Arts Q&A: Attila the Stockbroker on football, The Clash & Tories

Brian Campbell puts artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week: punk poet and songwriter Attila the Stockbroker

Attila the Stockbroker comes to Belfast on January 24

1. When did you think about performance poetry as a serious career and what were your first steps into it?

I’ve been writing poetry and songs since I was eight and I was determined to make music and words my living as well as my life. But I always thought it would be as the leader of a band. Then punk happened, the bands I was in kept splitting up, I got on stage shouting poems in between punk bands, John Peel started to play my stuff and the rest is 35 years of history.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

Easy – The Clash, Rainbow Theatre, London, May 9 1977.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band of choice?

The Clash. But that is sadly now a fantasy in the most final sense. Maybe Rancid – that’d be fun.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island?

White Man In Hammersmith Palais by The Clash.

5. And the book?

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. Every single working class Tory should be MADE to read it.

6. Top three films?

My favourite film is Laibach’s video for their unbelievable interpretation of Life is Life by Opus. Then Cry Freedom and Goodbye Lenin.

7. Favourite authors?

Hilaire Belloc, Robert Tressell, Albert Camus

8. Sports you most enjoy and top teams?

Football. Brighton and Hove Albion. I’ve supported them for 52 years and co-founded our Independent Supporters’ Association. And I follow FC St Pauli in Germany – the world’s finest anti-fascist punk beer-sodden football club.

9. Pet hate?

People who spout Rupert Murdoch’s opinions and claim that these opinions are their own.

10. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Garlic chilli chicken.

Dessert? My wife Robina’s home made ice cream.

Drink? Oakham Attila IPA. (Guess why.)

11. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Steve Drewett, singer of punk band The Newtown Neurotics. We have been best mates since 1978.

12. Is there a God?

Yes. 'When the ball’s in the goal it’s not Shearer or Cole, it’s Zamora...’

:: Attila the Stockbroker plays the Black Box in Belfast on Sunday January 24 at 8pm, as part of Out To Lunch ( His book Arguments Yard is out now.

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