Sunday, January 13, 2008


'POWER TO THE PEOPLE' was the Lennon song which closed the Arena show on Saturday night.

Perhaps someone was encouraging the people of the city to rise up in Revolution (another Beatles song which got an airing, eds) to overthrow the city father's who have wasted millions of pounds of the people's money?

Or perhaps not, eh?

The £50-a-ticket, £15-a-programme Arena show for 10,000 people was ten times better than Friday's so-called People's Launch of Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008, (which attracted 35,000 according to the police. And to which the Echo has added another 15,000, for some reason best known to the Editor, eds).

Unlike Friday, the Arena show engaged people and included them, even if the people were, largely, those who could afford it, the great and the good, the insiders, the bullshitters and the
usual suspects.

Ringo's new single was still an utter embarrassment (although he was refreshingly direct and honest in his pre-match press conference, eds).

The Farm brought real life, energy and enthusiasm to proceedings - "It's Saturday night, get up will ya" - the audience were ordered, and dutifully obeyed.

Connie Lush belted out a couple of numbers with pizzaz. The Christians were good too.

The acrobats were hardly Cirque Du Soleil, but were absolutely fine.

And Pete Wylie was, well.... Pete Wylie. (Although irritatingly, we have been singing Heart as Big as Liverpool all day, eds)

The undoubted stars of the show, however, were the Phil, who were absolutely stunning throughout.

Trapped in their Celebrity Squares, they showed consummate professionalism in coping with all the hiccups, pregnant pauses and fluffed beginnings.

The suitably dynamic Vasily Petrenko had total control and was marginally even more impressive than the live-wire signers at the side of the stage.

So well done to the Phil.

The other Phil - Our Lord - wandered on stage at the end to grab his share of the limelight and burnish his ego.

There was absolutely no need for his appearance, but appear he did.

Apart from shouting "We did it" (exactly what has been your precise contribution, Redmond? Aside from hogging headlines in the Echo with stories that never happen and using 2008 as the perfect antidote to the boredom and mid-life ennui caused by your multi-millionaire lifestyle, 15 cars and 35-acre home in Tarporley? eds) Redmond lounged about on stage, mouthed total gibberish (get a speech writer for your Mayoral bid, eds) and introduced his mates.

Fireman Bradley looked on disconsolately.

The Arena show had no cohesive narrative whatsoever, was spectacularly disjointed at times, didn't pay real justice to the Liverpool Irish connection, the Chinese community or the war years; treated the 100 children like serfs (why weren't they allowed on stage for 'All Together Now'? eds) and failed to showcase the full range and diversity of Liverpool's Culture.

But as an earlier correspondent noted, the show was 'alright'. It wasn't a disaster. And it engaged the audience.

It was not mind-bogglingly spectacular, breathtaking or world-beating.

But it was ok.

And after years of CoC cock-ups, mistakes and blunders from the half-wits in charge, just being OK it seems, will now do.


Events Industry Proffessional said...

Its quite amazing how similar this event was to the opening of the o2 dome.
Pretty much a carbon copy.

Anonymous said...

The Farm asked Lee Forde to appear on stage with them for all together now.
He declined not wishing to affect the OKness of the event.

Nice one lads Shame he said no.

Old Thesp said...

Totally agree about the Phils. The orchestra were brilliant - and add to this the gig with Wayne Shorter last weekend and there's an example of it being got right. I believe their Messiah concert was bloody good last week too, although that's their usual programme at this time of year. So hats off to them.

Also agree about the Liverpool Irish bit - represented by all round top man Bruce Scott, writer of "The Peoples' Own MP" at the time of the hunger strikes when Bruce was on the demolition, and old Irish Centre stalwart. Usually an unaccompanied folk session / bar singer it must have taken huge balls to get up there - and after a hesitant start he was superb, a great voice. But the film narrative didn't give him the benefit of the contextual setting (rightly) afforded the previous singer. The Chinese and the Yemenis must be feeling totally snubbed.

Events industry professional's comment above presumably augurs well: the 02 Dome has been a great success so far, regenerating a useless site.

Redmond was a disgrace. Amateurish. As was calling on the event organisers to take a bow - not necessary back in my day, when those who worked behind the scenes did so because that was where they wanted to be.

As was the price of a programme, and a drink - and why no Cains ?????

Other unreported stars were the buskers outside: apparently unpaid, and doing a greaqt job (and good too) in the pissing rain

Anonymous said...

