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Attila the Stockbroker

Updated: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 03:07 pm and


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My new poetry collection 'Undaunted' is published on April 6th In the last year we've had Trump & Brexit and me, a diagnosis of bladder cancer. In this book I deal with it all - head on. Simultaneously the most personal and the most angry and political collection I've put together, and that says a lot after 3500 gigs in 24 countries, nine books of poems and over 40 CDs/LPs. It's published on April 6th. Fellow WOL readers may be interested to hear what 'published' means in my case. It's all totally DIY. 2000 copies arrive on a large pallet at the front door. Before their arrival I have advertised the fact on my 2 Facebook pages, Twitter, website and mailing list and have an ever increasing number of gigs lined up to promote it (30 at last count: if you would like to join the merry throng putting me on, please get in touch!) Then I make many trips to the post office and do some serious touring. If previous collections are anything to go by, costs will be covered in about 3 months..... GIGS APRIL 1 FUNDRAISER for Leyton Orient Regeneration Fund with Steve White and the Protest Family 8 LONDON Clash Night (celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Clash abum with a huge cast of contributors) 20 BRIGHTON Komedia LAUNCHING MY NEW BOOK ‘Undaunted’ with guest JC Carroll from the Members 22 GREAT YARMOUTH TOWN Football Club 23 IPSWICH Smokehouse 26 BRIGHTON Build a Bonfire Night – celebrating our battle to save our football club 30 BARNSLEY May Day Festival Of Solidarity MAY 1 WELLINGBOROUGH May Day Festival – details TBC 5 PORTSMOUTH Kings Pub 7 HALESWORTH (Suffolk) The Cut 13 LONDON Camden at The Constitution Pub – Morning Star fundraiser (details TBC) 20 HADLEIGH (Suffolk) Ansell Centre 26 MANCHESTER Strummercamp 27 DERBY Silk Mill Rally details TBC JUNE 2-4 GLASTONWICK 2017 10 GATE TO SOUTHWELL FOLK FEST 11 (5pm) LIVE GIG BROADCAST at Phoenix Community Radio in Harlow JULY 8 CAERLEON Comic Verse Fest details TBC 29 SOMETHING ELSE A BIT NORTH FESTIVAL AUGUST 3 HALIFAX Victorian Craft Beer Café 4-6 BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival 7 SIDMOUTH Folk Festival 16 – 28 EDINBURGH FREE FRINGE 30 – Sept 4 TOUR OF SWEDEN SEPTEMBER 1-4 TOUR OF SWEDEN 17 BOGNOR REGIS Blakefest OCTOBER 1 SOMETHING ELSE IN THE DEAN FEST solo and with Barnstormer 7 HAMBURG Knust with Barnstormer Sorry it's taken me a while to update this page - I have been so busy!! My autobiography 'Arguments Yard' has been out just over a year now and has had some wonderful reviews - here! It's now in its second print run - the first run of 2000 sold out a while ago. I've sold more than 50% of those at the 100 plus gigs I've done since the book was published! Here are the latest batch of gigs. NOVEMBER 2016 13 - SCUNTHORPE - Café Indiependent 14 - MANCHESTER - Academy - People's Assembly Against Austerity benefit - with loads of others including Frankie Boyle, Francesca Martinez, Steve Gribbin 15 - MENAI BRIDGE - Victoria Inn (with legendary Welsh language punks Anhrefn) 16 - COVENTRY - Albany Social Club 17 - LUTON - Hat Factory (with Janine Booth and Tim Wells) DECEMBER 2016 2 CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms 3 PENARTH The Albion 4 WESTON SUPER MARE Loves Cafe 14 LIVERPOOL 24 Kitchen Street 15 STOURBRIDGE Katie Fitzgerald's The Autobiography Tour Continues! OCTOBER 27 CARDIFF Look Out Cafe Bar, Discovery Quay 28 CARMARTHEN Parrot Music Bar] 29 GOGINAN nr Aberystwyth The Druid 30 SWINDON The Locomotive 31 SOUTHAMPTON Art House] tickets NOVEMBER 1 READING Rising Sun Arts Centre 6-8 ALDEBURGH Poetry Festival] 17 PETERSFIELD Write Angle Http://] 19 STOURBRIDGE Katie Fitzgerald's 20 OLDHAM Library] 21 LIVERPOOL View Two Gallery, 23 Mathew Street, Liverpool L2 6RE] 22 WIGAN Hartley's 26 PETERBOROUGH Brewery Tap 27 NOTTINGHAM Poetry Festival 28 Guest on Tom Robinson's BBC 6 Music show, 9pm] 29 LONDON New Cross Inn - ‘LONDONWICK’ with my band Barnstormer, The Piranhas, The Tuts, Thee Faction, TV Smith and Janine Booth DECEMBER 3 LONDON Islington Folk Club 11 KETTERING Three Cocks 12 BELPER Queen's Head 13 WELLINGBOROUGH The Horseshoe Radical-force-of-nature performance poet/musician Attila the Stockbroker celebrates the 35th anniversary of his first gig with the publication of his autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’ in September 2015 . Launched into public consciousness by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel in 1982/83, he has spent 35 years touring the world as a self sustaining DIY one man cottage industry, performing well over 3000 gigs in 24 countries and releasing about 20 LPs/CDs and 7 books of poetry. He toured East Germany 4 times before the Wall came down and twice more immediately afterwards, was involved in the first ever punk performance in Stalinist Albania and had to turn down playing in North Korea because he was already booked to tour sensible old Canada. He once stood in for Donny Osmond at a gig. He was targeted by fascists during the early Eighties and as well as the physical stuff once had a 10 minute stand up political argument with notorious Nazi band Skrewdriver singer Ian Stuart in the middle of a Black Flag gig at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street. Having got an encore as the support act, he was thrown out of his own gig by the bouncers on the orders of the main act John Cale, one of his all time musical heroes. His support acts? They’ve included Manic Street Preachers, Julian Clary, New Model Army and Billy Bragg. He has led his ‘medieval punk’ band Barnstormer for 20 years as well as the solo stuff – but he did his first ever punk gig as bass player in Brighton Riot Squad in 1977 in Brighton’s legendary Vault, where coffins and skeletons from nineteenth century Huguenot plague victims kept coming through the walls. Running the door at someone else’s gig there, he once used a nineteenth century baby’s lead coffin as a cashbox. Reviewing his first album in the NME, Don Watson said that he would rather gnaw through his own arm than listen to it again! Didn’t deter Attila though: that was 32 years ago. Didn’t deter New Zealand either: when he arrived for his first tour in 1991 both national TV channels were waiting to greet him at the airport. And when Attila argues with a journalist he knows the score because he is one too, having written for NME, Sounds, Time Out, The Guardian and The Independent among others. He currently does a regular column in the Morning Star. This book is social history and personal story combined: a cultural activist’s eyewitness journey through the great political battles and movements of recent times. Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League, Miners’ Strike, Wapping dispute, Red Wedge, Poll Tax, campaigns against two Gulf Wars: Attila has been there, done the benefit and worn the T shirt. There are memoirs from all over the UK and mainland Europe and his many tours of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, and the centrepiece of the book is the story of his time performing all over East Germany as the campaign for democratic socialist change grew: history observed at first hand. Back home he had done every Glastonbury Festival since 1983 and organizes his own beer/music extravaganza. Glastonwick, in his native West Sussex. He was at the heart of a 15 year campaign to save his beloved Brighton & Hove Albion FC from oblivion. And he tells of a happy childhood ripped apart by his father’s death and, forty years later, of how he and his wife nursed his mother through a 6 year battle with Alzheimer’s. Above all, though, his message is a simple one: you don’t need to be ‘a celebrity’ to have a wonderful life earning your living doing what you love. You just have to have a way with words, the self-confidence and organizational ability of Napoleon and a skin thicker than the armour of a Chieftain tank. Hi everyone LOADS of gigs coming up including a tour all over England and Germany