Chadwick Stokes

support Jørck
author MN date 05/05/15 venue Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, DEN

This evening marks my second visit to Ideal bar which has proven to be a perfect venue to get close to upcoming artists in an intimate athmosphere, that has a somewhat meager border between audience and performer. The space itself is built like a jazz-den in the sense that the performer has a distinct location that is only marginally elevated from the rest of the audience. The auditorium is also packed with chairs and cafe tables to mark that this is a seated event. To my surprise, I find that Chadwick Stokes tonight will be performing an entirely acoustic show with the help of his brother Will on secondary vocals and guitar. Having been a massive fan of Dispatch (Chadwick's first group), I jumped at the opportunity to see how he fares with his solo work in the intimate perimeters of Ideal Bar. The sheer anonymity that Chadwick retains in Denmark is refreshingly convenient as it means we have the opportunity witness him along with a small smattering of other audience members. Given that Chadwick has performed to over 100,000 spectators, this seems like a chance of a lifetime.

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest


At around 9 o'clock, the opening act Jørck is ready to enter the stage to dimmed lights and quiet chatter. The duo hailing from Copenhagen is completely new to me, and in fact their announcement to warm up for Chadwick Stokes took me by surprise. Therefore, I have no prior opinions regarding their music and I stand ready to judge from a clean slate. The duo consist of singer/songwriter Trine Jørck and guitarist Torben Guldager, who perform indie, albeit slightly jazzy songs of melancholia.

Opening with "Unshakeable Silence", it is clear that Jørck's music in the acoustic form demands complete silence as the audience soak up the full-bodied acoustic chords and the commendable vocal range of Ms. Jørck. "One Eye" is an early personal favourite that reminisce a combination of Florence And The Machine and First Aid Kit.

"Like A Crystal" follows in similar vein and the finale comes in form of "Home Without Walls" a song inspiring some elements of psychedelia as the simplistic chords pervade throughout the audience. It is clear that Jørck's music is a display of great control and likeable vocals. It is however also painfully clear how much this band benefits from some additional percussive instruments and a secondary melody, as it is heard on their recorded releases. All in all, however, a decent introduction to Jørck.

Chadwick Stokes

Spanning a career of 20 years, Chadwick Stokes is now reaching 40 in age, therefore it comes to no surprise that family life holds an all important position in his case. So it also not too surprising that to the left of me stands his entirely family, including his two kids, his own parents and his wife. This type of intimacy is not something I had expected and upon entering the stage, Chadwick immediately acknowledges their presence and greets the entire audience in the most authentic of moods. Chadwick awkwardly tunes his guitar while supplying some pre-gig banter, making him for a short nano-second seem like a novice, but the second the tunes of his acoustic guitar start to resonate around the room, every shred of doubt is completely wiped out. His brother Will is also here to help out and his secondary guitar is more than welcome. The second song, "Pine Needle Tea", is the opener to his most recent record, "The Horse Comanche", which proves Chadwick's brilliant fingerplaying skills. A somewhat melancholic track that has the audience observing in silence.

Despite being a solo gig, certain State Radio and in fact Dispatch tracks are also performed to the satisfaction of many. The Dispatch classic "Flying Horses" has a segment of the audience sing along with glee. The brilliant State Radio track "Camilo" is performed as the best rendition I have ever heard. In terms of his own solo work, highlights include the envigorating "Our Lives, Our Time" which is Chad's contemporary critical look at his own nation. His activist charisma is never boastful. It is seen as genuine and justified, a tribute to his many endeavours within philanthropy and development. "Horse Comanche" is clearly one of the toughest songs for Chadwick to pull off in an acoustic setting. Thankfully, the sleepy chords and vocals are seamlessly executed in one of the wierdest tracks of the evening. "Walter (First Hello)" is one of the more jammy- tracks that sparks some folksy singalong across the audience. To the joy of the entire audience, Chadwick decides to seal up the show with the immortal Dispatch track "The General". A song that proves Chadwick's brilliant way of creating a narrative in his songs.

Chadwick Stokes was an experience that surprised the hell out of the curious onlookers and satisfied the seasoned jam-genre fans in the audience. It is truly a blessing to have been able to witness such an important songwriter in a setting that involved his family and friends, thereby creating the most authentic acoustic experience that I could imagine .

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