Attila the Stockbroker has been majestically using the English language to give his opinion, anger, and humour about the world we live in since the late 70s, his rebellious armory consists of the spoken word delivered from a sharpened tongue that has an occasional army of musical instruments backing it up. He now embarks on a new course of action in 2018 with his band Barnstormer who sound just a little bit different, “They literally don’t sound like anyone else. Barnstormer aim to do with early music & punk what the Pogues did with Irish music & punk. Attila describes their sound as ‘Roundhead Renaissance core and Baroque ‘n’ Roll’“.
We asked Attila to describe some the music that has shaped his life, with a few surprises involved in the process.
The first single I bought. The fly on the label spinning round, the smell of the vinyl. The B Sides ‘Woodland Rock’ and ‘The King of the Mountain Cometh’. Two great extra tracks. Huge Bolan fan from age 12 to date. Fantastic music, hippy bollocks lyrics – but INTERESTING hippy bollocks to an inquisitive kid. The first album I bought was Electric Warrior.
Sounds pretentious but is true. ‘The Velvet Underground and Nico’ was the third LP I bought, aged 14. Trying to puzzle the lyrics out at that age was something else.
From his phenomenal second solo album ‘Paris 1919’. I went to John Cale from the Velvets of course. His manic viola playing, his manic stage presence…he dragged me onstage as a 17-year-old at the Marquee during the ‘Slow Dazzle’ tour and finally, in 1983 I got to support him as Attila. Thereby hangs a tale.
The first track on the first album by the most underrated, pioneering, out-of-time band of all time. The missing link between the Velvets and punk, Urban Blitz the greatest rock violin player ever, a huge influence on my style with my band Barnstormer. If they’d started in 1978 they’d have been a monster. But starting in 74 they got swamped by punk. Ridiculous.
Punk soul and attitude. In your face, powerful, inspirational.
I discovered reggae through punk, of course. Was very involved in Rock Against Racism and actually help organise the Misty in Roots show at the ‘Counter Eurovision’ in Brussels which John Peel has described as his favourite album of all time. The title track of my favourite reggae album ever.
My best mate Steve Drewett’s band: we shared the 80s together! Pioneering political punk with passion and belief.
The greatest song by Belgium’s finest cultural export. I was introduced to his work in 1979 while living there and have been a huge fan ever since.
Awful name, awful image, wonderful music, clever, beautifully crafted songs fusing punk, ska and reggae. Simple, brilliantly effective.
I guess thousands of people have chosen this as their favourite song of all time, but I can do no more than add my name. Lyrically and musically the expression of the unity of purpose we punks felt with the reggae community back in the heady days of the late 70s. And so prophetic. ‘If Adolf Hitler flew in today/they’d send a limousine anyway….’ Look at what’s happening in Europe.