Was the red carpet after party for 3,500 a free drinks affair? We should be told.

Anonymous said...

2 free drinks - choose from insipid bottled lager (warm) or wine (warmer): most didn't bother.

District Auditor said...

Where's the freebie list?

Tony Parrish47 said...

It's on City of the Dead. My, word doesn't half spread fast, doesn't it?!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At arena prices 3,500 X 2 X £3.50 (YES £3.50 for a bottle of luke warm piss) is a whopping £24,500 bar bill to add to the black hole

Sid Bonkers said...

Not sure if you've seen this, Tonys: the craven Echo has taken on a special CoC events reporter who writes like a 12 year old on work experience, at best. (and if she is then fair play to her, but otherwise it's so bad it's hilarious. here's a particular gem from her blog

"Mr Bradley gave away 1,000 tickets to the underprivileged members of
Liverpool society as a gift for their hard work and dedication to the

Warren Bradley bought 1000 tickets, at 50 quid a flop? And gave them away to "the underprivileged" ? On a fireman's wages? And there's only 1000 under-privileged in this city?

Worth keeping an eye on. Might even be wortha her own tab on the top of the blog, Tonys, whaddya think?!

incredulous said...

that freebie list is astonishing. it just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on....

Tony Parrish47 said...

Sid, thanks for sending the link to young Sam's efforts on the blog. they are probably paying her buttons for this and trading on her enthusiasm. we won't be taking the piss out of the poor girl (unless someone tells us that she is CoverUp's daughter or a friend of a friend of a friend) but we will continue to take the piss out of the craven Echo. Let us know if there are any more excruciating bits however....

Tony Parrish47 said...

On second thoughts, having re-read it, it shows the utter contempt that the Echo has for both its own readers and for the city's culture. It is breathtakingly poor. Sam needs to go away and read a few books wethinks, before putting pen to paper too quickly again. The Editor of the craven Echo should meanwhile throw himself off the top of the Radio City Tower.

Anonymous said...

I believe one of the highlights of Saturdays show was a 15 year old 'rapper' singing "Ay Laa we stole your car".

A future Jimmy Tarbuck there methinks.

Tony Parrish47 said...

Not fair and not correct either. The lad was good - we forgot to mention him - he brought some badly needed life and energy and authenticity (after the millionaire rock stars and the millionaire egotist). The young man should be assisted and encouraged - not scorned or marginalised as a scally.

Anonymous said...

Riuven is representative of Liverpol culture, apparently.
Look at his myspace, which lists his pastimes as "scoring skunk and screwing the dole."

Will his earnings be published by this site, and more to the point, will his earnings be declared next time he signs on.
No doubt he's screwing the council tax as well.
Maybe the "smelly goths" at the Crazy House
would like a word with him, as will anybody who has had their car robbed and driven to Sefton to be crashed in a park.

Is this really any part of our culture, (I was going to say any more, but,) has it ever been?

Arrest this dickhead, check his flat, which, according to a Youtube video, is full of skunk weed.

Excruciatingly embarrassing.

Sartre said...

Art v Life

Bored in Old Hall Street said...

Typical rubbish from the craven Echo but nobody will notice. You are absolutely right, Tonys, about them paying buttons and trading on enthusiasm in here.
No one here really gives a shit what goes in the paper and they haven't done for years. That's why everyone is so miserable in here, apart from the laughing yes men who hang around the so called editor on the golf course and all fuck off back to the Wirral every night.

Anonymous said...

Opening event Budget = 1.3 million Actual spend in excess of 3 million that is an overspend in excess of 250%.

Does the £29 million shortfall take into account this type of bad finacial mangement?

Will the Shortfal really become £73.5 million when its all over?

If so how will we pay ? we do not have anymore family silver to sell and we cannot go cap in hand to the Govenment again.

If Lib Dems do a runner leaving that kind of debt behind for the next party in power (May hopefully) they stand no chance of remaining in power.

This abysmal management of public funds should not be allowed to continue.

What role do district audit play in the region?

Kennylad said...

Checked the TV to see if it was on one of BBC's digital channels - BBC 4 was showing highlights from the Diana Memorial Concert at the time, News 24 had music from Melton Mowbray.

Had to make do with Radio Merseyside's hysterically hagiographic 'global' coverage.

This annoyed me until the arrival of some ersatz 'scally rapper' shouting about stealing, stabbing and skunk smoking.

