British poet Attila the Stockbroker on punk rock


This video from Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself:

Attila the Stockbroker & Barnstormer – Live @ Soundgarden 02.11.2012 – Pt 1:

1. LEVELLERS / DIGGERS 2. BAGHDAD SKA 3. COMANDANTE JOE 4. TYLER SMILES 5. THE BLANDFORD FORUM.

Attila the Stockbroker on vocals, violin, crumhorn and recorders; Dan Woods on guitar; Baby Beaken on bass; Mass Murder McGee (some of them are also members of The Fish Brothers.)

Attila the Stockbroker (born John Baine, 21 October 1957, Southwick, Sussex, England) is a punk poet, and a folk punk musician and songwriter. He performs solo and as the leader of the band Barnstormer. He describes himself as a “sharp tongued, high energy social surrealist poet and songwriter.” He has performed over 2,700 concerts, published six books of poems, and released 30+ recordings (CDs, LPs and singles).

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from Britain:

The Europeans’ knack for culturally nourishing rebellion

Thursday 14th August 2014

On the road with Attila the Stockbroker

Amsterdam is always a pleasure to visit, and the Paradiso club — once a squatted church — is a legendary presence in the scene.

Did a gig there, solo poetry and with my band Barnstormer, as part of a vibrant and wide-ranging evening of spoken word and music and then headed to Peine, near Hannover in Germany, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their autonomous centre, the AJZ.

When it comes to independent music, politics and culture generally, much of mainland Europe is a completely different world compared to Britain.

Autonomously run venues emerged from the squatter movement years ago and are now legal and run independently by local left-wing activists — there are literally hundreds of them, dotted across many different countries, which guarantees performers like myself a network of ready-made places to play, run by like-minded people.

For someone whose British network consists of fairly mainstream arts centres and rock venues and sympathetic pubs that let people put on gigs in an an upstairs room, it’s always a sheer pleasure to see how things can be organised differently.

Highlight in Peine was a blistering performance by Canadian punk legend and activist Joey “Shithead” Keighley and his band DOA, whom I was to meet again a few days later at last weekend’s annual Rebellion punk festival in Blackpool.

For many years now, thousands of punks, young and not so young (!) have taken over the Winter Gardens there for a four-day celebration of the music we love.

As usual, this year’s event was a blast and I had a wonderful gig on the Almost Acoustic Stage on the Friday. As for whom I saw on stage, well, here goes…

My mate TV “Adverts” Smith and his band the Bored Teenagers were fantastic. So were The Men They Couldn’t Hang, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, John Otway, Ruts DC, The Cravats, Roy Ellis aka Mr Symarip (doing “Skinhead Moonstomp” and reminding us that real skinheads have hated racism since 1969) and The Outcasts and The Defects from Belfast. To name but a few.

But it’s absolutely wrong to think that Rebellion is just about the old guard, and among the new breed I must single out acoustic singer/songwriter Louise Distras, who is the sharp, angry voice of her generation of punk rockers and a real breath of fresh air in the scene. Her set was a masterpiece.

We have to beware the impostors though. Inside the Winter Gardens there was a real sense of unity, but outside I came across a group of fascists, some with tickets, some not, intent as always in spreading hate and causing trouble.

I had a verbal altercation — I’m 56 and was on my own, I’m glad it stayed verbal — and soon realised that many of them were from eastern Europe. Cue the ironic rant!

“Brain dead morons from mainland Europe, coming over here, singing crap English songs, crap English fascists wrote in stupid accents… We’re full up, mate.

“We’ve got our full quota of racist cretins with IQs smaller than their boot size. Piss off back to where you come from!”

It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Next stop Guernsey, and a rather different festival. Happy holidays to one and all.

Drummer Tommy Ramone dies


This 1987 music video from the USA is called The Ramones – Bonzo Goes To Bitburg Live. Lyrics are here.

