Release date 23 November 2018
A new album from Attila the Stockbroker is always something to get excited about, and Restoration Tragedy looks like being something a bit special.
“Growing up and living in Southwick, the port town of Shoreham Harbour in West Sussex, I’ve spent my life next door to the site of a pivotal moment in English history. After his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Charles II travelled south in disguise, chased by the New Model Army, and ended up at Shoreham Port, sneaking off to France in a coal boat called Surprise from a spot 400 yards from where our house now stands. I’ve always been interested in the history of the English Civil War and its aftermath and like many locals been aware of the story. Completely coincidentally, I’ve always loved early music, have taught myself to play many ancient instruments and believed those simple sounds could be harnessed to the energy of punk in the same kind of way that The Pogues combined Irish music and punk.
“Last October, I suddenly had an idea. I’d write a whole album about the English Revolution, the Commonwealth, the Levellers, Diggers and Ranters (the radical sects whose ideas spread like wildfire after the execution of Charles I in 1649) and the part my home port played in Charles II’s escape. I’d do so from exactly the opposite perspective to that of the local Cavaliers who celebrate the latter with a music festival called The Great Escape, a (now closed) music venue called the Escape Club and a Royal Escape Yacht Race! And I’d use many of the instruments and musical ideas that were around at the time.
“In 1660, after the Restoration, the Act of Oblivion was passed, and everyone was supposed to forget about those eleven years when ‘the world turned upside down’. But down the centuries many have remembered, the ‘Good Old Cause’ of the Commonwealth has been an inspiration to many subsequent radical movements, and in recent years interest in the period has if anything increased. So here is the story of 1649 and its aftermath as seen from the perspective of a modern day Ranter (I have been a ranting poet since 1980, as many will know) and my band, playing Roundhead Renaissancecore and celebrating a period which the rich and powerful have always tried to wipe from history.”
Attila The Stockbroker is a performance poet and musician of 38 years standing, making his live debut in Harlow, Essex in 1980, since when he has done over 3,000 gigs in 24 countries, including pioneering performances in East Germany and Albania, and published 8 poetry collections and over 20 albums. He is a long term ally and collaborator with R*E*P*E*A*T, having released a split single ‘Baghdad Ska’ with the label on white vinyl back in 2004 (look here). He relaunched his band as Barnstormer 1649 in 2018, also featuring Tim O’Tay, MM MgGhee, Jason Pegg and Dave Cook. He is a lifelong Brighton & Hove Albion supporter and his acclaimed autobiography Arguments Yard (35 years of Ranting Verse and Thrash Mandola) was published by Cherry Red Books in 2015, see R*E*P*E*A*T review here
NOTE: This album is available on CD and vinyl only, and not download. The lyrics and the historical references explained on the record sleeve and in the CD booklet are such an essential part of the whole that Attila didn’t want people to have the music without the words and pictures!
Available from http://www.attilathestockbroker.com/merch.php and gigs – nowhere else!