with my band Barnstormer celebrating our 20th anniversary... Hope to see you somewhere :) Cheers Attila SEPT 26 BRADFORD 1 in 12 Protag Fest - at a celebration of the life of my old mate 27 LEEDS Seacroft Village Hall for proper socialist Labour PPC Richard Burgon 28 (2pm) HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club - fundraiser for the Morning Star OCTOBER 1st CHIDDINGLY Festival at the Six Bells 2nd HASTINGS The Carlisle (celebrating 100 years of my favourite book, Robert Tressell's 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists') 4th SHOREHAM West Street Loft Wordfest with Murray Lachlan Young (nearly sold out!) 5th LEICESTER Upper Brown Street Theatre (another 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' celebration) NB: starts 6pm 9 LEEDS Fox & Newt 20th Anniversary Barnstormer gig with Blyth Power <> 10 SHEFFIELD The Shakespeare 20th Anniversary Barnstormer gig with Blyth Power <> 11 STOURBRIDGE Katie Fitzgerald's 20th Anniversary Barnstormer gig with Skewwhiff from Worcester 12 (1pm) BATH The Bell with Barnstormer 16 COLNE Jim's Cafe 17 WHITBY Musicport Festival 22 ABERYSTWYTH The Druid 23 CARMARTHEN Tangled Parrot 24 SWANSEA LitFest details TBC 25 BRIGHTON The Hope - Barnstormer 20th Anniversary Gig with FEROCIOUS DOG from Nottingham 31 NEWPORT The Pub with Thee Faction commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Chartist Uprising NOVEMBER 5-16 BARNSTORMER 20th ANNIVERSARY GERMAN TOUR 5 ESSEN Anyway 6 OSNABRUCK SubsTanz 7 DUSSELDORF Linkes Zentrum 8 BERLIN Schokoladen 9 DARMSTADT Oettinger Villa 10 MAINZ Hafeneck 11 TUBINGEN Munzgasse 12 REGENSBURG Tikibeat 13 KOBLENZ Jam Club 14 HAMBURG St. Pauli Fanraume 15 GOTTINGEN Juzi (with Stage Bottles) 16 VIERSEN Rockschicht 21 CAMBRIDGE Corner House 22 NORWICH venue TBC DECEMBER 5 KIDDERMINSTER Boar's Head 6 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Warsop Dogfest 10 LONDON Borderline BARNSTORMER 20th ANNIVERSARY GIG with BLYTH POWER, TV SMITH, THEE FACTION and a little bit of OTWAY! <> 16 PETERSFIELD Square Brewery Attila the Stockbroker huge batch of gigs. More are always welcome - just get in touch at if you are interested in putting me on. JULY 2014 17 LONDON Star of Kings Fundraiser for John Leach's RMT General Secretary election campaign 18 LATITUDE FESTIVAL 24 SHOREHAM Ropetackle Centre GENTLE MEN Robb Johnson and Roy Bailey's brilliant First World War commemoration - I'll be reading my poem for my father 25 DEAL Lighthouse 26 LONDON 21st Century Marxism Social at the City Pride pub with my band Barnstormer and Robb Johnson & The Irregulars 27 LONDON Stockwell The Grosvenor - last ever gig at this lovely pub - my dad grew up next door in the 1910s! AUGUST 1 AMSTERDAM Paradiso with my band Barnstormer 2 AJZ PEINE 30th Anniversary Gig with Barnstormer 3 BONN BLA with Barnstormer 8-10 BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival 24 GUERNSEY Vale Earth Fair with Barnstormer SEPTEMBER 6 RAINWORTH (nr Mansfield) Miners Welfare Club with Barnstormer and The Hurriers - 30th anniversary strike commemoration gig details TBC 7 HULL Freedom Festival 10 BRUSSELS Magasin 4 Playing bass with Contingent supporting Sham 69..... party celebrating 20 years of the Magasin 4! 26 BRADFORD 1 in 12 Protag Fest - a celebration of the life of my old mate 27 DONCASTER Anti UKIP Fest (daytime) and LEEDS fundraiser for proper socialist Labour PPC Richard Burgon (evening) details TBC OCTOBER 1st CHIDDINGLY Festival at the Six Bells 2nd HASTINGS The Carlisle (celebrating 100 years of my favourite book, Robert Tressell's 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists') 4th SHOREHAM Wordfest with Murray Lachlan Young 5th LEICESTER Upper Brown Street Theatre (another 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' celebration) 9 LEEDS Fox & Newt 20th Anniversary Barnstormer gig with Blyth Power 10 SHEFFIELD The Shakespeare 20th Anniversary Barnstormer gig with Blyth Power 11 STOURBRIDGE Katie Fitzgerald’s with Barnstormer TBC 12 (1pm) BATH The Bell with Barnstormer 16 COLNE Jim's Cafe 17 WHITBY Musicport Festival with The Hurriers 22 ABERYSTWYTH The Druid 23 CARMARTHEN Tangled Parrot 24 SWANSEA LitFest details TBC 25 BRIGHTON The Hope - Barnstormer 20th Anniversary Gig with FEROCIOUS DOG from Nottingham 31 NEWPORT The Pub with Thee Faction commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Chartist Uprising NOVEMBER 5-16 BARNSTORMER 20th ANNIVERSARY GERMAN TOUR 5 ESSEN Anyway 6 OSNABRUCK SubsTanz 7 DUSSELDORF Linkes Zentrum 8 BERLIN Schokoladen 9 DARMSTADT Oettinger Villa 10 MAINZ Hafeneck 11 TUBINGEN Munzgasse 12 REGENSBURG venue TBC 13 KOBLENZ Jam Club 14 HAMBURG St. Pauli Fanraume 15 GOTTINGEN Juzi (with Stage Bottles) 16 VIERSEN Rockschicht 21 CAMBRIDGE Corner House DECEMBER 5 KIDDERMINSTER Boar's Head 6 NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Dogfest 10 LONDON Borderline BARNSTORMER 20th ANNIVERSARY GIG with BLYTH POWER, TV SMITH, THEE FACTION and a little bit of OTWAY! 16 PETERSFIELD Square Brewery Hi everyone..... I have been writing stacks and stacks of new stuff recently – as ever these days there is an awful lot to write about – and have just finished my new book of poems, ‘UK Gin Dependence Party and Other Peculiarities’ which will be published in early 2014. And I was in the studio yesterday recording my first reggae talkover poem, ‘Tell Sid He’d Better Buy His Mum A Jumper’ to a rhythm from Brighton’s brilliant Rebel Control. Anyone old enough to remember will surely be aware of that awful British Gas privatisation campaign from 1986. Well, Sid’s had his shares for 27 years now and he’s just bought some Royal Mail ones too. Meanwhile his mum is freezing and can’t pay her ridiculously and callously hiked up gas bill, but Sid’s too busy watching X Factor to care. For the rest of the story go to – you'll find it there as part of a massive archive of my stuff old and new. I have a thriving Facebook page too at w which is worth joining if you would like loads of new poems, provocative posts and up to date gig info... And, having finally got a smartphone, I’m on Twitter at I don't tweet though. I SQUAWK. I'm an angry Seagull :) Loads of gigs coming up before the end of the year (9 dates in Germany starting next Thursday) and loads planned for next. Take care, one and all. Cheers A NOVEMBER 2013 7-16 German tour with my band Barnstormer 7 - ESSEN - Anyway <> 8 - SIEGEN - VEB <> 9 - FRANKFURT - Exzess <> - Stage Bottles' 20th Anniversary Party 10 - ASCHAFFENBERG - Hannebambel <> 12 - DRESDEN - Chemiefabrik <> 13 - BERLIN - Schokoladen <> 14 - HANNOVER - Korn <> 15 - GOTTINGEN - Juzi <> 16 - BIELEFELD - Desperado <> 22 - NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME - The Rigger <> 23 - WIGAN - Hartleys <> 30 - WEYMOUTH - No. 6 ( DECEMBER 2013 5 - LONDON - Kentish Town Library (benefit for the Camden Churches Cold Weather Shelter with Bob Boyton and more) 13 - MIDDLESBROUGH - The Studio at MLT, Toft House, The Avenue 14 - NEWCASTLE - O2 Academy <> - Supporting my friends The Men They Couldn't Hang Loads of gigs coming up... 29 - LINCOLN - Green Dragon (TUSC gig) ( 30 - NOTTINGHAM - Doghouse APRIL 2013 13 - MIDDLESBROUGH - Westgarth Club - with Patrik Fitzgerald 14 - HULL - Adelphi - with Patrik Fitzgerald 27 - WAKEFIELD - Henry Boon's ( MAY 2013 1 - LONDON - Kilburn Good Ship ( - Fundraiser for the Morning Star 8-11 - DENMARK - with David Rovics (TBC) 25 - LEAMINGTON - Lamp MAY 31 - JUNE 2 - GLASTONWICK 2013 JUNE 2013 5 - SHOREHAM BY SEA - Ropetackle Centre - Special 'Local and Vocal' show featuring poems and songs inspired by my roots in Southwick and the Adur district, my love of the Albion, and my mum! With special guest ­ my great friend US radical singer/songwriter David Rovics 8 - SHOREHAM BY SEA - Duke of Wellington - With my band Barnstormer, supporting Adverts legend TV Smith 28-30 - GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL! - Back again ­ I have done every one there has been since 1983! Fri/Sat in the Cabaret Marquee around 2pm, Sat in the Poetry & Words Tent around 5pm JULY 2013 6 - LONDON - Bishopsgate Institute ­ Matchwomens Festival - Celebrating the Matchwomen strikers, 125 years ago.. With Steve White, Robb Johnson, Thee Faction & more! 19 - OSNABRUCK - Substanz - with my band Barnstormer 20 - DUSSELDORF - Linkes Zentrum - with Barnstormer AUGUST 2013 8-11 - BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival 16 - DORCHESTER - Forever Sun Festival 23 - FARCET FEN (Peterborough) - my first appearance at the BLYTH POWER ASHES! SEPTEMBER 2013 29 - FOREST OF DEAN - Something Else in the Dean festival SEPTEMBER 27 LONDON Islington Folk Club 28 sees the return of the Half Man Half Biscuit immortalised DEAN FRIEDMAN to the Ropetackle in Shoreham and I’m his special guest.... 