Attila the Stockbroker and Patrik Fitzgerald WORM, Rotterdam - 15/02/13

...watching Attila the Stockbroker and Patrik Fitzgerald allowed another chance to cross the Styx and step back to more open, more spirited times....


A night of punk poetry, and another excuse to get down to WORM now bravely fighting on in this new market-driven environment: surely power point graphs had been produced in meetings showing the upward curve: I mean, would Attila & Patrik sell? No matter, I was still able to drink beer cheaper than most anywhere else and also purchase the sort of stuff chin stroking vinyl elitist wankers like me like to buy, forcing more nails into music’s coffin with our appreciation / appropriation of (in this instance) Pakistan’s psyche surf scene 66-72… One day it will be as reviled as stealing eggs from bird’s nests.

ANYWAY: watching Attila the Stockbroker and Patrik Fitzgerald allowed another chance to cross the Styx and step back to more open, more spirited times: maybe that’s still the constant appeal of punk, the tantalising whiff of an era that allowed/drove people to express themselves in a way that invited ridicule, and one where the people involved were somehow braver, more erudite in ways that mattered. Punk mined a rich seam of poets and rabble-rousers, the two we watched, JCC (of course), and in Holland Bibikov and Ozon, with plenty others elsewhere.

Patrik Fitzgerald kicked off proceedings. Quiet, clerical and that bit nervous, his show was one where precision movements and an incisive approach, (that could have turned into a fussy insistence on things being just so), aligned themselves with a rampantly dreamy nature.  A heady mix that would, if given the chance, invite chaos in through the front door. As he said himself in one line from Pop Star Pop Star (albeit one related to maps and drawing); “Yeah I’m quite good at that”. So despite this quiet attack you knew that the poetry or the poet could come apart at any minute. And as such it was a spellbinding gig: and one that Fitzgerald knew he could milk – he looked happy enough to play all night, which was what the audience (many of whom were spurring him on to keep going) wanted. Memorable moments were many but we noted his take on Bowie’s After All, a magnificent, spooky takes on Grey Echoes and The Serving Classes and of course Safety Pin In My Heart, though the main thing was just seeing his delicate muse in action.

A greater contrast could not be made with Mr Stockbroker whose immensely physical take on his art was manifest in the way he battled his cold throughout. Right from the off MC Attila was determined – like the Saxons in the Battle of Maldon – to go down fighting, dodgy throat or not, and fair play he packed some punch – including incredibly enjoyable takes on Russians in the DHSS (with it’s modern coda about Daleks, etc.), and Supermodel – all interspersed with a torrent of affable banter. All this was topped however with something you wouldn’t normally associate with punk poetry, a superb extract from The Long Goodbye, about his mother’s Alzheimer’s and Never Too Late, an ode to his step father – which were simply stunning, on the point of tear-inducing, it has to be said.

The Stink Sisters were slated to appear after all this bardic fun, and we heard them crank out their noise for about a minute, but very un-punk things like night trains needed to be taken into consideration and we had to scarper. Still, good fun had by all.