Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We are seriously underwhelmed.
There are no jaw-dropping shows, no global superstars, no creative sensations which will have them all talking on the Number 79 bus tomorr
ow morning.
Our gobs have very d
efinitely not been smacked despite the hugely expensive 'do' to unveil the 2008 programme for 500 invited guests at St George's Hall.
Instead we were presented with a Capital of Culture, which, as we predicted, draws heavily on Liverpool's existing cultural infrastructure.
Many of the events
heralded as major attractions of 2008 were already planned.
Of course, there are some great highlights from the new programme - Kl
imt at the Tate, le Corbusier at the Cathedral, turning Edge Hill station into an art gallery.
And there are lots more interesting additions to the city's rich cultural offer.
But these are not the contributions of the Culture Com
pany. They are the contributions of the the city's existing creative community.
So what have the Culture Company actually been doing for the last three years? With all that public money?
And when all the
giant balloons are deflated at St George's Hall, the plates of Scouse are left half-eaten and the pints of Cains are downed, what are we left with?
Liverpool's programme for 2008 is safe - it doesn't take any risks and it seeks to neutralise potential artistic dissent.
Good ideas are re-branded and re-presented, so last year's BBC production of The Manchester Passion suddenly becomes The Liverpool Nativity. Hey presto! Regurgitated religion courtesy of Auntie Beeb!
Existing events are re-packaged - Mathew St
reet, Clipper, Simon Rattle, et al.
The programme has been cynically drafted - it promises, for instance, a 'once in a lifetime' concert on the
waterfront, but disgracefully, doesn't then tell us just who is going to appear. (That's because they don't know, ed)
Such cynical disregard for its audience is one of the endemic failings of the Culture Company.
The 08 programme is littered with vague, uncertain stuff like this - Pete Postlethwaite MIGHT appear in King Lear, 'favourite sons and daughters' will appear in the Liverpool Song Book (but no names, no pack drill), a 'major theatrical event' will take place at Liverpoool Cathedral (but not a single detail).

What have they been doing for the last three years?
The programme constantly alludes to events, without giving any specifics, like the once exciting 'Cities on th
e Edge' project, which is now so thin that it has become almost almost invisible.
And it is at times, just a little bit too scally - as thoug
h Liverpool can be defined by the Adelphi and WAGS. (Stop being such a snob, ed)
It's as though the Culture Company's programme has been designed by amused onlookers, who patronise Liverpool people as 'chirpy Scousers' as they plan their next six-figure career move .
Hence the tabloid cliche of plates of Scouse and pints of Cains for guests at St George's.
(If we wanted to reduce Liverpool to the lowest common denominator we could have brought back Jimmy Tarbuck - he would have been a lot cheaper, ed)

The authentic voice of Liverpool people has not been heard.
As the Echo's Joe Riley surprisingly but accurately commented: Culture 2008 will not be a success unless it touches every street in Lverpool.
This programme simply fails to do that.


Anonymous said...

Not being funny, but as a Manc who was involved in the successful bid (details to follow) it's no big deal. OK name the current City of Culture, no you cant.. It's a minor badge, and was given to you because of the Iraq war (should have been newcastle but TB didn't fancy a fuss about such tivia,). So actually it means jackshit, has jackshit worth and is not worth bothering about. How many more tourists as a result? Err none. Value to the local economy ? none. Apart from the dicks at arts board north west who will justify their black clad existence by throwing dosh at the charade, no one gives a flying fuck about the facade of capital of C. Here's the test, ask anyone who is the current Capital.

Anonymous said...

Is McCartney not coming then?

Bono said...

What about U2?

Anonymous said...

But what about Madonna ? Has her role as a "new" mother meant she's no longer able to fit us in ?

Anonymous said...

Ringo is coming to Mathew Street in 2008 - that's the word anyway.

Chas said...

Madonna is definitely coming....

Tori Blare said...

Looks like the anonymous manc, is a wee bit jealous there???

Calm down mate calm down

Anonymous said...

No other city in Europe has ever done anything like this before.

Alison said...

What, pay an Aussie in exile £350,000? Or pay a marketing bloke £150,000 a year for coming up with a logo? Or pay a wooly back Rugby league player £150,000 to further his own ambitions? These are all Liverpool firsts....

Anonymous said...

I reckon the concert on the waterfront will be great if Chas organises it for Phil.

Anonymous said...

It does amaze me that after three years planning, the Culture Company can now announce a big pop concert on the waterfront with no stars booked. It takes an organisational genius to pull that off and for no one except you lot to bat an eye. The Echo are so far up the culture companies arse its unbelievable. The concert with no stars is really contemptuous of Liverpool people. Do they think we will just sit back and take any old codswallop they want to serve up?

Tony Parrish47 said...

That's apparently exactly what they think...

Harry Lime said...

What's all this stuff about Vienna got to do with Liverpool? The Tate and the Phil are both doing stuff about Vienna for some reason. Is it Capital of Culture after us? If we go to Vienna in 2008, are they doing stuff about the Beatles and Ken Dodd? Or am i just overly confused????

Scribe said...

Whoever wrote the Echo's editorial about this should be taken down the Dock Road and thrown in the deep end tonight. It was utterly abysmal, amazingly shoddy , third rate rubbish. I can't believe Joe Reilly wrote it (since he at least knows something about Liverpool). It said fuck all about Liverpool and 2008 that was anything above the ususal platitudes and was couched in such grovelling uncritical meandering all over the place tones its fawning servility would have made Uriah Heep weep. Totally shocking!

Tony Parrish47 said...

Do you want a job here, scribe?

Tori Blare said...

Anyone who writes for the echo should be taken down the Dock Road and thrown in, not just Joe!
The Echo has always been twaddle, kiss my arse yes please sir type writers.

Anonymous said...

A Nativity through the streets of Liverpool with a star on top of the Liver Building?
"Nowhere else that could do something like this" proclaimed the headline in Tuesday's Daily Post. Er, well actually they could. Have they not heard of the Manchester Passion?

Anonymous said...

It's just like a fairy tale........Grimm! Or should that be a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes"?

Sarah said...

Think I shall stay in and wash my hair that year

How the council use Ripa to spy on you....

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