NEW ALBUM 'RESTORATION TRAGEDY' OUT NOW!
Press release 13 July 2018
'RESTORATION TRAGEDY', Attila's new album with his band Barnstormer 1649, is available now on CD with a 16 page booklet and in a month's time (mid August) as a double vinyl LP with a gatefold sleeve. The album's 58 minutes long (hence the double vinyl) and is far and away the best musical project he has ever completed in 38 years as Attila the Stockbroker. It will be launched on Saturday 8th September 2018 at Wigan Diggers' Festival, which is totally fitting since it's a whole set of songs based around the English Revolution of 1649 and the radicals who were a part of it, played on a wide variety of Renaissance instruments. Early music meets punk. Yes, it really doesn't sound like anything else. Music for Levellers, Diggers and Ranters! To get your copy via Paypal or cheque please go to Merchandise. There will be many gigs all over the country both before and after the launch: go to Gigs for details. You can listen to some of the new tracks here.
Attila says: I have always loved early music and have taught myself to play many ancient instruments. For the last 30 years or so I have had an ambition to record a whole album combining early music and punk in the same kind of way that the Pogues combined Irish music and punk. I wrote a couple of early music pieces for my solo albums in the 80s, and we played around with the idea on some of the tracks we recorded in the earlier incarnations of my band Barnstormer, especially on our first album 'The Siege of Shoreham'. But with 'Restoration Tragedy' we have finally done it - hence the addition of the '1649'.
The album features Jason Pegg (guitar/backing vox) Tim O'Tay (recorders/backing vox) M.M McGhee (drums) and Dave Cook (bass/backing vox) four fantastic musicians, and a special guest spot from my talented pianist wife Robina, who composed one of the pieces. I sing and play crumhorn, cornamuse, bombarde, shawm, rauschpfeife, recorders, violin, viola, mandola, and mandocello. It features 14 songs and tunes based around the characters and events following the English Revolution of 1649 and the execution of Charles 1st, focussing on the Levellers and Diggers, the Ranters and their leader Abiezer Coppe and the escape of Charles II from my home port town of Shoreham in a coal brig called 'Surprise' after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
It was that coincidental combination of my love of local history and of early music which gave me the idea which brought the whole thing about, and it was an idea that came to fruition very quickly ' I started writing the songs only last October and the whole album was finished by the middle of May. The band has done about 15 gigs so far with the new material and we have many more booked all over England in the next few months ' offers welcome, and I am of course also continuing my solo shows where I will be showcasing bits from the album as well.
Press release - 26 January 2018
Although there's always been an element of music in his set, 2018 is the year when spoken word performer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Attila the Stockbroker prioritises his musical side for the first time after 37 years and over 3000 gigs primarily working as a poet. He’ll be touring all over the UK with his unique band Barnstormer.
A description not used lightly. 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 Renaissancecore and Baroque ‘n’ Roll’.
Attila has always loved early music and plays a lot of the instruments – crumhorn, cornemuse, shawm, bombarde and five different recorders as well as violin, viola, mandola and mandocello. A lifelong socialist and activist, he has always been fascinated by the radical movements which exploded at the end of the English Civil War and the execution of Charles 1 - radicals who can be described as the first English socialists. And his songs are inspired both musically and lyrically by the events of that tumultuous time. So instruments and ideas fit together: they are from the same period.
The songs are mostly based around the time at the end of the war, after the King was beheaded and, in the words of a ballad of the time, the world turned upside down. Previously marginal ideas of social justice and equality spread across the land. Barnstormer’s songs are about the Diggers, the Levellers, the Ranters and their leader Abiezer Coppe, the radical factions of the New Model Army and their confrontation with Cromwell’s grandees. There is an epic piece about the narrow escape of Charles 11 after the Battle of Worcester in 1651 in a coal boat which sailed from the end of Attila’s road in Shoreham Port near Brighton. (If he’d been caught, we’d probably be spending more money on the NHS now instead of the Royal Family!) There are some earlier references to Wat Tyler and the Peasants’ Revolt as well.
And all with an eye on what‘s happening now, which is essential. Attila has written a couple of very modern early music songs too. One’s about a visionary with a beard and the initials JC!
History is mainly presented as the story of kings, queens and nobles but real history is about us and our battles for justice. As our country becomes more and more divided along class and generational lines, and the extremes of wealth and poverty become even more sharply defined, we can learn a lot from the events of the past.
Although their politics are similar, there’s one very important difference between Barnstormer and the Roundheads though. Some Roundheads, apparently, thought drinking beer, dancing and having fun was evil. Attila and Barnstormer think it should be obligatory.
‘March of the Levellers/The Diggers Song’ is Barnstormer’s theme tune
‘Cheering The Plough’, a song for revolting peasants everywhere
‘The One That Got Away’ - Renaissancecore instrumental based on Charles’ II’s escape
The Man with the Beard
Barnstormer has its own Barnstormer Facebook Page. Attila has written a whole new album's worth, recording later in the year.