Senser isn’t the usual type band for Planet Mosh, as they aren’t pure metal. But they are worthy of being heavy enough to go and see. Even though it was chucking down with rain the legendary 100 Club on Oxford Street in London was full, such is the pull of this also legendary rap rock band. And for good reason.
The main support for the night was Idiom, a 4 piece metalcore style band from Devon, and they were ALSO good enough to warrant their own review, which will appear shortly. Suffice to say the young lads did tear the rather large audience a new one.
You probably remember Senser from their 90’s heyday, the hard to pigeon hole group were sharing stages with the likes of Chumbawhumba and Ozric Tentacles and racked up a string of top festival appearances and chart hits. I remember seeing them at Glasto back in the day, and I’m thinking that a lot of the fans here tonight had also seen them a fair few times. When I say fans were close to the stage, I mean CLOSE. On top of each other would be a fair statement. A varied mixture of young and old, suits, rockers, and punks were front and centre and the excitement was palpable.
The beginning of the evening began with the announcement of the Senser video competition winner and the airing of said video (which I must say was bloody good, Kudos to the dude that created it!) on a large stage screen. Unfortunately some pleb decided it would be fun to make rabbit ears on it..but hey, it didn’t appear to spoil anyones enjoyment.
As politically charged Senser walked on stage, the crowd almost screamed themselves hoarse. Launching straight into the classics “Resistance Now” and “States of Mind” and mixing in some of the newer tracks from their 2009 Album “How To Do Battle”. It was a true catalogue set list, and one that the fans were enjoying. I can’t recall seeing such enthusiastic fans ever actually. I’d like to bet that every single person in the room knew every single word of every single song. Probably backwards too.
Frontman Heitham Al-Sayed, is pretty darn incredible. He “raps” slickly, with no hint of cheese that some UK rap can be guilty of and the power behind his clean vocal talent is immense. His fan interaction is top class, and stage presence undeniable. A suitable couterbalance is provided in the form of hyperactive iMMa, the well chosen ballsy stand in for regular vocalist Kerstin Haigh who was absent due to having a baby. Gritty iMMa was all over the place, a fierce tangled mix of arms and legs with top quality sleek harmonic vox. She could have held her own easily. The two performers together however, was an absolute joy to watch. Hypnotic even.
With Senser back from the 90’s, I was worried that they might have brought the 90’s sound with them, they didn’t. The delivery was superbly tight and the room even erupted into a mosh pit on a few tracks. This wasn’t 90’s, this was Senser showing other bands how the transition over decades can be done perfectly. Fully retaining their powerful roots yet managing to make every track sound fresh and new. Quite an achievement.
Sensers sound might be akin to rap rock, but they also have a deep funky base which was the ideal backdrop for their DJ chucking in some expertly timed electronica. It might sound like a mish mash, but it fucking works. It makes for a rather special sound indeed actually. You feel compelled to both mosh and rave at the same time. Two monstrously heavy birds with one stone so to speak.
With the band grinning throughout and clearly having a blast, and no sound problems at all, the room was left breathless and shouting for more. And after the show ended, Senser proved themselves further by coming out to thank and chat to their excited audience.
This was a benchmark performance for all other UK rap/rock bands, and one the 100 Club will not forget in a hurry. I can’t wait to see them again.
Fox Rating: 9/10 – Live performances such as this are true rarities. Senser fuckin smashed it.
Check out Senser on Facebook Here: http://www.facebook.com/senserband
The Senser Official Site: www.senser.co.uk