30 LONDON New Cross (4pm) benefit for a squatted art gallery OCTOBER 3 CARDIFF Bogiez 4 CARMARTHEN Tangled Parrot 5 MALVERN Cube (preceded by their Poetry Slam) 6 MILTON KEYNES (well, Newport Pagnell) Watershed MK with PATRIK FITZGERALD 13 SHOREHAM Duke of Wellington WELLYFEST! HOBO JONES & THE JUNKYARD DOGS, THE ASTRONAUTS, my band BARNSTORMER – warming up for our German/Dutch tour – and probably Matt Black and the Emulsions 18 LONDON Putney Half Moon as special guest to Thee Faction (Marxist R&B!) at their album launch.... 27 LONDON Anarchist Bookfair (I’m playing at 6pm) 31 OCTOBER – 10 NOVEMBER GERMAN/DUTCH TOUR with my band Barnstormer 31 DORTMUND Cactus Farm with THE PORTERS NOVEMBER 1 GRONINGEN venue TBC (launch of a Dutch vinyl version of ‘Bankers & Looters’) 2 AMSTERDAM Soundgarden 3 HALBERSTADT Zora 4 GORLITZ Kings Pub 5 CHEMNITZ Subway To Peter 6 ASCHAFFENBURG Hannebambel MAYBE 7 ULM Beteigeuze 8 REGENSBURG Alte Malzerei 9 ASCHAFFENBURG Hannebambel or Munich supporting SLIME . 10 NEUSS Hamtorkrug 16 SHOREHAM Ropetackle Centre A TRIBUTE TO JACQUES BREL featuring the work of the greatest Belgian ever - performed by BARB JUNGR, ROBB JOHNSON, PHILIP JEAYS and myself, with my wife Robina on piano. 17 BRADFORD 1 in 12 Club 18 GLOSSOP Glossop North End FC Social Club DECEMBER 7 LONDON Borderline supporting THE MEN THEY COULDN’T HANG 18 PETERSFIELD Write Angle Hi everyone..... ALBANIA! GREAT gig/exhibition in Tirana, Albania last Saturday – celebrating the clandestine ‘gig’ I did with my friend Steve Drewett from the Newtown Neurotics there in 1989, which I can now 100% confirm was the very first punk gig in Albania! We got loads of national press/TV and there are lots of bits on my facebook page at The exhibition featured copies of my old 1980s ranting poetry fanzine ‘Tirana Thrash’, and my reminiscences of listening to Radio Tirana and becoming strangely interested in the ‘Glorious People’s Republic’ in the 1970s, the songs and poems I wrote about Albania/Enver Hoxha/his pet flounder Tristan/Radio Tirana/the tractor factories/Partizani Tirana FC in the 1980s and photos and the home made football shirt from our trip in 1989 organised by ‘When Saturday Comes’ football fanzine. The gig I did with a SUPERB Albanian pick up band who did the songs (not all of which were about Albania) proud after one rehearsal - and playing ‘Holiday in Albania’ in Tirana has got to be one of my all time highlights in 32 years as Attila. Thanks so much to Sonja, Kerstin and Adela for organising it all and to Ilir, Angjelin and Philippe for playing, it was a fantastic weekend! And I got to see 20 minutes of Albanian football, Dinamo Tirana v Vllaznia Shkoder. Shame Partizani were away.... GLASTONWICK/ROPETACKLE GIGS....... Tickets for Glastonwick 2012 (1-3 June) are selling really well: there are just 50 left for Saturday 2nd and Friday 1st will definitely sell out before the festival starts. So if you’re coming, get your tickets now: online from our friends at the Ropetackle Centre in Shoreham or in person from the Evening Star in Brighton, the Duke of Wellington in Shoreham or the Ropetackle. And talking of the Ropetackle, I’m putting on 2 gigs this weekend: this Saturday (12) it’s the return of the mighty Men They Couldn’t Hang, supported by Rory Ellis (see below!) and Wob: And on Sunday (13) we have a very topical ‘Anti Capitalist Roadshow’ with legends Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson, up and coming radical singer songwriter Grace Petrie, socialist magician Ian Saville (he makes capitalism disappear – I wish!) and Jim Woodland. I’m compering. ‘SEPARATED AT BIRTH’ TOUR OF ENGLAND/WALES WITH RORY ELLIS STARTS WEDNESDAY 16 MAY Next Wednesday myself and my Aussie urban folksinger mate Rory Ellis start our 24 date tour of England and Wales..first four are Leicester, Hebden Bridge, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth. There’s a facebook page for the tour at and the full dates are below. This Saturday (12) I should have a feature in the Morning Star. 16 LEICESTER Criterion with Rory Ellis 17 HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club with Rory Ellis 18 MIDDLESBROUGH The Studio at MLT, Toft House, The Avenue, Middlesborough with Rory Ellis 20 EASTLEIGH (Portsmouth) Cellars with Rory Ellis 23 STROUD Prince Albert with Rory Ellis 24 MONMOUTH Football Club with Rory Ellis 25 TUXFORD (Notts) Tuxfest with Rory Ellis 26 DERBY Progressive Voices at the Darwin Suite with Rory Ellis 27 BIRMINGHAM Kitchen Garden Café with Rory Ellis 30 HASTINGS Ragged Trousered Folk Club at the Jenny Lind pub with Rory Ellis JUNE 1-3 GLASTONWICK 2012 at Church Farm, Coombes, West Sussex 6 TORQUAY Blue Walnut Café with Rory Ellis 7 EXETER North Bridge Inn with Rory Ellis 8 ST. JUST Town Hall with Rory Ellis 9 CALSTOCK (nr Plymouth) Old Chapel with Rory Ellis 10 BATH The Bell with Rory Ellis (1pm) 20 LONDON Leyton What’s Cookin’ at the Birkbeck Tavern with Rory Ellis 21 CRAWLEY Hawth Theatre (short spot at benefit for the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, just me ) 22 LONDON Acoustic Insurgency at the Grosvenor, SW9 with Rory Ellis 27 LINDFIELD Stand Up Inn with Rory Ellis 28 ABERYSTWYTH The Druid with Rory Ellis 29 LIVERPOOL Kazimier with Rory Ellis and Dead Belgian 30 WREXHAM Saith Seren (benefit for the Wrexham Supporters’ Trust) with Rory Ellis, the Declan Swans and many more JULY 1 SHOREHAM Duke of Wellington with my band Barnstormer and Rory Ellis (4pm) AUGUST 3 BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival headlining the new Poetry Stage 19 BEAUTIFUL DAYS FESTIVAL http://www.beautifuldays.corg 26 RHYTHM FESTIVAL with my band Barnstormer That’s all for now – cheers Attila New album ‘Bankers & Looters’, new CD/book ‘The Long Goodbye’, new T shirt ‘Grab the Goldmen by their Sachs!’ and loads more stuff now available from New album 'Bankers & Looters' - the angriest and most topical one I have ever made, in 31 years - and a recording of 'The Long Goodbye', the poem I wrote for my mother during her long battle with Alzheimer's, are now both available from Loads of gigs coming up soon... Haven't updated this for here goes. Lots of gigs as ever and 6 new songs up now at Here's the latest mailout! Hi everyone – it’s been a while and I’ve been busy.... I am obviously not short of material right now! Firstly, tonight (Mon 14 Nov)  at 11pm is the repeat of the BBC Radio 4 ‘Off The Page’ discussion about ‘Glut’ where I give some rather forthright opinions about greed, bankers and the self evident fact that capitalism is totally and utterly f****d.  (Apart from for the people who run it of course, who get bigger bonuses the more they f*** it up.) You might enjoy my use of the word ‘gulag’.  It’s on BBC Iplayer ‘Listen Again’ for the next few hours too at Secondly, I have just been in the studio with my band recording kick-ass versions of  new songs ‘Looters’, ‘Bye Bye Banker’ and ‘Maggots 1 Maggie 0’ (all fairly self explanatory!) “An Honour Not A Stain’  (about William Redfern, a transported English mutineer who now has part of Sydney named after him) ‘Dean Reed (The Red Elvis)’  (about the Colorado cowboy who became a Leftie rock star in Eastern Europe) a cheesily dreadful remake of a Middle of the Road 1972 hit now called ‘Where’s Muammar Gone?’ and some other bits. The first batch are up now at and there will be more. If you enjoy them, and think you might know someone who would too, please share either by email or online: the Reverbnation page is Facebook-friendly. They’re not going to get played on mainstream radio, sadly (big thanks to those playing them on internet and community stations!)  