Attila on the airwaves
SOUTHWICK punk poet Attila the Stockbroker is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his first concert with a special programme on Radio 4 later this month.
Giving It Lip - Attila the Stockbroker 25 Years On will be broadcast on Sunday, August 21, at 4.30pm and the following week on Saturday, August 27, at 11.30pm and will feature poems, songs and memories from Attila, also known as John Baine.
Attila's first gig was on September 8, 1980, at the Bush Fair Playbarn in Harlow and since then he has more performed more than 2,000 concerts in 19 different countries all around the world.
Speaking to the Herald, Attila said: "I fully intend to carry on performing until I die. I have absolutely no desire to stop. I feel I have more energy to perform now than when I first started."
Attila started as a bass player when he was just 19, back in 1977, in the days before punk. After going to the University of Kent, he ended up working in the stockmarket.
His stage name came about after one of his colleagues said he had the manners of Attila the Hun.
He was soon featured in the NME and Attila's big break came when the late John Peel played his EP in 1982.
"John Peel gave me a lot of support. I was standing on the Southwick harbour arm, fishing and listening to John Peel and he said 'now it's Attila the Stockbroker'. I nearly dropped the fish rod in the water.
"I don't really see myself as being in the business. I fit in every-where and no-where. I have performed in front of Southwick WI and I have supported the Unborn Dead."
Attila's celebrations will continue with a concert at the Komedia Club in Brighton on Thursday, September 8. He will performing along with TV Smith, Blyth Power and The Men They Couldn't Hang.
Over the years he has also been involved with the local community and ran the Barnstormer concerts for several years at Southwick Community Centre and the Glastonwick beer festival, which now takes place at Shoreham Airport.
"I think we have a great potential in terms of the community here. We are so near Brighton, but we have our own identity.
"This thing that's happening in September (Rockin in the Barn] is great. What I love more than anything is people writing their own songs and material - that's the future of music."
Attila hit the headlines earlier this year when he organised a single Tom Hark (We Want Falmer) to draw attention to Brighton and Hove Albion's campaign for a new stadium. The single reached number 17 in the singles chart.
"The funny thing for me is finally at the age of 47, was to get into the charts with the Seagulls Ska. It got so much publicity. It actually outsold Elvis on Amazon and it was bought by a surprising number of people who were not Brighton and Hove Albion fans."