Mon 21st Jan 2019
REVIEW: ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER AT JANUARY WRITE ANGLE
Was it a tropical storm, earthquake, tsunami - that struck Petersfield Write Angle at its January gig?. No. It was Attila the Stockbroker, a different kind of force of nature.
As usual, Attila filled the room - “Dom (landlord at The Townhouse), had to bring up more chairs. And, he was up there for close to an hour and a half with lots of new material to add to his favourites - and the stamina to go on for hours more!
This was a particularly political evening, starting with the announcement that Teresa May's Brexit deal had been voted down by a large margin - “Now for a General Election,” exclaimed Attila, an ardent left winger.
Much of Attila's poetry dealt with the injustices visited upon ordinary people by the rich and powerful - from diggers, ranters and levellers of the Cromwellian period up to the present day- such as Aberfan, Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower, with people failed by the National Coal Board, the police and the local, Tory Council. He declared himself a ranter, a present day reviver of that old group, inveying against Oliver Cromwell who, having deposed and executed the king, himself became king in all but name and whose officers persecuted ordinary people who protested the status quo of the mighty exercising power.
It was not unremitting politics – Atilla, born and bred in Southwick and still living there, recounts happy memories of fishing for flat fish, collecting creepy-crawlies; visiting the pub converted into a gospel chapel; and acting as a DJ for Brighton and Hove Albion.
Several of the audience, known to Write Angle, were excellent poets but this time, they were there for just one thing - to see their favourite performer – it was Attila’s night -and there’s no doubt, they were once again taken by his fabulous talents. They thanked us over and over, for having him as a guest.
With not much time left, Richard Peirce, did his White Rose, about a group of young people who resisted Hitler and died for it, and One Night in Fratton, where he mused on Pompey people's lack of interest in the revolution he expects to come! Dick Senior's Modern Times, contrasted the concerns of politicians and millionaires with the needs of people and the planet. His Hallelujah dealt with the way in which extreme right-winger tom Robinson's supporters had adopted that song.
Leah's Tweedle Dum and Twee Dee dealt with the 'politics' of marriage; her In My Search had us descended from machines, and If You Can’t Give Me Love, give me chocolate instead. This reviewer read When You Pick at a Scab Does it Bleed? about the contradictions inherent in Brexit and Trumpism.
A moving and exciting evening was topped off with the raffle for a meal for two at the Nags Head in Chichester and a feeling that our musical, political, poetic and comic appetites had been well fed.
Addendum: We apologise there wasn’t more time for open mikers but as it turned out, the timing worked out well as there were few who wanted to perform, however we will provide more time in our future events. Also, although we’d raised the price for the evening, it will go back to the original £6 entry fee.
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