From Variety in the USA:

Tommy Ramone, Founding Member of Influential Punk Band, Dies at 62

July 11, 2014 | 10:07PM PT

Christopher Morris

Drummer and producer Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the influential New York punk quartet the Ramones, died Friday at his home in the Ridgewood area of Queens, New York. He was 62 and had been in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer.

Born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary, and known professionally as Tom or T. Erdelyi, Ramone played on the first three epoch-making Ramones albums, “Ramones” (1976), “Leave Home” (1977) and “Rocket to Russia” (1977). He also co-produced the latter two albums with Tony Bongiovi and Ed Stasium, respectively. He appeared on and co-produced the 1979 live Ramones opus “It’s Alive.”

After leaving the Ramones to concentrate on studio work, he co-produced the band’s 1984 album “Too Tough to Die” with Stasium. He was replaced in the lineup by Marc Bell (Marky Ramone), a former member of Dust and Richard Hell’s Voidoids.

One of the first high-profile releases to emerge from New York’s punk underground of the mid-‘70s, “Ramones” – reportedly recorded in six days on a budget of $6,400 – brought a pared-down, hyperactive style to the stuffy rock scene of the day. Tommy’s driving, high-energy drum work was the turbine that powered the leather-clad foursome’s loud, antic sound.

Tom Erdelyi emigrated to America in 1957 and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, where he played with guitarist John Cummings – later Johnny Ramone – in Tangerine Puppets. He went on to study engineering and worked at the Record Plant (where he assisted on a 1969 Jimi Hendrix session) and other facilities.

The Ramones coalesced with the addition of fellow Queens musicians Jeffrey Hyman (aka lead singer Joey Ramone) and Douglas Colvin (bassist Dee Dee Ramone). Breaking in their act at Hilly Krystal’s Bowery club CBGB, the band was signed to Seymour Stein’s Sire Records, also the home of such other punk acts as Richard Hell, Talking Heads and the Dead Boys.

The Ramones finally disbanded in 1996 after a show at the Palace in Hollywood. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001; Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002; and Johnny expired from prostate cancer in 2004.

The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Erdelyi’s other production credits included the Replacements’ major label debut “Tim” (1985) and L.A. punk unit Redd Kross’ “Neurotica” (1987). In later years, he went the acoustic route, playing bluegrass and country music with his partner Claudia Tienan in Uncle Monk.

He is survived by Tienan and an older brother. A private funeral service is planned.

Polish workers at anti-fascist music festival in London


This punk rock music video from England is called Clash – Live at Rock Against Racism, Victoria Park, London – 30 April 1978.

By Luke James in Britain:

Unite Against Fascism organises festival at stabbing site

Saturday 28th June 2014

A COMMUNITY music festival is to be staged today at the site of a racist stabbing in north London amid concerns over reprisals.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) organised the cultural event at Markfield Park in Tottenham, where a mass brawl was sparked last Saturday when Polish skinheads attacked another free musical event.

But the community is coming together to reclaim the park from the gang, which has used it as a recruiting ground in recent months.

Speaking ahead of the festival, factory worker Jacek Szymanski said the Polish community felt “angry and ashamed” by last week’s violence.

“Ashamed because they are Poles and brought disgrace on the whole Polish community in London,” he told the Star.

“And angry because we are afraid that this case will be used as a pretext for further attacks on the Polish community and the wider eastern European community.”

The attack had seen one man rushed to hospital with stab wounds and two Jewish men also targeted, with one having his kipah cap swept from his head.

Rocks, bottles and a flare were thrown in violent scenes as partygoers repelled the attack by the Zjednoczeni Emigranci (Immigrants Together) group of exiled Polish football thugs.

The group has since plastered the community in far-right stickers that show a crossed out hammer and sickle symbol.

UAF national secretary Weymann Bennett said the police were investigating but added that “the most important thing is that the community deals with it on the ground.”

Mr Szymanski said the fascist group represented a tiny minority and hoped “solidarity will emerge between the different local communities” after today.

He said: “It’s not about division between Poles and British people or Poles and Muslims. The man who was stabbed by the fascists in Markfield Park was a Pole himself.

