Monday 22 February 2021

CD: ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER 'Restoration Tragedy'


1649, MEET 2018
Album Review of: 
(Roundhead Records Helmet CD9) 

Worlds turn upside down, again. Cries for justice echo down the centuries – then, as we campaign today. Diggers, Ranters, Levellers, New Model Army, name-checking Seething Wells as well as Leon Rosselson… and progenitor Abiezer Coppe, all declaim a continuity of dissent. We know Attila The Stockbroker, he’s ‘been a Ranter for nearly forty years,’ he’s ‘done over three-thousand gigs and drunk a lot of beers.’ His stentorian voice fulminates, just the correct edge of grit, waking the dead for a wordy album of tricky rhymes inflicted with wit and precision. ‘Restoration Tragedy’ is an insurrectionary document, an incendiary Punk history with sideswipes at Corbynistas, esoteric as an issue of ‘History Revealed’ magazine, but direct as a kick in the head. 

He ignites English Civil War tales of violence, betrayal, pain, chaos, madness and pride, bold and steadfast, staunchly republican. There’s a mighty crumhorn re-creating “The Battle Of Worcester”, with Jason Pegg’s breakneck guitar, Attila’s nimble viola and mandola, marshalled into line by MM McGhee’s drums. John ‘Attila’ Baine formed Barnstormer in 1994, to celebrate ‘The Siege Of Shoreham’ (1996), where the opening “March Of The Leveller” triptych first appeared. 

A great album embodies the moment. This one spans centuries.


Restoration Tragedy’: 
Barnstormer 1649 

‘Restoration Tragedy’ is the new album by Barnstormer 1649 – and it doesn’t sound like anything else! It mixes early music and Punk in fifty-eight minutes of songs and instrumentals set around the aftermath of the Civil War and the English Revolution of 1649, when Charles I was beheaded, the ‘world turned upside down’ and unprecedented radical ideas spread across the land. 

(1) ‘The Leveller’s Trilogy’ (8:00-minutes, made up of ‘March Of The Levellers’, ‘The Diggers’ Song’ (written by Gerrard Winstanley) and ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ (written by Leon Rosselson)) 
(2) ‘Wellingborough And Wigan’ (4:17) 
(3) ‘The Monarch’s Way/ King Charles’ Cottage’ (6:29) 
(4) ‘Abierer Coppe’ (5:34) 
(5) ‘The Battle Of Worcester’ (4:58) 
(6) ‘The Man With The Beard’ (2:44) 
(7) ‘Pride’s Purge’ (2:40) 
(8) ‘Harrison’ (4:22) 
(9) ‘Burford Requiem’ (1:45) 
(10) ‘The Voice’ (2:28) 
(11) ‘The Fisherman’s Tale’ (3:15) 
(12) ‘Lord Protector’ (3:43) 
(13) ‘Cromwell’s Funeral’ (3:46, written by Robina Baine) 
(14) ‘Robina’ (3:21) 
It is the brainchild of poet and multi-instrumentalist Attila The Stockbroker, who has always wanted to do with early music and Punk what the Pogues did with Irish music and Punk. Now he’s done it. And it really, really doesn’t sound like anything else… 

Published in: 
‘R’N’R: ROCK ‘N’ REEL Vol.2 no.73’ 
(UK – January/February 2019)

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