and ‘Looters’ and ‘Bankers’ especially are striking a chord all over the place at EP ‘Looters,Bbankers and Maggots’ will come out ASAP. Talking of gigs, there are some interesting ones coming up, and next year, after a trip back to Germany,  it looks as though I’ll be making a long awaited return to Canada – and I’ve got a gig in Tirana (Albania!) in May.  Also in May I’ll be touring with my mate Rory Ellis, Aussie alt-country bluesman with a wonderful voice. Before that I’m doing some shows in February with a very old friend and inspiration, Patrik Fitzgerald, the original acoustic punk poet, now back living in London after many years in New Zealand and firing on all cylinders.... But this week, it’s off to Guernsey - and then next Sunday we’ve got an all dayer in support of our local volunteer-run Ropetackle Arts Centre whose funding has been cut ...and then I’ve got a rare gig in France.......all details below. GIGS (loads more in the pipeline for next year – more details soon. As always, if you have a suggestion for a gig please get in touch) NOVEMBER 16 BRIGHTON Cowley Club with Robb Johnson and Richie Blitz  (benefit for the Cowley, our local radical social centre) <;ref=ts> 18 GUERNSEY St Peter Port Fermain Tavern!/event.php?eid=239013502825144 <> (first time there for 20 years....looking forward to it!) 20 SHOREHAM Ropetackle Centre ‘Hands Off Our Tackle – Save The Ropetackle’ all dayer (2pm start) with The Piranhas, Robb Johnson & The Irregulars, Philip Jeays, Wob & his band, Anal Beard, Asbo Derek, Laura Ward and the Risen Road, Paul Diello and the Bandana Collective <;ref=ts> 25 CHESTERFIELD Winding Wheel – ‘The Big Social’ : benefit for the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers centre which, like the Ropetackle, has had its funding cut....with Loscoe State Opera and lots more 26 LONDON New Cross Amersham Arms – compering the launch of the excellent GECKO’s new album!/event.php?eid=295506263794275 <> DECEMBER 2 LILLE Radio Campus Lille – rare gig in France, being broadcast live on campus radio 10 MIDDLESBROUGH Theatre Club (after Middlesbrough v Brighton...) 16 LONDON The Borderline – supporting The Men They Couldn’t Hang JANUARY 21 PETERBOROUGH Coalheavers (after Peterborough v Brighton...) 29 ACOUSTIC INSURGENCY at The Grosvenor, Stockwell (TBC) FEBRUARY 3-4 3rd ANNUAL ROPETACKLE BEER/MUSIC FESTIVAL – lineup TBC 17 SHEFFIELD Greystones with Patrik Fitzgerald 18 HULL Adelphi with Patrik Fitzgerald 19 LEEDS Carriage Works with Patrik Fitzgerald MARCH 20–24 GERMAN TOUR 20 ESSEN Anyway 21 KOLN Sonic Ballroom 22 Hamburg Goldener Salon 23 DRESDEN Chimiefabrik 24 BERLIN Schokoladen more dates available, if you are interested please contact APRIL hopefully back to Canada - MAY 4-5 definitely in Tirana, Albania! JUNE 1—3 is GLASTONWICK 2012 Cheers, Attila Hi everyone. I do loads of gigs all over the country - far too many to list on here, it'd take all week! If you are interested in a live show the easiest place to find out where I'm playing is the regularly updated list at (Added July 2010) But since it's my 30th Anniversary Tour this autumn I thought I'd put all the dates on here....there may be more! 8 HARLOW Square (30 years to the day of my first gig) with special guests STEVE DREWETT (Newtown Neurotics) DANIELZ (T. Rextasy) PAUL HOWARD (Tender Trap) and a special guest appearance by THE SPENCERS CROFT CAT! <;p=6513> 11 SHOREHAM Ropetackle Centre with special guests JOHN OTWAY and TV SMITH 16 LONDON The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover St. London SE1 (nearest tube Borough) www. Then five mainland European dates with my band BARNSTORMER 22 GUTERSLOH Munchner Kindl 23 CASTROP RAUXEL (near Dortmund) Bahia de Cochinos 24 HANNOVER Korn 25 BERLIN Schokoladen 26 BRUSSELS Magasin 4 (with CONTINGENT) <> OCTOBER 2 HELMSLEY (N.Yorks) Arts Centre 3 LEEDS Chemic Tavern 4 CARDIFF Arts Institute 5 BRECON Theatr Brycheiniog 6 SWANSEA Elysium Gallery 8 MALVERN Youth Centre 14 WARRINGTON Pyramid Arts Centre 18 NORWICH Arts Centre 19 WATFORD Che Cha Cha 20 PETERBOROUGH Brewery Tap 22 READING Rising Sun Arts Centre 24 EXETER Phoenix Arts Centre 29 AMSTERDAM Zaal 100 30 DEN HAAG De Vinger NOVEMBER 12 YORK Stereo 13 HULL Adelphi 14 SHEFFIELD Boardwalk I must say I like this site a lot (though it's rather Northern-centric!) New book 'My Poetic Licence' just out - see ‘A popular poet who actually earns a living at it rather than sitting in a garret feeling sorry for himself’ (The Observer) ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER 668 - NEIGHBOUR OF THE BEAST! PO Box 668, Portslade, E. Sussex BN42 4BG Sharp tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger...... Inspired by the spirit and the ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos of punk rock, and above all by The Clash and their overtly radical, political stance, he started as a punk bass player in 1977 and took the name Attila the Stockbroker in 1980, blagging spots for his poems and songs in between bands at punk gigs. He quickly got a couple of John Peel radio sessions, a deal with London independent label Cherry Red Records and before very long was on the cover of ‘Melody Maker’. He hasn’t looked back since! Attila celebrates 30 years earning a living as a poet with a national tour in Sept, Oct and Nov 2010. He has performed his work across the world at about 2700 gigs at literary and music festivals, rock venues, arts centres, pubs, universities, schools, folk clubs and punk squats in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium and the Basque Country - and more improbably in Romania, Bulgaria and a hotel basement in Stalinist Albania. Attila's gigs are not, for the most part, listed on here: there are loads, and it's one website too many to update! Go to either of his sites listed above for a full schedule. He can, and does, gig just about everywhere: he’s created his own global network, and organises most of his ninety or so performances a year himself, as well as running regular spoken word/music events in his local pub in Shoreham and the annual Glastonwick Beer, Music, Poetry and More Beer Festival at Coombes Farm in his native West Sussex. As well as all his solo gigs, where during his songs he accompanies himself on mandola, Attila plays violin, bass guitar and a variety of early music instruments and from time to time gigs with his band, BARNSTORMER, a unique and energetic mix of punk and early music! Attila and the band have 4 songs and live footage in a major German feature film, ‘DoppelPack’ which was released across the German cinema network on August 17 2000. His third album with Barnstormer, ‘Zero Tolerance’ was released in April 2004, following on from ‘Just One Life’ (2000) and ‘The Siege of Shoreham’ (1996) and a live DVD of the band has just been released (2006). In addition to his new solo DVD, ‘Live at the Heartland Café’ recorded in the US, and two recent live CDs 'Live in Norway' (2007) and ‘Live in Belfast’ (2003) Attila currently has two solo ‘Best Of’ CDs on release, ‘Poems Ancient and Modern (A Live Anthology 1980-1999)’ which is his definitive spoken word release to date, and ‘The Pen & The Sword', a compilation of songs written before the formation of his band, now the main vehicle for his songwriting. Attila has published 6 books of poems: ‘Cautionary Tales for Dead Commuters’ (Unwin, 1985) ‘Scornflakes’ (Bloodaxe, 1992) ‘The Rat Tailed Maggot’ (Roundhead, 1998) ‘Goldstone Ghosts’ (Roundhead, 2001)and 'My Poetic Licence' (Roundhead, 2008) and 'The Long Goodbye' (2010). He publishes all his books and CDs himself and they are available on his websites, via his PO box and at all his gigs - and NOT in any shops, anywhere. Cut out the middleman! Attila is official Poet in Residence/PA/Announcer/DJ at his beloved Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and (as the leader of ‘Seagulls Ska’) got to Number 17 in the Top 40 on 9th January 2005 with a new version of the Piranhas’ ‘Tom Hark’ - part of the campaign for the Albion’s new stadium….


