To the strains of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by You Know Who, & a spectral-looking Roger McGough intoning reams of doggerel about the city, Liverpool's year in the spotlight came to a largely unlamented denouement on Saturday evening. The choice of that particular Fab Four song, incidentally, may be significant. Lennon's piece, despite his later denials, was clearly influenced by his acid trips. In much the same way, Liverpool's year of culture could be said to have been hallucinatory; it gave the impression of civic & cultural rebirth, but this was no more than a cruel mirage.
Today's Oldham Echo predictably falls back on hyperbole (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/01/12/what-a-great-way-to-mark-2008-culture-year-100252-22673412/2/ ):
"The event ended with a magnificent firework display from boats on the river to a soundtrack which included Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Imagine, Frankie's Relax, and Echo and the Bunneymen's Nothing Lasts Forever."
So, as well as Lennon's lysergic meanderings, there were also the slain Beatle's worst composition (fact!); an 80s number whose only real claim to fame is that Radio 1 banned it; & Ian McCulloch's prophetic warning about the ephemeral nature of events. You'd think the Liverpool Culture Company actually wanted to perpetuate the old Self-Pity City stereotype, wouldn't you?
Catherine Jones' breathless missive also contains this soundbite from city council leader, Warren Bradley: "I hope we can move on from tonight to the next phase of our renaissance."
Which would be what, Warren? Well, perhaps at least part of the answer is provided by a more sober & hard-headed look at the city on the UK Indymedia site (http://www.indymedia.org/en/regions/liverpool/2009/01/417372.html ).
It deals deftly with Bradley's infantile claim that Liverpool can somehow avoid the credit crunch this year.