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Guernsey Literary Festival & Vale Earth Fair Gig

Fermain Tavern
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - 08:00

Guernsey Literary Festival – Linton Kwesi Johnson, Ruts DC, Atilla the Stockbroker, Saturday 15th September

Guernsey Literary Festival teams up with the Vale Earth Fair for one of the events of this year’s second festival, which features three acts with a rich heritage in poetry and music going back to the late 1970’s. Dubbed as a Punky Poetry Reggae Party, the Fermain Tavern hosts the legendary first poet of reggae Linton Kwesi Johnson, Atilla the Stockbroker, and the Ruts DC on Saturday 15th September.

Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamaica, but moved to London aged 10 in 1963. Whilst still at school he joined the Black Panthers and helped to organise a poetry workshop within the movement. From this early start a career developed combining poetry with dub reggae music. 1978 saw the release of his of his debut album Dread Beat An’ Blood on Virgin Records, before signing to Island Records alongside other reggae artists such as Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Black Uhuru and releasing a number of critically acclaimed albums.

Much of Johnson's poetry is political, dealing mainly with the experiences of being an African-Caribbean in Britain, "Writing was a political act and poetry was a cultural weapon...", he told an interviewer in 2008. His writing also covers other social issues, such as British foreign policy and racism.

Johnson's poetry makes clever use of the unstandardised transcription of Jamaican Patois, and a collection of his poems has been published as Mi Revalueshanary Fren by Penguin Modern Classics, making Johnson one of only three poets to be published by Penguin Modern Classics while still alive.

Sharp-tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter, Atilla the Stockbroker joins LKJ on the bill for the night, and will also be compere for the night. Making a welcome return to the Fermain Tavern following a well received performance earlier this year, Atilla expects this to be “…one of the gigs of the year for me!”

His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger...

Inspired by the spirit and 'Do It Yourself' ethos of punk rock, he started as a bass player in 1977 and took the name Attila the Stockbroker in 1980. Blagging spots for his poems and songs in between bands at punk gigs, he quickly got a couple of John Peel radio sessions, a deal with Cherry Red Records and before very long was on the front cover of Melody Maker...and he hasn't looked back since!

Attila has spent the last 30 years performing his work across the world at literary and music festivals, rock venues, arts centres, pubs, universities, schools, folk clubs and punk squats. He co-founded the long running Glastonwick Beer, Music, Poetry and More Beer Festival in 1996 and has released more than 20 music/poetry albums and 6 books of poems.

“When asked to find a band to compliment the poets, Ruts DC immediately sprang to mind” said Vale Earth Fair Collective member Rob Roussel, “and I was chuffed to bits when they agreed to do it”.

The Ruts DC were formed in 1981 by the rhythm section and guitarist of The Ruts. The Ruts had three whirlwind years of success and much critical acclaim and are probably best known for their chart the singles "Babylon's Burning" and "Staring At The Rude Boys". The rebel music of Punk and Reggae came together in the late seventies and The Ruts were without doubt the best of the original punks who dubbed it up.

Following the death of singer Malcolm Owen the booming rhythm section of Dave Ruffy and John 'Segs' Jennings came forward with The Ruts DC with their strong early roots reggae and dub influences coming to the fore. The resulting Dub album "Rhythm Collision Vol. 1" was recorded with the dub specialist Mad Professor and is still in demand.

Having recently reformed and toured with Alabama 3, who Segs also plays Bass for, a long anticipated second Rut DC Dub album was released this year and some exclusive live shows have been arranged, including the Guernsey Literary Festival.

“It’s an absolute honour to have these three acts performing together in Guernsey as part of the Guernsey Literary Festival” said Rob Roussel, “and I have to agree with Atilla – this will be one of the gigs of the year and is not to be missed”. If you don’t want to miss it, get in quick for one of the remaining tickets, available at £20 from To complete the bill DJ Limey Banton will be filling in in between acts, and doors open at 8pm on the night, and its over 18’s only.