BOB CROW There was a man who held his ground. Fought every inch, and won the day. His legacy, his members’ lot: Good work conditions, decent pay. By Tories and their tabloid dupes And those who seek more than their share Just like Millwall, his favourite team, He wasn’t liked, and didn’t care. But those who worked in transport knew Their leader stood right by their side. No management could lay them low: They wore their union badge with pride. He spoke for passengers as well: Safety, not profit, always first. Opposing fatal funding cuts - Paddington, Potters Bar the worst. Bob Crow. A boxer’s grandson, he: Led with the left and packed a punch. The bosses knew he’d take them on: No smarmy smile, no cosy lunch. We need more like him, that’s for sure: Upfront and honest to the last. He bargained hard and kept his word. A union leader unsurpassed. As zero hours contracts grow And bosses offer Hobson’s choice Let us not mourn, but organize: Get off our knees and find our voice! This man worked hard for workers’ rights: A fair wage, a safe, steady job. So join a union and stand firm. That’s the best way to honour Bob. LITTLE MAN, BIG HEART It’s only a record, I said to myself: and indeed it was only a record. Anarchy in the UK on EMI in the black sleeve. One of two copies I’d queued up to buy on the day it came out in 1976 from the indie record store in Canterbury High Street - the other given to my then girlfriend at Kent University who was into Boston. I had more than a feeling she didn’t like it because she threw it in the bin. (She wasn’t my girlfriend for long, but not because of that.) I showed it to you one day and you said ‘Wow! That’s really rare! I’m going to this punk disco on Saturday! Can I borrow it?’ I knew I’d never see it again and I didn’t care. **** So much of who we are is where and who we come from. You weren’t born with a silver spoon. You didn’t even get Daltrey’s plastic one. You grew up in Barnardo’s. Your home not so much broken as atomized before it had even existed. A book of regulations for a mum and dad, hand-me-down clothes, hand-me-down life. But you had spirit. Some lovely people befriended you and although nobody could ever really cure that ache where your family should have been they gave you hope and the strength to try. When I met you you were really trying. Really, really trying. And yes, you could be really trying! For those who didn’t know about the hole in the centre of your life your antics in that constant search for human acceptance for friendship - for love - could seem over-the-top, desperate. But I think I understood. I took you with me to a gig: the local punks couldn’t fathom out the little, shouty, needy, hyperactive bloke who looked like a greaser and wanted to hang out with them and some offered only rejection - after what you had been through the hardest thing of all. That’s why I gave you that Sex Pistols single. I hoped. I imagined you swaggering into the disco waving it in your brave, false-confident way. ‘Bloody hell mate! Where did you get that?’ I imagined the inevitable story you’d make up. I knew I’d never see that record again: I knew it would get nicked, or scratched, or broken, or covered in beer, or lost but I hoped it would give you a tiny foothold in the latest of the many little worlds you were trying to be a part of. And to be honest I never liked the Pistols anyway and I wish they had called the bloody thing ‘Disciplined, Clear-Minded Socialist Organisation In The UK (With Clean Underpants)’ because it would have saved me loads of time-consuming, irritating arguments down the years and Crass would never have existed. But that’s another matter entirely. I don’t know what happened to you, or the single, that night but I do know that my mate Steve tried to help: I know that you liked and trusted me. When I went to Belgium in 1979 to play music and organise you followed me - despite all your problems resourceful was your middle name - and we put you back on the train to England just before the riot. Although you’d have absolutely loved it a riot was the last thing you needed: your whole life had been one and not in the way Billy Bragg meant. There were some more stories some more scrapes and then poetry, music and the world took over. I lost touch with you and the lovely people who were helping you but I never forgot you, or them - and when I heard ‘Anarchy in the UK’ I’d often think of that single in the black sleeve of your cheeky smile the leather jacket the friendly elbow in the ribs and I’d wonder how brave little Sisyphus from Essex was coping with the boulder that life had made his constant companion. Then a few weeks ago at yet another punk rock funeral I met up with your friend and protectress after more than twenty years. She told me that you were very ill: that your life had been more of the same really - the smiles, the scrapes, the resourcefulness against all odds, the determination to make the best of things, that old boulder going up and down the hill. I’m sorry I never got to see you again. Farewell, mate. The boulder is still now. But when it rolled down to the bottom you never stopped trying to push it back up again – more often than not with a great big smile on your face. Little man. Big heart. 28/07/15 I remember my stepfather moaning In the first strike in ’72 ‘Miners holding the country to ransom…..’ I was fourteen. I thought about you. You worked underground, often in danger. Hewed the coal we depended upon. He earned more checking tax forms in Brighton. I knew then just whose side I was on. I remember Kent pickets at Shoreham When our port bosses shipped in scab coal. By the time they were back twelve years later A new anger burned deep in my soul. You’d won once, but this time would be harder For your foe was no bumbling Heath. It was Thatcher, revenge her agenda. A class warrior, armed to the teeth. You were miners on strike for your future: For your pits, your communities, ways. We were punks, poets, anarchists, lesbians. Theatre groups, Rastafarians, gays. Different worlds in a rainbow alliance Standing firm and determined to win. And Thatcher lumped us all together: Punk or miner. The enemy within. As a poet, I crisscrossed the country From Durham to Yorkshire to Kent Doing benefits, arguing, learning. Raising funds that were so quickly spent. Did my tiny bit in that great battle That you fought so hard right to the last. A battle so proudly remembered Now that thirty long years have passed. I remember those pictures from Orgreave. Police faces contorted with hate. The communities brutalized, shattered By the raw, naked power of the state. If it took guns and tanks to defeat you She’d have used guns and tanks on you too. The veneer of democracy shattered. The paid thugs of the privileged few. After Orgreave came Wapping, then Hillsborough. With the press and police on her side Thatcher smiled as the printers were beaten And those ninety six football fans died. She had a quite open agenda Summed up well when she famously said That there’s not such a thing as society. Don’t blame us for being pleased that she’s dead. Now the bankers destroy the economy And the jobless and sick get the blame And our once mighty, proud labour movement Is shackled, and timid, and tame But this poet will always remember All the brave men and women I met We will carry on fighting for justice - And we’ll never, no never, forget. UK GIN DEPENDENCE PARTY We’re not fascists, are we, dear? Bring that bottle over here. Now. Where was I? Enoch Powell? Sod this irritable bowel! Do you play goff? Come down the club. Just a snifter, lovely grub…… What, no blazer? Borrow mine. Chin chin. Maggie, ‘79! Now. Where was I? Nigel Farage. Dear! More bottles in the garage. Really don’t want to disparage But he should pronounce it Farridge. Agincourt and Waterloo Showed those Frenchies what to do. Entente Cordiale - bloody shame. Wonder how he got that name? Now. Where was I? Edward Heath. Awful man with awful teeth. He’s the one who started this - Led us into the abyss. It would have been so much easier To have teamed up with Rhodesia. Bloody Poles. This gin is strong! Oh, it’s vodka. Got that wrong….. Now, where was I? Fascists? No. I fought them, I’ll have you know. Well, I nearly did – too young. Something’s happening to my tongue! Bloody Poles. I need a kip. Do have one more. Just a nip…. Upstairs, ere my senses fail. Eileen, where’s the Daily Mail? One last parting shot, young man: Country’s going down the pan. Anyone with half a brain Is selling up and off to Spain. Part of that’s in Europe, true - But not the bit we’re going to. Bloody Poles. My poor old head….. See yourself out. Off to bed! These are song lyrics. Here's my newest one... PRINCE HARRY’S KNOB (The Sun Reader Song) Give Hester and Diamond their bonus They deserve it, they do a good job I want workhouses for the dole scroungers And a picture of Prince Harry’s knob! I work for my gaffer for nothing I’m grateful he gives me a job I’d swap all your bloody trade unions For a picture of Prince Harry’s knob! CHORUS His knob, his knob, a picture of Prince Harry’s knob, HIS KNOB! His knob, his knob, a picture of Prince Harry’s knob..... The country it just can’t afford it Those strikers they’re all rent-a-mob They should all doff their caps and be happy With a picture of Prince Harry’s knob! Don’t give me your bleeding heart lecture You middle class Guardian snob Cos some of us live in the real world With a picture of Prince Harry’s knob! CHORUS You lefties and loonies and liberals It’s time you shut your bloody gob Cos all that the likes of me ask for Is a picture of Prince Harry’s knob… I’m penniless, hapless and hopeless And the state of my health makes me sob BUT I’ll work like a slave for my betters With my picture of Prince Harry’s