Kornél Kovács and Chaos in the CBD - Szentek

Reviewed By Nina Deleiter

Kornél Kovács, photographed by Seher RoyChowdhury

Kornél Kovács, photographed by Seher RoyChowdhury

It is a Thursday evening and we are on our way to Szentek, one of the few events in St Andrews that focuses on various forms of electronic music.


This year's line-up looks promising. Chaos In The CBD and Kornél Kovács are headlining the event, and the location seems extremely hip. We're sitting on the bus, really excited to see how this Scottish techno show will be visually and aesthetically realized. It is around 9pm. Back in Germany, we would now slowly begin to get in the mood for the night, but would probably not start before 2 in the morning.

When we arrive at Kinkell Byre, hardly anyone is there yet, which gives us time to have a look around the venue. The attention paid to decorations is clear. "Szentek gives you wings" is one of the many lines hanging from the ceiling. I take pictures of people dancing through some kind of flowery branch arrangement, and right next to me a wall projection flickers.


We are somewhere in the Fife countryside, somewhere – at least that’s what Szentek makes us feel -  at the end of the world.

The venue consists of three floors, one of them is directly in front of the entrance area, which allows us to arrive and smoke a cigarette while uplifting disco music judders through the speakers. Throughout the entire night, the music outside is excellent. Unfortunately, however, an older looking gentleman keeps coming on stage. Again and again, he insists on the DJs/DJanes turning down the beat. We are somewhere in the Fife countryside, somewhere – at least that’s what Szentek makes us feel -  at the end of the world. I wonder how anyone could possibly be bothered by the music?

Most of the evening we spend on the second floor. Tom Williams and Tristan Allison play a powerful and dynamic techno set. An energising atmosphere surrounds us. The area is lively, with some people talking, and others dancing or chilling in the small section that opens up towards the back. In the meantime, the main space that Chaos In The CBD now occupies has gotten a lot busier. Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales play a classic house set, but, unfortunately, the room is slightly too big and therefore the sound is not intense enough for me. I can hear the girls next to me talking about their deadlines and decide to return to the second floor.

Venue photographed by Nina Deleiter

Venue photographed by Nina Deleiter


A few minutes later, I observe one of the DJs trying to light a cigarette on stage. He somehow manages to smoke it for a few seconds, but is told by security to stub it out immediately. He throws it away, apologizes for the inconvenience, and continues playing his set. Things are different here compared to a typical club evening in Germany, but Szentek has a lot of potential, the organizers are creative artists, and you can see that from the first glance.

Lacing the space with artistic expressions and electronic music turns the party tonight into a particularly mind-stretching experience. However, for a little moment I wish to be in Berlin, or Cologne. Not because I'm such a big fan of my home country, but because I wish all of the creative energies I’ve seen flow together tonight didn’t have to be regulated in the way the British law requires. By the time we take one of the regular shuttle buses home, it’s around 2am. We didn’t stay until the very end, but we are still satisfied. "That was really cool, wasn't it?" says my friend Demet. I say: "Yes, it was.”