Going Deep into urban culture with Limerick’s Make A Move

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Ray Scannell's Deep celebrates the legendary institution of Sweat at Sir Henry's in Cork, and comes to Limerick as part of the upcoming Make A Move festival of hip hop and urban culture
MAKE A Move, the festival celebrating hip hop and urban culture, returns this year for a third outing, with a new strand to its programme.

MAKE A Move, the festival celebrating hip hop and urban culture, returns this year for a third outing, with a new strand to its programme.

For the first time in its fledgling history, a theatre piece forms part of an extensive line-up of music, street art, workshops and panel discussions.

Ray Scannell’s Deep, a play examining legendary clubbing institution Sweat at Sir Henry’s in Cork, a rite of passage and spiritual institution for house music fans in the ‘90s, takes to the stage in 69 O’Connell Street.

Featuring interviews and footage of nights at the club, the play - an award winner at the Dublin Fringe - is part fiction, part documentary, exploring the myths surrounding the first generation of house fanatics.

As such, it is a perfect fit for a festival celebrating hip hop and urban culture. Scannell, who himself attended the club at the tender age of 17, felt a responsibility to the aura that surrounded the legendary music night, that hosted DJs of the ilk of Carl Cox and Justin Robertson.

“The thrust of the play was to look back at it, and see was there something else in it,” he says. “The two accepted wisdoms of the time were the tabloid version, where it was very much demonised, and the other side, the nostalgic side - where it took for so many people, it was like a religion or obsession.

“It was no easy task to be taking it on. The goal, as with any play or story, was to make it as universal as possible. Every city had their version of it around that time.”

Ray uses an imaginative sound design, documentary footage of the club and interviews to tell the story of hapless vinyl junkie Larry Lehane, growing up in a society slowly becoming disillusioned with institutions.

“The play is interspersed with a lot of talking heads, but the main thrust is this narrative of this character. The place inside was an incredible cross-section of classes, but on that night, none of those social boundaries existed for a few hours. Henry’s was a crossover point. This character is looking up to his older brother and gets caught up in the scene.”

A festival spawned from a meeting of minds between various community groups across the city, Make a Move boasts a strong line-up this year. Returning is the Park Paint Parade, while Limerick based producer and duo combo Mynameisj0hn and MC God Knows will launch their brilliant new album in Dolan’s as a key event.

Organiser Shane Curtin explains that the festival, first held in 2012, identified hip hop as a culture that had “strong roots in all communities in the city, that could be used as a springboard for inclusion and reinvigorating the city centre”.

Hundreds of kids have taken part in workshops in street art, breakdancing and music production over the two previous years of the festival and this year rappers, dancers and graffiti artists will again impart their knowledge.

Jim Carroll brings his popular Banter series to discuss the legacy of City of Culture in Shannon Rowing Club, while DJ Aoife Nic Canna hosts an event in the Cellar Door, and a new performance space to the rear of the Cahill May Roberts building will host an outdoor gig that afternoon.

A music trail of city centre pubs is planned, with live acts and DJs to perform over the July 3-6 festival. See www.makeamove.ie.