knob! CHORUS Oi oi, read the Sun, doff your cap, work for peanuts, complain about anyone else not prepared to work for peanuts, and remember: Social Justice? It’s not for the likes of us….. ATS 24/8/2012 The audio for 'Looters' is on here as well...if you want to hear a punkier version go to LOOTERS Dazza is a looter In trainers and a hood He trashed his local corner shop He’d learned that greed is good The CCTV nailed him The papers called him scum Now Dazza’s in the barry place And crying for his mum CHORUS There’s no such thing as society So steal and cheat and loot Just one thing to remember though - Make sure you wear a suit! Bazza is a looter In pinstripe, brogues and tie Short selling in the City He made millions on the sly He nicked our hard earned savings Then turned round and said thanks He walked off with the money - And we bailed out the banks! CHORUS There’s no such thing as society So steal and cheat and loot Just one thing to remember though - Make sure you wear a suit! When greed’s the creed that breeds and breeds What else can you expect? The selfish scum get richer And communities get wrecked Some rob us with an iron bar Some a computer screen And when they say it’s ‘legal’ it’s even more obscene......... Dazza is a street kid And what he did was wrong But he probably wouldn’t do it If he felt he could belong Bazza's rich and priveleged He doesn’t give a shit He takes us for a load of mugs And gets away with it! BYE BYE BANKER They say we’ve got to keep a hold of all our bankers Cos they’re so clever and so talented you know And if we don’t give them their bonuses of millions Then they’’ll just pick up their briefcases and go Well they’re so clever that they bankrupted the country And so talented our taxes bailed them out And the government is frightened by their puny little threats But the rest of us just wanna scream and shout: CHORUS Go, go, just sod off now and go But you can all leave your passports at the door And the same goes for your houses, your money and your cars Cos you’re not welcome in this country any more...(x2) Well they gamble with our money on the markets Which is not the function of a bank at all And they’re paid a hundred times more than someone who saves lives Well it’s time we dealt with this once and for all I say let’s tax them till their testicles are tiny And make their bonuses some tickets for some planes And then we’ll show the world we can get along just fine Without their talented, enormous, superbrains CHORUS But the government is friends with all the bankers Like Karl Marx predicted all those years ago And although they caused the mess they’ve got stooges in the press who are desperate to keep the status quo So the City boys are getting ever richer While all we get are sackings and cutbacks And they’re brutalising Greece with their IMF police Yes, it’s time to grab those Goldmen by their Sachs! (OW!) CHORUS We already own some banks, well that’s a good start All we need to do is nationalise the rest Make the banks work for the people, not the other way around Put the speculators all under arrest And as they queue to leave this country for the last time If they dare to moan or whine or give it large Tell ‘em they’re lucky they’re not rotting in a gulag ‘Cos they would be if Attila was in charge... Dedicated to the memory of my mother Muriel, who died in June 2010 after a 6 year battle with Alzheimers. This poem was written in November 2009. THE LONG GOODBYE This is a poem for you, Mum. It’s about your long, eventful life, the you that you were and the you that you are now, the different you, the you with Alzheimers. It’s to help you remember. And, yes, I knew when I was writing this that it was to help me, too. So this is a poem for us, Mum. You say ‘It’s like wading through treacle and when I get through the treacle there’s a mist which makes me wonder why I bothered with the treacle’ But there are places we can go in the hours we spend together where there is no treacle no mist - where everything is clear. Back to Gravesend to the council house to the stern, Victorian printer father and the spirited, intelligent little girl who went to Reading for the holidays to stay with your ‘maiden aunt’, a teacher and discovered a new, magical world - the piano. ‘This child is musical, Ethel. She must be taught!’ Auntie Evelyn paid for your lessons and your talent blossomed. Church organist at 16. And not just in music: A scholarship to the county grammar school Matriculation … and then came the war. You say ‘It’s as though bits of my mind are still awake, and bits have gone to sleep or start imagining things’. You were sent to Bletchley Park. You mostly can’t remember what happened yesterday but you can still describe every corridor at Bletchley, the walks through the town and, of course, the hours at the piano in the music room. Typing through the night on one of the Enigma decoding machines Smoking to stay awake – you’ve always hated smoking – and the bustle and uproar when the nonsense you were typing suddenly turned to German and the ‘boffins’ gathered round you, urging you on. ‘Faster! Faster!’ Your three friends: Jean, Margaret, Win. Still friends, nearly seventy years later. When the mist is all around I say ‘Tell me about Bletchley Park’. In an instant, I have my Mum back. You say ‘I am learning the difference between understanding and memory. I can still speak, still form sentences, talk to people, read the Guardian and enjoy it. Though I don’t remember what I have read or what I have said. In one ear, out the other! But if my memory is gone, how is it that I remember how to understand?’ After Bletchley: London. Notting Hill. Working at Bateman’s Opticians in Kensington High Street Singing with the Royal Choral Society under Malcolm Sergeant premiering the works of Elgar. The music appreciation class where you met my father twenty five years your senior living in a hostel on the run from a brutal marriage. You brought the sunshine back into his life And when the divorce made the national press as a legal precedent you didn’t care: you were one. Visiting the Isle of Harris Honeymoon in Switzerland My father’s love poems to you. Yes, that’s where I got this from. You tell me over and over again…. The words from him; the music from you. Ok, not exactly in the way you’d have expected - Rude words! Loud music! But you’re used to that now. (You’ve had more than thirty years of it, after all!) You say ‘I know the meaning of the phrase ‘a fate worse than death’’ Come on, Mum. You’re at home, in your warm, comfortable house in Southwick We live just round the corner I’m here, my wife Robina’s here, family and friends are here… You could be in Baghdad or Kabul Family killed, cowering in a ruined cellar Not knowing who or where you were… It’s not that bad! You say ‘You’re right, John. I mustn’t be so silly’. Together we smile and sing ‘Always look on the bright side of life!’ I go and make you a cup of tea. I bring it to you. You say ‘I know the meaning of the phrase ‘a fate worse than death’’. Of course, I’m used to the repetition. But I’ll never get used to that one. Now we’re moving into the fifties and here’s the treacle. You can’t remember the year I was born. ‘How can I forget that?’ Then with great authority: ‘NINETEEN FORTY-SEVEN!’ Hang on, Mum…… You weren’t married till fifty–three And though I am a bit of an old git I’m not THAT much of an old git. It was FIFTY-seven. Tears fill your eyes. ‘How can I forget that? I remember you as a little boy. Always questioning. Always loud. ‘No, Mummy!!’ ‘Why, Mummy??’’ Too right! You say ‘I have spent my life doing. But now I’m just……being.’ The move to Southwick when I was three. The worms, then the fish, lizards, slow worms, newts, terrapins. Going to football every week with my father And the one time I heard you argue. Do you remember why it was? That’s right. He’d left his Brighton season ticket in his trouser pocket. You put the trousers in the washing machine…. We both laugh. You say ‘Memory is such a wonderful thing. But you don’t appreciate that until it’s disappearing. My brain feels like a sponge with great big holes in it’ I tell you how clever you are to use that analogy because if you look at a photograph of the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s that’s exactly what it looks like – a sponge with great big holes in it. Sometimes you say your brain feels like soup, or suet pudding, or sausages, But mostly it’s a sponge. A thirsty sponge, full of life which soaked up everything it possibly could for more than eighty years and is now, gently, leaking it away. You say: ‘I love you, my son. You are my rock!’ I say I love you too, Mum. I’m your punk rock. Then the difficult years: My father’s death when I was ten (yes, it was 1968, Mum…. I know it feels like a lifetime - it’s half of one) My battles with school and a new stepfather and so away, to university, to the world of punk rock, to a band and a squat in Brussels, a flat in Harlow Town with my friend Steve and, in 1980, to a life as Attila the Stockbroker… a life you tried hard to understand and discussed with me late into the night on my visits home. A life you always encouraged and were proud of and, on a few memorable occasions, came to share. As we will see. Of course, you had your own life. Very different to mine! Organist at three churches Teaching the piano Singing with the Brighton Festival Chorus Playing with Southwick Operatic Society President of Southwick W.I. (Remember the gig I did for your W.I? ‘You must ask your son to come and read for us, Muriel’….. You were very worried. I'm not surprised! I chose my material, erm, carefully. I got an encore.) And, in 1981, you’d won your first big battle: Breast cancer. You say ‘Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. You can have your breast removed – But not your head. That’s a shame!’