I was very grateful at that point no one was watching.

However, Gary Christian singing George Harrison's Here Comes the Sun, backed by the Phil, was a moment of genuine beauty.

Nice work on the Freebie list!

Professor Y.Chucklebutty said...

By Jove! It's me Sir Diddy, here to celebrate with you.

Today, to mark this historic occasion, instead of my usual frivolity, I offer you a serious address, no not me house in Aigburth “Stillgrabbin” I’ve flogged that, although it still hurts that I couldn’t get at that 50pence piece that fell behind the old boiler, well Lady Diddy is hard to shift after a hard day at the factory knotting sausages. Here Ladies and Cheltenham, on what should have been a special day for me, had I not been forced to retire on wealth grounds, is my speech to open the Capital of Custard.2008.

They wouldn’t let me make it on the night, even though it was though my glorious leadership that we won it. Instead, the crowd got a few ramblings from the Anaemic Mermaid herself, Phyllis Redmond, the man who turned the custard company around, so they couldn’t see that he’d done nothing for five years. “We did it,” he proclaimed!
Through a mouth that looks like somebody sat on a pasty. “It’s like a scouse wedding!” So you’re all condemned to years of fighting and misery trying to pay for it. What an inspiration! Had I still been at the helm this is what you would have got at the Sir Diddy Arena (as it should have been called)

By Jove Missus, We did it!!!! It’s been like a scouse wedding here…..(hang on cut that bit Lady Diddy) Yes, by Jove, Capital of Custard 2008. Can you all see me at the back? What do you mean you can’t see me at the front? Can somebody get me a bigger box?

Welcome to Liverpool, the year in which Liverpool itself is the show! After five years of the Custard Company using every opportunity to make a show of us, it has arrived at last. Here we are in a giant shed in the docks. Yes I know many of you have wanted to see me in the dock for a long time. Did you all go on Friday? What a spectacle it was on the steps of St David’s Hall. It left the crowd wanting more, you could here thousands of voices winding back down Lime Street saying over and over again “Is Da F**kin it?” Nearly three million quid spent on that box of Bengo matches and the three rockets trading standards confiscated in November. Thirty-five minutes of quality entertainment and Pete Price. Unfortunately the planned opening choral piece from the Grotty Cash Asbo Ensemble, singing my very own theme song, “Pick a pocket or two” had to be postponed when they were all arrested during rehearsals. I have enlisted the help of renowned Liverpool lawyer and pothole expert, my old sparing partner, Sir Rex of the Hesperus to get the choir released. As you know, I will do anything for a tenor.

Did all enjoy the aerial artistes? That was a mistake you know. Young Clara MeCogloose was showing Jasper Hottlebottle a sketched out proposal to have a Toxteth Riots sequence on the steps outside the hall, the custard company’s idea of how to engage communities, and Hottlebottle said could you do it with Adobe Acrobat. So MeCogloose, who is a bit daft in one ear, promptly rushed off looking for some dozy acrobats. Well ladies and gentlemen the idea of the aerial acrobats clearly captured the imagination of the people of the city. I was touched by the hundreds of requests by people asking to see me suspended from a rope as the main feature for the grand opening. Unfortunately I suffer from Vertigo with Sagittarius, the Robbing Archer on the cusp. That’s why I can only go to grade 6 Cuban heels. Yes missus, otherwise I get Diddy Spells!

We have a spectacular show for you tonight! Those of you who know me know that I am a great supporter of our wonderful Liverpool Phil. No not pasty face Redmond! The Philharmonic! I understand that Arriva have given one of their finest conductors the night off to be here with us. What’s his name again? Petroleum Jellyco..who? Vascular….Verysilly….Potato? I can’t read this… thought you had spell checked! Is it Raphael Benetton ? What happened to the other fella…Simon Throttle? Anyway, they’ll be knocking out a few numbers later, including, from the Lib-Dem Book of Patriotic Songs, Land of Hopeless Storey and Rule Blog Ban Ya, along with old favourites, The Plight of the Bumbler Bradley and Amazing Gross Misconduct.

