“He has a charming, relaxed style with a dry sense of humour and his original songs are both witty and poignant.” – Robin Strapp, British Theatre Guide – see full review below.
“The combined styles and wit of Bob Dylan and Tom Lehrer” – Jude Hines, Stagewhispers, Adelaide- see full review below.
“Majk’s album [Time to Save the World] is brilliant. So many funny and thought-provoking songs. Love his style and sense of humour. Two of my favourites are The Bear of Bad News and One More Coffee and then We’ll Save the World. The Bear of Bad News tackles climate change in such a unique way… Such a fun, gentle and inspiring album.”- Lindsay Arnold, Glasgow
“Practically from the moment you got on stage I knew that something different was going to take place… comedy singer-songwriter extraordinaire”- Cass Hamilton, Dunbar
“Musical comedy genius”- Becky Riddell, Oxford
Heroes, Revised- Edinburgh Fringe, 2022
Majk Stokes is obsessed by heroes, mythical and real. Riffing on and affectionately parodying Dylan, Lennon and the Troggs, the local folk-rock, comedic-but-with-a-message singer-songwriter explores the inner life of mythical characters – what would Superman do when feeling blue? Does Q envy Bond? – and celebrates everyday heroism: small actions to save a burning world and the NHS and care heroes of the pandemic. In the searing “I’ll see you there”, Stokes issues a rallying cry for the possibility and power of protest in the face of the environmental crisis. And yet the call to action comes with a warm cushioning of humour – except for eating turmeric-infused porridge, this guilt-ridden middle-class environmentalist reviewer smiled as he acknowldged all the middle-class behaviours he exhibits listed in the parodic “Middle-class hero”. A real-life fox hunt, foiled by a tree-planter is recounted poignantly, and the set ends with the rousing “Re-wild things”, written as a fundraiser for a now-successful community land buyout in the south of Scotland.
“I write songs, I plant trees, I do what I can” is Stokes’ motto. Play your part and be there to listen, laugh and be uplifted.
Heroes- Edinburgh Fringe, 2021
What makes a superhero? Majk Stokes, a comedy singer-songwriter poet, Quaker and eco-warrior, has created this highly enjoyable concert Heroes, exploring who are the real heroes.
He has a charming, relaxed style with a dry sense of humour and his original songs are both witty and poignant. Who would have thought that trainspotters were in fact superheroes in disguise, “off to save the world but you’ll never suspect us”?
Majk has a wide repertoire of innovative songs and stories told from other people’s perspectives including his partner Beth, who describes him in a song as, “cute but slightly annoying.” We can all identify with the amusing song “Please Hold” as we are forced to wait in a customer service call centre queue only to find we are still only number 12.
More seriously, there is a passionate plea to remember that real heroes don’t fly as he dedicates the next two songs to protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, using solar energy and travelling less. In a tribute to the NHS he sings, “real Heroes don’t use guns but do the jobs that must be done.”
All is not too serious as there is an old fashioned, raunchy folk song and a personal account of visiting his sister in Australia—but watch out for the leeches.
Performed in the Quaker Meeting House, Majk reminds us of the Quaker ‘Faith In Action’ and to stand up for what you believe in with peace and equality. He ends with a comic take on computers that go wrong with his online troubleshooter asking him, “have you tried turning it off and on again?” Such frustration.
But not to worry because, as superheroes, “one more cup of coffee, then we’ll save the world!” If only.
It’s a delight to spend some time with Majk and all profits from tickets go to charity.
Reviewer: Robin Strapp
One more cup of coffee and then we’ll save the world- review from the Adelaide Fringe, 2018
Adelaide Fringe 2018. Presented by Majk Stokes. Basem3nt Studio, Featherstone Place. February 21st to March 3rd, 2018
One more cup of coffee and then we’ll save the world is a show that is evocative of the 1960’s smokey coffee houses in Australia, where protest and love were the key themes.
The show opens gently with a man, his hat, his acoustic guitar and a single microphone. The venue is intimate, seating about two dozen people. Do not dress warmly as the Basem3nt is a warm space.
Majk (pronounced Mike) Stokes is a comedy singer-songwriter, poet, environmentalist and Quaker, based in Edinburgh in the UK. His subject matter takes in everything from deep ecology to science fiction and superheroes and all are skilfully woven into original songs using the combined styles and wit of Bob Dylan and Tom Lehrer (who was banned in Adelaide in the 1960’s). Majk has performed on four continents in both adult and children’s theatre. His songs are original and the message is quietly passionate.
Majk has appeared regularly at the Edinburgh Festival and has had a festival show there show since 2013. His first album was a fundraiser for an orphanage in Madagascar that raised over GB 20,000 pounds.
He doesn’t approve of flying because of the environmental impact, but agreed to visit his sister in Melbourne. So, on opening night here in Adelaide he invited the small, but very appreciative audience to follow his progress on Facebook as he is planning, when he returns home, to plant 80 trees to offset the carbon miles from the trip to Australia.
Majk opens his show with an ode to coffee and progresses through a good dose of organics inspired songs. A highlight is a song about his clandestine affair with beetroot where a clever play on words encourages “Beetroot to me and I’ll be true to you”.
The show embraces a variety of musical styles and includes a pacey Dylanesque blues song.
The lyrics swing from poignant messages about the role of bees in the environment, to the witty exploration of where will the bears “go” if human carelessness wipes out the trees in the woods. The audience love a “sing along chorus” in the “We Need the Bees” song where clever, complex rhyme is a feature.
Provoking and also moving is the song entitled “Superhuman Alien Homesick Blues” with the chorus “What does a superhero do when he is feeling blue?” where he explores the human need to fit in and feel like “normal folk”.
Majk is a very individual and versatile song writer and songs and poems are his strength. A self-confessed self-effacing performer, his opening patter will have greater power as an audience winner if his confidence matches his passion. On opening night, the introduction and some of the linking narrative was a little disjointed, making it a little slow to begin with. Having said that, the show warmed up and the topical songs full of complex themes laced with wit and humour were audience pleasers. Majk is planning to lead a “quiet revolution”, saving the world bit by bit and reminding us to “leave a world for our descendants”.
This show is an outing for those who are passionate about folk music, the environment, and loads and loads of great coffee. What is not to love about a man who eschews instant coffee and only devotes three seconds of song to it compared with the colourful songs dedicated to a quality brew? Now for him to save the world.
Jude Hines, Adelaide, Australia
“Refreshing to hear songs with meanings that make a difference and might even wake people up! An inspiring singer-songwriter and fun to watch and listen to.”- Mea Lama, USA
“Thank you- some amusing, sensitive songs about serious issues- and coffee and beetroot!”- Robert, Devon
“Easily my best night in lockdown.”- John Myers, London