Attila offers up poetic politics

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Punk poet Attila the Stockbroker will be gigging at the Beechwood Hall Hotel in Wykeham Road, Worthing on Wednesday February 6 at 8pm in support of the Sussex Stop G8 campaign.

An ardent Brighton and Hove Albion fan, he describes himself as a ‘sharp-tongued, high-energy social surrealist, poet and songwriter.’

Attila has been performing since 1980 and his poems include the likes of Russians in the DHSS Asylum Seeking Daleks and Comandante Joe, his tribute to The Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

Entry in Worthing is by suggested donation of £5.

Attila said: “The UK Government is hosting the G8 2013 summit in June this year and, although the event itself is being held in a remote corner of Northern Ireland, big protests are planned for London.

“The national Stop the G8 campaign argues that the world leaders at the G8 will be giving the green light for more bank profiteering, privatisation, cuts and environmentally-damaging activities like fracking and is encouraging the public to voice their opposition in the streets.

“Contact the Sussex group at sussexstopg8@riseup.net or for more information go to the national website at network23.org/stopg8.”

John Baine took the performing name Attila the Stockbroker during a short stint as a City stockbroker’s clerk between 1980 and 1981. A colleague accused him of having the eating habits of Attila the Hun.

Having started performing in the late 1970s after being inspired by the spirit of the punk subculture, particularly The Clash’s overtly-socialist stance, he was briefly a member of punk bands English Disease and Brighton Riot Squad, and Belgian band Contingent before going solo.

He did his first gig at Bush Fair Playbarn, Harlow, Essex, on 8 September 1980. At first he performed poems and songs in between bands at punk rock concerts, accompanying himself on the phased electric mandolin. After this was smashed over his head during a fight at a performance in North London in May 1982, he got a mandola (a fifth lower) and has played this ever since.

He has performed in 24 countries, playing venues ranging from the Oxford Union in England to squatted punk clubs in Germany, and performs between 80 and 100 shows every year. He toured East Germany four times before the Berlin Wall came down, and once did an illegal performance in a hotel basement in Stalinist Albania. He was signed by Cherry Red in 1982 after recording a session for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show.

He recorded a second session for Peel in 1983.