Later for the kids and the Leader, we have some cartoons. The Bugs Bunny Men, Pete Wylie Coyote, Sonia the Hedgehog, MacElhinney the Pooh (that’s a euphemism) The Wombats of Wimbledon, Foghorn Leggarty with his Rooster for Mayor campaign and of course the one and only Pingu Starr from The Arctic Monkees. He’ll be performing in his new singlet again plus the classic hit, “What would you do if I once sang in tune” Pingu will be signing copies of his new release at the Arena later this evening and all next week in the Pound Shop on Breck Road. I hear Frankies Gone to Holly Oaks so they wont be here.

And despite attempts by a local politician to prevent Farm products being brought in to the Arena, following his experiences of foot in mouth, it has been agreed he will hide in the Ladies when they come on stage to perform their renowned anthrax, er anthem, “All the money’s gone”

There’s more, Ladies and gentlemen, by Jove an authentic voice of Liverpool youth, it says here, then he must have accidentally slipped by the Custard Company to be on stage here tonight, unless he’s the son of one of them, RudeVanWinkle will be performing his rap tribute to Liverpool 08…. here’s a short taster. Riuven is it?

“ Liverpool, it’s 08 you gonna pay for it mate
cos the guys with the purse been nothin’ but a curse
now it’s here and the beer is sellin’ at a rate
that I cant afford a drink, what I got to celebrate?

You had five years bro, to plan and you fail
Wasting money you aint got, you should be in Walton gaol
What you’ve done to the people, will be done to you I hope
When you’re in the prison shower, bendin’ down for da soap”

By Jove, Missus, cover the vicars ears, that brings tears to your eyes! A very Rude Van Winkle.

Finally to say to you all, whatever this bunch of rogues and halfwits supposed to have been leading this have or have not done over the last five years, the hard working staff and ordinary decent Liverpool people involved at the front line of all this have been doing their best to make it a meaningful year beyond the earnings and egos of the incompetent bunch of self serving, self important, careerist money grabbing opportunists trying to claim the credit….well imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so thank you. Many, if not most, of the events and highlights would have happened anyway but at least this year you might pop along to them and even enjoy them. If you can get something out of it wonderful, personally, I can’t. all the big money has gone so I’m off back to my new adopted home away from Grotty Cash and back to Mirth of Tydfil in Wales. Liverpool I left you and I always let you down.

So c’mon Liverpool, get down with D.Diddy and let’s party….sorry special free invitation only to Malmaisson. No Scousers.

Yakkie Da Everybody Yakkie Da!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm tony. You said my first comment on the 15 year old 'rapper' singing "Ay Laa we stole your car" was not fair and not correct. It is actually totally correct as those are the exact words of one of the verses of his ditty, and your own post appears to class it as one of the highlights.

Subsequent posts show that I was not the only one who cringed when this scally hero undid twenty years of trying to cast off the 'robbing scouser' stereotype.

You have obviously attended to many cultural events old chap and are in the early stages of turning into Roger Philips.

Anonymous said...

Rumour (i.e. me overhearing) has it that certain Labour MPs (and wannabe MPs) were being greeted by people only too happy to dish dirt. As one was overheard saying "You always tell me the good stuff when I don't have a pen and paper!"
And Joe Anderson sacked off the aftershow party saying to his missus "Let's go to a proper pub with proper people!"

Anonymous said...

Riuven is racist, and should not be permitted to spout his filth at the launch of his album at the Barfly, or indeed at any licensed premises in the city chosen as Capital of Culture next month. He has disassociated himself from the actions of the two scallys who murdered Sophie Lancaster in Bacup last August, currently on trial in Preston.

This is verbatim from his Myspace site

“…my whole goth thing abar "i ave em all off" is reffering to those skalls you see outside the krazy house most saterday nights.These are pretty much the same c***s that commited this outrageous crime in Lancashire..."

…but this is too little, too late. His “character” promoted on still states…

“…RiUvEn... exploded out of Toxteth Liverpool, in a blaze of goth battering and ganja smoke in early 2006.”

This twenty-year old girl was beaten so badly paramedics did not know what sex she was.

Robert Morris, the person behind the persona, claims those who miss his point are stupid and without a sense of humour.

Mr Morris is Jewish. Would he be so flippant if neo Nazis were to make “jokes” encouraging people (who need little excuse anyway,) to persecute Jewish people??? Would he be laughing if this were his sister/daughter/mother/brother?

To have this moronic behaviour linked in any way to “How we do it in the LIV” is outrageous.
Goths choose an alternative lifestyle, his character encourages violence towards these people.
His album launch should be treated as any other racist gathering, policed as such, and should attract the same level of protest.

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

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