any other party of its kind, but with an emphasis on deaf performers and DJs. Those who couldn’t hear the music could feel the bass and the rhythm. There were excited clusters of people, some talking in sign language, others with words. It’s a club night billed as being for ‘hearing and non-hearing music lovers’.

The opening set by DJ Chinaman got things rolling. He brought house tunes with infectious beats you could feel in your heart chakra.

Singer Mikko performed a sort of alternative pop music. His style was flamboyant, edgy and slightly dark. It was like Def Leppard meets Placebo.

...infectious beats you could feel in your heart chakra

Signkid is a deaf rapper / spoken word artist with a difference. He danced and signed over a track with his lyrics being spoken by someone else. He is verbally dextrous, with a unique, subtly detailed flow. He came across as a humble, likeable person.

Mc Geezer, a pioneering deaf MC, took to the stage as well. He sounded like The Streets. There was a pleasing, measured tempo to his voice. His deadpan delivery had the effect of making the emotional parts pack a bigger punch. This is the same trick Lou Reed used.

Geezer and Signkid’s lyrics are frequently about the politics of being deaf. There was none of your stereotypical drugs and violence hip-hop here.

Half of legendary, award winning DJ duo The Wideboys had a slot later on in the night. He showcased the slick, polished abilities of a seasoned pro in his element. There was a garage vibe to this portion of the rave – a subset of electronic music, which has aged well and still gets people moving.

All in all, Deaf Rave was the perfect marriage between devastating dance jams and a buzzing community atmosphere.

Entry was free and the event was presented by The Midi Music Company.

Deaf Rave continues to go from strength to strength with nights popping up around the UK.

Joe Marshall
Joe Marshall is Exposure’s Arts & Culture Editor. With his written content he endeavours to raid the full remit of arts and culture in London, if he doesn’t drown in it first. He aspires to make a career out of journalism like his heroes Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson and Jon Ronson before him.


, ,

One Response to Gig review: Deaf Rave

  1. shakira393 March 17, 2017 at 11:02 am #

    This is amazing! I’m interested in how people with disabilities can push past the stereotypes people may put on us – yes blind people watch films, and yes deaf people listen to music. Signkid sound interesting – I’m going to check him out.

Leave a Reply


Exposure celebrates the great work being created by young women in...

Exposure finds out what it takes to get into journalism

New video - Exposure connects with the social media based business...