“So the real division is about fascists and anti-fascists and we need to be united in the common good.”

The festival is being put on after more than 200 local people joined a display of unity organised by UAF at Tottenham Town Hall on Monday.

British hate crimes, also against punks and goths


This punk rock music video from England is called The Clash – Capital Radio / Janie Jones / What’s My Name / Garageland – Oct 1977.

From daily The Independent on Sunday in Britain:

Police told to beef up reports of hate crime

Not only is there under-reporting, but attacks on groups such as goths and punks should be included

Jonathan Owen

Sunday 15 June 2014

Only one in seven hate crimes is recorded by police forces and they need to drive up the number of cases they are dealing with, according to new guidance to officers.

Too many hate crimes go unreported, says the report by the College of Policing. Of the 278,000 hate crimes that occur annually in England and Wales, just 43,927 were recorded by police in 2012-13, it states. Forces need to “improve recognition of those crimes that are reported” and “close the gap of under-reporting”.

Police record hate crimes against people on the grounds of disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender-identity. But the new operational guidance states that there are “many other groups in society who have been targeted with hostility and crime” and it is “essential” that the focus on the five main groups “is not used to deny the existence of other hate crimes”.

The report comes as an academic study warns that attacks on “alternative” groups such as goths bear close similarities to those on established victims of hate crimes. The study warns that the targeting of goths, among others, “is a bigger problem than people think” and creates a “climate of fear” among those affected.

The College of Policing guidance, the first for a decade, states: “Every effort should be made to increase reporting and recording of hate crimes. Increased reporting will help to identify serial offenders, bring more offenders to justice and improve community confidence in the police.”

Hate crimes are “far more prevalent than official statistics suggest. Proportionately, they are more likely to be directed against the person than non-hate crimes, and they tend to be experienced repeatedly,” according to Dr Nathan Hall, of Portsmouth University‘s Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, in a foreward to the guidance. “Hate crimes can have a greater emotional impact on the victim than comparable non-hate crimes, and can cause increased levels of fear and anxiety that can also permeate through wider communities.”

Last year, Greater Manchester Police became the first force in the country to treat attacks on goths and other “alternative subcultures” as hate crime – in response to a campaign by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, set up in memory of a young girl murdered in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007. Sophie and her boyfriend were targeted for being goths and brutally attacked on their way home one night. The 20-year-old suffered horrific head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Amid mounting pressure on forces to take a wider approach, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police recently announced that their definition of hate crime now includes goths, punks, emos and others who live an alternative lifestyle and are victimised because of the way they look.

Verbal abuse, intimidation, threats and violent assaults are suffered by goths, according to a new study. The research, published in the British Journal of Criminology next month, draws on in-depth interviews with victims across England.

“The nature and impact of such experiences, we argue, bear comparison with key facets of hate crime. Such evidence informs and underlines the importance of conceptual arguments about whether hate crime can or should be extended beyond recognised minority groups,” says the study by researchers from the University of Surrey. Victims are “targeted primarily on the basis of what they appear to represent”.

But researchers cite the fear factor upon hearing of attacks on others as the “most striking” similarity with other hate-crime victims, with a “sense among participants that the victim could have been them… They may potentially be at risk in the future.”

They conclude that “the targeting of goths and alternatives show[s] a number of similarities with the experiences of established hate-crime victim groups”.

Dr Jon Garland, co-author of the study and a criminologist at the University of Surrey, told The IoS: “It’s a bigger problem than people think, it affects people’s lives more than people think, and it also affects the community as well.”

Superintendent Paul Giannasi, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ hate-crime spokesperson, said: “We would welcome a broader approach to hate crime where appropriate.”

He added: “Some forces choose to include attacks on the elderly as a hate crime, while others have identified local hostility towards ‘alternative subcultures’ such as goths and punks.”

British police uphold just 1% of 7,963 public complaints of racism. IPCC chair says it would be wrong to conclude from the figures that police forces no longer have a problem with racism: here.