It's an outrage, isn't it, that those cynical bloggers can sneer that culture year was all style & little substance, that it was a triumph of hype over reality, that it was symptomatic of the Lib Dems' bread & circus approach to local politics. Well, let me inform those naysayers, those cranks with a keyboard & a web connection, that culture year was an outstanding success & one of the greatest moments in Liverpool's history!
What, eh? Oh:
Warren Bradley popped up at the How-Do awards ceremony & delivered this gem: "Being European Capital of Culture has done wonders for Liverpool's national and international profile and has created a feel-good platform for everyone connected to the city to build on."
Yes, yes, I know, but it was, by all accounts, a long evening.
Ah, yes, building on the "feel-good platform" of 2008 (no jokes, please, about unsafe structures & inferior materials), that's what it's all about in the city under Warren & his mates on Dale Street. That's why we can wheel out the mop tops again & call ourselves a UNESCO city of music (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/11/16/liverpool-bids-to-be-unesco-city-of-music-100252-25175804/ & http://xrrf.blogspot.com/2009/11/liverpool-did-we-mention-it-was-where.html ).
Try to imagine "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" playing unobtrusively in the background as Warren brushes away a tear, clears his throat & delivers a self-serving, sorry, I mean sincere paean of praise to our musical history. Take it away, Warren: "Music is in Liverpool's blood and its influence has been truly global from the days of sea shanties and Merseybeat to classical and dance -- it was a fundamental reason why we were European Capital of Culture.
"The city today has a phenomenal pool of talent and it's exciting that now, more than ever, the venues, the studios, the promoters and the festivals to nurture new ideas and diverse artists who will carry on Liverpool's best musical traditions.
"To be a UNESCO city of music would be a massive boost to the city's international cultural profile and give the city a focus, like in 08, to develop our music offer at all levels for the benefit of musicians and music lovers alike."
I really hate to disturb your surreal, Scouse stream-of-consciousness odyssey, Warren, but you might just be out on the chronology there; I know it seems like we've been harping on about the Fabs for, ooh, millenia but you'll find that both classical music & the sea shanties actually pre-date You Know Who by a couple of centuries. As for the claim that it was "a fundamental reason" for being Capital of Culture, well, we'll pass on that one, shall we? Nor did it have anything to do with council stooges posing as members of the public accosting Jeremy Isaacs et al at every opportunity, whining, "Let It Be Liverpool".
Oh, & about that "phenomenal pool of talent" in today's Liverpool music scene, Warren, it's nice to see them prominently featured every year at the Matthew Street festival, given prime-time slots on the main stages, & not shunted off to a scaled down makeshift stage by Tithebarn Street, away from the rest of the action. Isn't it?
Yes, Warren, I'm convinced that it will be just as successful as your handling of culture year, the 08 Place on Whitechapel (http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/nov/11/liverpool-tourist-centre-wrong-place ) & the delightful additions to our waterfront, as Wayne explains (http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/11/strawberry-fools-forever.html ).
All together now: "When I find myself in times of trouble, Warren Bradley comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let It Be".