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Valentine's Night, 2008
The Glass Onion, Peterborough
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox


Attila The Stockbroker Books available from Rising Sons of Ranting Verse; Rat-tailed Maggot and Other Poems; Scornflakes...and the CD Zero Tolerance from Attila's band Barnstormer.

Write Dope on Pnuk part 49

Attila is a deserved living legend, starting in punk bands, he became a poet in 1980. In 1982 he had his first of two John Peel sessions, and also turned professional, and still does around 100 gigs a year.

Tonight, though, I was on first and I died on my feet. Next up was Keely Mills who (by the end of the end of the night I'd convinced her) has since been appointed Poet In Residence at the venue. She'll do well.

Attila came on and started by reminiscing about previous gigs in Peterborough. The Glasshouse around '81 or '82. Then The Gaslight through the '80s. He started with the poem 'My Poetic Licence', that includes the lines "When a Fascist hits a poet/The poet's doing something right". This is swiftly followed by 'Asylum Seeking Daleks' and, because of the date, a love poem for his wife. Then came tales from an Australian tour and collecting frogspawn.

Getting out his mandola (called Nelson, naturally) he starts his songs, including his tribute to Joe Strummer, 'Comandante Joe'. In the song 'Guy Fawkes' Table' he got the audience to join in the chorus of "New Labour just f**k off and die". Some of the older numbers included his European Crusty Song entry 'Doggy On A String' (that I remember him doing at a free festival in London years ago), 'Libyan Students From Hell', 'Russians In The DHSS' and 'A Bang And A Wimpy'.

After the show we chatted briefly about Krautrock bands of the early '70s like Faust and Amon Duul, his band Barnstormer having recorded their first album at a studio in Wales owned by an ex member of Duul and Hawkwind.

Attila the Stockbroker (John Baine) might well be over fifty, but is still eager to kick against the system, be it governments, glamour models, Eminem, or readers of the Mail and the Express.


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