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On the Road with Attila the Stockbroker Radical culture can help unite a distressed and divided nation

THIS world is bloody scary right now. That’s why last Friday’s anti-Trump march was so necessary and the massive turnout so important. I’ve been to the old BBC building at Portland Place for two memorable sessions for the John Peel Show in the 1980s, and all kinds of radio appearances since, but I’ve never before seen it as a rallying point for resistance. All the way from there to Trafalgar Square we were huge, colourful, diverse and loud. Well done to all who came.

The home-made placards and banners were ace and the odious Liam Fox’s comments that we protesters were "an embarrassment to ourselves" shows just how much of a lapdog to the unstable idiot Trump and the US far right this Tory government has become. They're desperate, loathsome charlatans who break pairing arrangements with new mothers to win votes and cling to power — the sooner their pathetic civil war leads to a general election the better.
 
After the march there was also an anti-Trump gig at the Camden Lock pub in the evening, headlined by the mighty Newtown Neurotics, who provided a storming finale to the day’s events. Well played, lads.

And the next day, of course, it was back again for the counter-demonstration to the "Free Tommy Robinson" march. I couldn’t be at that one because I was playing at the Workhouse festival in Llanfyllin with my band but once again I want to salute everyone who was there and express solidarity with the RMT comrades who were attacked by some of Robinson’s fascist followers.
 
As someone who was targeted by the far right in the gig wars and street battles against the National Front and British Movement 30-plus years ago, I simply can’t believe that we have to go through all this bollocks again. It’s all down to Trump and Brexit, of course, and the fascists now are a bigger threat than they were all those years ago, simply because they have the overt backing of the most powerful man on the planet, the president of the US. Unbelievable.

The biggest joke of all is that some of these violent idiots describe us on the left as "traitors." Anyone who claims to be working class, as they most certainly do, and attacks trade union leaders is by any definition a traitor. No pasaran.

Happier news — Restoration Tragedy, my new album with my Renaissancecore band Barnstormer 1649, is out now and available from attilathestockbroker.com/merch.php and at the huge amount of gigs we have coming up.

It’s an album about the English revolution of 1649, the Commonwealth, the Diggers, Levellers and Ranters, and the part my home port of Shoreham in West Sussex played in the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. And, of course, one eye is firmly fixed on events in our "distressed and divided" nation today.  

It’s 58 minutes long, and it fulfils a lifelong ambition of mine to combine early music and punk in the same kind of way that the Pogues combined Irish music and punk. It literally doesn’t sound like anything else and it features crumhorn, cornamuse, shawm, bombarde, five different recorders, mandocello, mandola, violin, viola, guitar, bass, drums and words.

You can hear a selection of the songs at soundcloud.com/barnstormer1649 and there’s a 12-page booklet with lyrics, historical photos and explanations.

It is by far the best musical album I have ever done — and I’ve done an awful lot in my 38 years as Attila! — and I'm looking forward to all the gigs, starting at the Bell Inn in Bath tomorrow at 1pm and Exeter Cavern tomorrow evening. Full tour schedule at attilathestockbroker.com/gigs.php

Enjoy Tolpuddle. I’d have liked to be playing there with the band but due to the personal prejudice of one individual, who appears to have iron control over the booking policy and has taken an irrational dislike to me, once again I won’t be. It’s a shame. Great festival, though.

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