. The surgeon prodded your breast, and said ‘That’ll have to come off.’ His exact words. So angered and devastated were you by his unbelievable insensitivity that, after your mastectomy and your recovery (via New Zealand, where you went to see your brother – ‘If this is going to kill me I’m going to see Mick in New Zealand first’) you started a local counselling service for people with cancer. Especially women with breast cancer. Especially women with breast cancer dealing with insensitive male bastards. You knew. You helped so many people. And I was so proud of you. You say ‘Time is all out of joint. Things that happened yesterday seem a long time ago and things that happened a long time ago seem like yesterday. That is frightening’. Now we’re in the 90s and we're knee deep in treacle. Remember Canada, Mum? Not really? I’ll remind you. 1991. You said ‘I’ll come with you! My old Bletchley friend Win lives in Toronto…..’ And you did. I was touring, 11 cities, east to west. You stayed with Win in Toronto then joined me on tour all the way to Vancouver. ‘Hey, Attila’s brought his mom with him!’ You played piano for me on my song ‘Tyler Smiles’ at the Vancouver Folk Festival to a standing ovation and enjoyed it so much that two years later you toured New Zealand with me saw your brother Mick again - and then to Australia. ‘Strewth, Attila’s brought his mum with him!’ They thought it’d be fun for you to interview me on national TV. You were brilliant. You say ‘I feel as though I am moving slowly down a road which is gently subsiding’ Mid nineties: your swan song with the Brighton Festival Chorus. Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at the Royal Festival Hall. Mum’s last gig. Your favourite piece of music, ever. I was there. Then, in 1998, your final tour with me, my favourite memory of all: Germany. ‘I’ve never been to Germany, John. I want to go there before I die. I want to talk to the people there. All this prejudice in my generation is just silly’. But Mum, I said. It won’t be like those other tours. I’ve told you about Germany. I play in anti-fascist squats and autonomous centres. We sleep on the floor half the time. Sometimes it’s really cold and very smoky there is loads of very loud punk rock and everyone drinks the most INCREDIBLE amount of beer. Including me - ESPECIALLY me! I’m not sure it’s the right tour For a lady of seventy-five… But you were having none of it. So off we went. You, me, Adverts punk legend TV Smith and Danny the driver in my old Citroen charging up and down the motorway. I’d told the organisers – and they were brilliant. They made such a fuss of you. Clean, comfortable and warm everywhere no smoke and punk rock turned down where necessary. Most solicitous of all my old mate Mad Butcher Mike – a big, hard, red skinhead, founder of a legendary hardcore anti-fascist record label, loathed by every right wing scumbag in Germany. You took a real shine to him. And he to you. ‘He’s not a Mad Butcher at all, John – He’s a very nice chap!’ Germany was your last foray. You sailed into your eighties, happy in Southwick. I’d moved nearby years before Then married Robina. She spotted the signs before I did - I guess I simply couldn’t believe it would happen to you. And then came that fateful day in May 2004 when you set out in the car to visit Daphne, your sister in law and forgot where you were going or why you were going there. It’s been more than five years now: and here we are. The psychiatrist says you’re doing very well That the tablets are working That we’re doing all the right things That the hours we spend are precious hours… We know that. I know that. I see it in your face, every time I enter the room. Your indomitable spirit, your need for human warmth, for company, for stimulation for mental challenge is as strong as ever. Anyway, for me, no contest. You made me. You need me. I’ll be there. That’s it. But it’s hard, Mum. For us, and, above all, for you. Which is why I wrote this poem. To help you remember. The poem of your life – The poem of our life. November 2009 ASYLUM SEEKING DALEKS! They claim their planet’s dying that soon it’s going to blow And so they’re coming here - they say they’ve nowhere else to go.... With their strange computer voices and their one eye on a pole They’re moving in next door and then they’re signing on the dole..... Asylum seeking Daleks are landing here at noon! Why can’t we simply send them back or stick them on the moon? It says here in the Daily Mail they’re coming here to stay - The Loony Lefties let them in! The middle class will pay...... They say that they’re not terrorists: That doesn't wash with me! The last time I saw one I hid Weeks behind the settee... Good Lord - they’re pink. With purple bumps! There’s photos of them here! Not just extra-terrestial.... The bloody things are queer! Yes! Homosexual Daleks And they’re sponging off the State! With huge Arts Council grants to teach delinquents how to skate! It’s all here in the paper - I’d better tell the wife! For soon they will EXTERMINATE Our British way of life..... This satire on crass ignorance and tabloid-fostered fear Is at an end. Now let me give One message, loud and clear. Golf course, shop floor or BNP: Smash bigotry and hate! Asylum seekers - welcome here. You racists: emigrate! ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER THERE'S A MAN DOWN OUR ROAD WHO'S A NAZI! There’s a man down our road who’s a Nazi! He’s there on the list, that’s for sure His hobbies are bowls and line dancing And he lives at 204! Well, I must say that he looks quite normal And his wife makes a nice cup of tea..... There’s a man down our road who’s a Nazi! I’m glad he’s not next door to me! He’s bald, but, no, he’s not a skinhead He wears Hush Puppies, not those big boots His dog’s a shitsu, not a pitbull And he doesn’t goose step, he - commutes! It’s a Rotary Club badge, I’m certain That little one on his lapel There’s a man down our road who’s a Nazi! Goes to show that you never can tell ....... I bet that his wife is embarrassed And she wishes that nobody knew Now they’re caling her ‘Eva’ - that’s horrid! Been expelled from the W.I. too...... Do they really? What, NOTHING but Wagner? AND so loud that the neighbours complain? There’s a man down our road who’s a Nazi! And there’s talk of a local campaign! Yes, I know you work at the newsagents. What has that got to do with this tale? You’re right! It’s the proof. Yes, we’ve got him. Life subscription to the Daily Mail...... Who, of course, said ‘Hooray for the Blackshirts!’ Now it all makes complete sense to me. There’s a man down our road who’s a Nazi! He’s as Nazi as Nazi can be! SUPERMODEL Prepubescent imagery. Empty, stupid eyes. Waif thin. Tyrannical. No fat. No body hair. No character, no love, no personality - no brain. So thin, and yet... so thick. By your anodyne complicity in this gruesome stereotype you connive in the corporate enslavement of your sisters - anorexia, bulimia, self-loathing, fear. They aspire to be like you - an unnatural creation of capital - and wreck their bodies in the process, destroy their fertility, tear apart their lives. But hang on a minute? Not my place to talk about that? I’m a man, what do I know? You’re just trying to earn a living? What I’m saying has been said before? OK. But when the football blokes look and make some expected remark I’m supposed to join in. I’m supposed to fancy you - or pretend to. Well, I don’t. And I won’t. More than that. You revolt me. You give me an inversion. It’s quite simple really. I just don’t desire a stupid adman’s toy styled to look like a prepubescent girl - a real ‘babe’ - there in the tabloid next to the lurid description of Gary Glitter’s downfall. I love a real woman. I won’t buy the product you advertise. I won’t watch your latest film. I’m not interested in your poxy TV series I’ll never set foot in that bloody car and I hate you. I know I should just ignore you, or feel sorry for you but I hate you and your fashionist masters bringers of misery destroyers of individuality harbingers of despair. Women and men: Riot against diet! Sod the microchip revolution - let’s have a fish ‘n’ chip one! Cream bun chocolate cream bun chocolate lard lard sag aloo beer beer beer! Riot against diet! Smash fashionism! Say goodbye to Hello! Make Cosmopolitan....cosmopolitan! Let’s have a real woman’s realm! Take over the curry house Fill your freezer full of ice cream Live Love Get real! TOO MUCH PRESSURE (written for my 50tth birthday) This angry young man is still angry, but older And now Father Time has just pissed on my shoulder. ‘You’ve got to grow up, John - you’re way past that stage You’ve reached the condition they call ‘middle age’. It’s time to be quiet, say ‘yes’, watch TV - High spot of the week, a nice dinner party. Polite conversation until you doze off The topics: house prices, taxation and goff. (That’s golf, by the way, in case you’re unsure Not pale folk in graveyards obsessed by The Cure) Now just look at you in your Seventies gear With your punk rock and football and microbrew beer Political poems and loud, angry songs You still want to change things and right the world’s wrongs? You stand up and shout and you get in a rage: It’s really not right in a man of your age. On top of all that, and I don’t mean to frighten - Worst of all for your blood pressure: you support Brighton! They’re not very good and you don’t want to die So sit on the couch and watch Chelsea on Sky.... NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure, I’ll take the tablets, and drink a bit less. If you fancy a game, I might play you at chess. I hope that I’ll make it till I’m ninety - five. But one thing’s for sure, Death - you’ll take me alive!

