Sunday, October 05, 2008

Musings By The Mersey

A cursory reference to the £20m debt to the city aside, Kirsty Wark, or Kirsty Paxman, as Professor Chucklebutty referred to her in his excellent take on the discussion ( ), focused on purely cultural matters for Friday's Newsnight Review from Liverpool ( ).
The panellists, former Frankie Holly Johnson, film director Terence Davies, actor Ian Hart (who spoke throughout the discussion with a Dublin brogue for some unfathomable reason) & the token outsider, journalist Miranda Sawyer weren't short of opinions but it all felt a little stilted, as though the element of Scouse spontanaeity, the supposed reason for the location, had to be suppressed.
The debate on the Le Corbusier exhibition centred on his overall work & legacy. Fine for his buildings in Mediterranean climes. However, none of the panellists drew attention to what Modernism meant when applied to the construction of tower blocks in areas like Merseyside.
Unanimous acclaim was given to Simon Rattle's triumphant homecoming concert with the RLPO at the Philharmonic Hall (he couldn't really go wrong with a reading of Sibelius' masterful Fifth Symphony).
The musical at the Everyman Theatre about Eric's drew from Wark the observation that it was "a Mama-Mia for the punk generation". If Jayne Casey supplied her with that line, she should be shot; as Johnson, no stranger to the Eric's scene in the late 70s from my recollection, protested, "Eric's was the antithesis of the show tune".
The film report on Liverpool's year of culture was refreshingly free of cliches. However, I was alarmed by Liverpool Confidential's Angie Sammons remark that she had overheard someone say it would go down as "the year we got a Debenhams". Is that all? Even this blog wouldn't draw such a brutally dismissive conclusion about the year. Frank Cotterell Boyce did bring some much-needed reality & perspective to the film with his regret that so much of the year had been "city centre oriented".
The programme closed with "Gateway to the Atlantic", a poem by Roger McGough which struck me as self-congratulatory sub-sixth-form doggerel.
Of far more interest & enlightenment on the webpage is an interview with old Everyman favourite Pete Postlethwaite ahead of King Lear at the Everyman later this month.

Pete Wylie's new song, "The Day Margaret Thatcher Dies", certainly wouldn't have been considered for discussion on Newsnight Review. It's been highlighted by the Echo's Paddy Shennan (see, Paddy, you CAN write something useful!) & is available on Pete's myspace page ( ).
Admittedly, it doesn't have the subtlety, lyricism or pathos of Elvis Costello's "Tramp The Dirt Down", but its heart is definitely in the right place & is pleasingly cathartic.


Gerald Wylie said...

Keep up! Forget the Oldham Echo, this is better!

Prof said...

Fhafs nof Gerald Tylie ofhertise fhe Ws and Fs, I mean fhe Fs and Ws on each turd tould be mixed up.