Sunday, November 25, 2007
Returning, as we must, to the ongoing farce that will be 2008, Tony Parish, has unearthed another gem (http://liverpoolsubculture.blogspot.com/ ) which the Echo will probably report as an exclusive sometime next month.
After the pathetically transparent attempt by Warren Bradley, Jason Harborrow, et al, to use Lee Forde as the scapegoat for the Matthew Street fiasco, the covering of arses is on a scale last seen at your average public school. However, the Subculture blog notes that Bradley, Harborrow & others knew in February of this year that there were real difficulties over the festival. In a series of emails between the relevant parties dating back to this point, it was acknowledged that the festival would be starved of resources & that the "Big Dig" in the city would make the staging of the event a near impossibility. This contradicts Bradley's oft-repeated claim that the first he knew of the situation was in July.
A week or so back, it seemed that the BBC was going to investigate the 2008 fiasco:
However, hopes were dashed this week, according to the same source:
How-Do reported, "It is thought that the content of the programme was set to focus on the numerous well-documented 'hiccups' that have occurred on the road to Liverpool's highly prized Capital of Culture status. One insider noted that city officials were 'justifiably nervous' about the apparent plans."
According to the piece, Paul Rasmussen, a spokesman for the programme, was initially wary of saying much about the claim. However, he did venture, "We did do some initial research on a programme about regeneration, which would have been linked to Liverpool 08."
Panorama is a mere shadow of the programme it was in previous decades. However, it would have been nice to see the spotlight turned on the machinations, chicanery, spin & mind-blowing incompetence which has characterized the Liverpool Culture Company (http://liverpool08.com/ ).
The sigh of relief emanating from Liverpool 08's corporate sponsors will be audible at Jason Harborrow's Spanish hacienda.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Alas, poor Declan, alack; once upon a time you seemed to be the only big name UK artist to survive the late 70s New Wave period with serious credibility (the Clash had their moments, but failed to sustain their momentum).
Costello's truly cringeworthy rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Hillary Clinton in New York last month followed closely on his appearance in a TV ad in the US for Lexus cars ( I have both to hand, but won't dignify them with the relevant YouTube links ).
Anyway, it seems that Costello has assumed the airs & graces of his namesake (Elvis, not Bud) with his ridiculously regal stance: http://www.nme.com/news/elvis-costello/32392 .
In the original Mojo interview, Costello cites his reception at the Glastonbury Festival in 2005. However, the previous February, I saw Costello at Liverpool's Royal Court Theatre, playing to a rapt & packed audience (he even jokingly dedicated "[I Don't Wanna Go To Go] Chelsea" to Steven Gerrard).
Perhaps he sees himself as the second Lennon, comfortably based in Manhattan. On this side of the Atlantic, however, his remarks evoke memories of Rod Stewart hopping across to New York with Britt Ekland.
I hope you're happy now, Elvis.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
It turns out that Gillett & Hicks are seeking a £500m loan to finance the new stadiun at Stanley Park (the cost having spiralled to £400m), as well as refinancing the £298m loan they secured from the Royal Bank of Scotland with which to purchase the club. One paragraph, in particular, from Hunter's piece is both damning & daunting to the city's taxpayers, not just the club's fans:
"The Americans intended to borrow from Goldman Sachs in a deal arranged by Liverpool's financial advisor, Robert Tillis, until the financiers responded to the global credit crunch by asking the sports tycoons to invest more of their own money into the refinancing package. With his employers reluctant to do so, Tillis has held talks with other financial institutions, including Wachovia and Morgan Stanley. The deal is yet to be finalised but, given current interest rates, the Americans are likely to be refinancing under worse terms than they received from RBS."
As well as shining a light on murky & opaque dealings, the article makes mention of the credit crunch, a phenomenon which has brought the global banking system to a juddering halt, & which has shaken the traders on Wall St. out of their triumphalist mindset about global capitalism.
The much vaunted aim of the chancers, charlatans & third-rate spivs in charge of 2008 for the year to feature the best that the city's cultural talents has to offer sits uncomfortably with this rather unneccessary addition to the calendar. If the Awards could be adapted to showcase local unsigned acts before a global TV audience, I'd be all for it.
However, we all know that it won't be anything of the sort. Most likely, it will offer the most cursory of nods to You Know Who's musical legacy before grinding on with homogenized, formulaic pap. It will also amount to little more than yet another stopping-off point for the usual suspects (bling-obsessed rappers, crooning soul boys, emoting divas, screeching banshees, etc.).
The event will take place in the city's newly-built Arena, a venue which will bear the name of the Liverpool Echo Arena, although as the Liverpool Subculture blog has been pointing out (http://liverpoolsubculture.blogspot.com/ ), the terms of this apparent sponsorship deal are shrouded in an Autumn mist rolling in off the Mersey.
As Tony Parrish has noted (great work, BTW, Tony, keep it going!), expect Trinity Mirror, the publisher of the Echo & Daily Post, to be fawning & sychophantic in its coverage of the Culture Company.