Punk poet Attila speaks ahead of gig at The Lab in Northampton

Attila the Stockbroker
Attila the Stockbroker

Punk poet and musician Attila the Stockbroker will bring an evening of spoken word and raucous early music to The Lab this week.

Attila the Stockbroker is the stage name of Brighton based John Baine who, in a 40-year career, has performed more than 3,000 gigs, released 20 albums and published eight books of poetry along with an autobiography.

Like many independent artists of his generation punk rock was a catalyst as he explains: “When I saw the Clash everything made sense and I knew what I wanted to do.

“When I saw John Cooper Clarke I got the poetry side of it too. I did my first gig as Attila in 1980 and have never looked back.”

The do it yourself ethos of punk also had an effect on John who harnessed the energy of that movement.

He said: “I book my own gigs, publish my own gigs and books and am completely self-reliant.

“I don't expect, or get, any mainstream coverage but have over 30,000 followers on social media and many of those are creative and supportive people who help with DIY shows and buy my stuff enabling me to earn a living entirely on my own terms.”

Some 25 years ago John formed the band Barnstormer 1649, a band who fuse two very different styles of music.

He said: “I have always loved early music and always loved punk rock.

“I wanted to combine the two in the same way that The Pogues combined Irish music and punk and thought it would work.

“Then I had the idea of writing a whole album about the radical ideas and figures that emerged at the time of the English civil war, using a lot of contemporary instruments.”

Barnstormer released their latest album Restoration Tragedy last year.

It's set in the aftermath of the English Revolution of 1649, a time of great social unrest when groups like the Diggers and Levellers spread radical ideas throughout the land and it's an album that's garnered critical acclaim.

He said: “I am totally happy with it. The feedback from the people who have brought it has been brilliant and it has the best reviews of anything I have ever done, mainly from historians and political observers.”

For this week’s gig, John has invited Karl Phillips to join him on stage for a few numbers.

He added: “I saw Karl at a festival in Derbyshire. I think he is clever, original and deserves to earn his living from music.

“I think he could do a very good spoken word set as well.”

Friday’s gig will begin with an Attila the Stockbroker spoken word set then John will return for a headline set with his band Barnstormer 1649.

Attila the Stockbroker and Barnstormer 1649 headline The Lab in Charles Street on Friday, January 18. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £8 in advance before fees.