Bokassa

Telia Parken, Copenhagen - 2019

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

“Who the fuck are Bokassa?” a shirt aptly asked.
“The kings of stoner punk.” it replied on the back.
“What are they doing supporting Metallica?” I wondered.
“Lars Ulrich likes them.” the internet replied.

“Danish people! You’re quite laid back. You like drinking. You like alcoholism and Safri Duo. We Norwegians are pretty much the same, but our music is harder!”
- Jørn Kaarstad (vocals/guitar)


Well then, now we have all that out of the way, and we can get down to business.
I thought the combination of punk, aggressive and energetic as it is, and stoner, which is laid back and retro, sounded odd indeed, and when the band opened with a country track (was it Johnny Cash? I think it was), the confusion only deepened. Still, curiosity got the better of me, and I found a good spot up front.
Three young men came blasting out on the stage, and it didn’t take long for vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad to find a spot at the front of the catwalk, getting well in the face of the small audience that had entered the arena at this time. Bassist Bard Linga wasn’t far behind, while drummer Olav Dowkes was rather harder to see behind his low drumkit on the high stage.

“We understand the universal language of rock, right?”
- Kaarstad (vocals/guitar)


Bokassa quickly established their style, more energetic than easy going certainly, and Kaarstad shouted out the lyrics, while Linga and he ran around, jumped, and in general wrecked havoc on the stage. They did all they could to ignite a spark in the audience, and even though it was hard work doing so, with only minor success to their credit, the three guys never slowed down, and never let us off the hook. Much respect for that.
They certainly looked like a band enjoying themselves, and who wouldn’t in their situation, and as much energy they let out through their music, they showed an equal amount of good humour in between. Just take the fact that for their outro, they chose to have the Danish Eurovision classic Fly On The Wings Of Love played. Well played sirs, well played indeed.

For all of their efforts though, I never really got into the music, which is a shame. Still, I applaud them for the performance, and the positive vibe they brought to the place.

Setlist:

Impending Doom
Last Night (Was A Real Massacre)
Charmed & Extremely Treacherous
Captain Cold One
Mouthbreathers Inc.
Only Gob Can Judge Me
Vultures
Walker Texas Danger
Five Finger Fuckhead
Fly On The Wings Of Love (Brødrene Olsen song)

Bokassa

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