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

Audio entries by Attila the Stockbroker

My new poetry collection 'Undaunted' is published on April 6th (28/03/2017)

My Favourite Politician (05/11/2013)

ALBANIA! My Glastonwick festival! And LOADS and LOADS of gigs (10/05/2012)

New album 'Bankers & Looters' out now.... (29/01/2012)

Mission Creep (with audio!) (14/11/2011)

Too Much Pressure (15/07/2010)

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<Deleted User> (10279)

Sun 13th May 2012 15:34

Your poetry makes me smile...great stuff, Attila

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winston plowes

Sun 11th Jul 2010 23:20

Saw you in the sauna Cabaret tent at Glasto... Phew what a scorcher. Winston.

<Deleted User> (8631)

Mon 9th Feb 2009 01:20

Hi Attila,
I like your stuff - it's passionate and purposeful but at the same time humorous. I can see my own work in yours, so I'm interested in what you make of mine. Take a look!


<Deleted User> (5791)

Wed 4th Feb 2009 12:01

Ref: Shed Fire - spot on.
I live in a Norfolk coastal village & when my mate move to Sheffield he would regail me with tales of big city crime. About 4 wks after he moved the front page of our local paper (Lowestoft Journal) had a picture of a sofa in the sea below the headline " SOFA WASHED UP ON BEACH." - careful now.

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Jeff Dawson

Sun 13th Jul 2008 15:31

Hi Attila

Great to meet you and see you perform last night, and thanks for signing the book, gonna have a good look at that and the CD.

As I said, I've got stuff on here under jeffarama, so when you get chance, I would appreciate it if you could have a look.

In the blogs over last couple of months theres one about New Model Army, on called Punk's not Dead and one about Glasto, hope you like 'em, cheers Jeff

PS I only got to the Goldstone once, that was following my team Bolton Wanderers, we drew 1-1, had a great day out, best wishes to you and the Seagulls this season!

<Deleted User> (4744)

Wed 28th May 2008 14:25

I'm laughing here having read your samples. Thanks for the add on MySpace, btw. I'm considering a short run self publishing stint myself for friends and interested victims. Not quite in your league... yet.

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