Errin Hussey, BSUCA Digitisation Assistant, writes:
Monday 19th October brought a different kind of event to those already held by the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive, when punk poet legend Attila the Stockbroker returned to his former place of study to speak and perform to an enthusiastic audience.
The first half of the show was an ‘In Conversation with…’ style discussion with Dr Oliver Double. Attila the Stockbroker (John Baine) began the conversation by speaking fondly of his choice to attend the University of Kent, which was prompted by its left-wing activist reputation that was criticised in national right-wing press at the time. Attila continued on to describe his activities while at the University; his involvement with Rock Against Racism, organising gigs and running for Student Union President. The conversation soon turned to Attila’s first experiences of writing in his first punk band and how this led to becoming a solo poetry performer. In keeping with previous British Stand-Up Comedy Archive in-conversation events Oliver Double showed Attila images from the Archive of various shows he had played throughout his career. The discussion continued to explore Attila’s involvement in the ‘alternative cabaret’ scene, his contemporary poets and his current work before questions from the audience and a short interval.
The audience soon returned for a second half live set from Attila the Stockbroker which featured a combination of poems, songs and readings from his recently released autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’. He began with a poem called ’My Poetic Licence’ and continued with performances of ‘Asylum Seeking Daleks’, ‘Poppies Poem’ written about his late father, Never Too Late’ written about his stepfather and ‘Corbyn Supporters From Hell’. In addition Attila played a number of Mandola-accompanied songs ‘Comandante Joe’, a tribute to Joe Strummer, and ‘Prince Harry’s Knob’, inspired by his favourite novel ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’. It was a pleasure to have Attila the Stockbroker for this event and to have a collection of his materials in the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive (reference BSUCA/AS). The event was audio recorded and has been added to the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive event collection.