Let me take you back to the dark days of the 1980s. We had Thatcher (Ugh!), Orgreave, and just about every other abomination resulting from a decade of Tory control. However, it’s Friday after a night out in Brum and a few of us retreat to my mate, Ian’s, house. Here, with punk on the wane and before pretty-boy, bland, Depeche Mode became a cult institution, Ian treated me to music that … well, things you didn’t hear on Radio One (Unless you listened to Peel). One of these was a punk rock poet and I’d always say. “Put that guy on. You know … Nigel Wants to go to C&A and Russians in the D.H.S.S. Ian would oblige. I loved it. Then I got married and for the next fifteen years culture revolved around a surreal nightmare containing the Pet Shop Boys. Finally, my divorce and freedom with YouTube, Myspace and Facebook. Here, I began writing again and to my delight, I rediscovered Attila the Stockbroker.

I’ve seen Attila a few times now and the Kitchen Garden Café in King’s Heath is a great venue with character and intimacy. I sat on the front row. Then, showing the results of a bad flu virus and wearing a t-shirt of a man swinging his bollocks, Attila took centre stage.

You must hear him to understand, but I’ll try and explain. There is something familiar and at home about Attila the Stockbroker. Like the friend who always speaks sense. And I find myself agreeing a lot, I have to say.

Such heart-warming poignancy at times, but with an edge that cuts: The Leppings Lane End, Never Forget and Aunty Rose. But then you have the downright outrageous (and glorious) in A Hellish Encounter. What I enjoyed this time was material I had not heard before, but also renditions of oldies which have evolved over time. Libyan Students from Hell are now Corbyn Supporters from Hell, and I am proud to include myself in the latter. Plus, the classics too. I don’t think I’ll ever use someone else’s sleeping bag after hearing about Joseph Porter’s. And then there was the obligatory singalong to Prince Harry’s Knob.

If ever Attila is in town, go and see him. I can guarantee entertainment of the highest quality. And I picked up a recent CD and two books this time.

I haven’t seen my mate Ian for many years, but I’ll always be grateful to him for introducing me to Attila the Stockbroker. Punk rock isn’t dead, and neither is poetry.

Cheers.

Antony N Britt.

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