Tuesday, June 10, 2003

ON LIVING IN A CAPITAL OF CULTURE: No Rock was, as we keep banging on about, in Hull rather than Liverpool when our home base was picked to be the 2008 European Capital of Culture, so luckily we missed out on a lot of the mindless triumphalism that goes with this, erm, honour. Apparently within seconds of Tessa Jowells naming da Pool as the CoC, men on stilts and jugglers were unleashed from all corners of the city centre.

At the same time, the culture of the city took a minor blow with the public announcement that The Lomax was going into liquidation. The club, once the steam engine of the Liverpool music scene, had been struggling following a bizarre merger/takeover type deal of the failed Braveheart project. Braveheart had been created by Trevor Burke as some sort of stage school with knobs on, built around the scary Jezebelle act. Jezebelle were a kind of Atomic Kitten style act supposed to represent 'the spirit of Liverpool' (the choice of name - one of the most famous harlots in history - we're sure was never intended as an ironic statement on the women from the city). More than just dim singers, the Jezebelle project cast them as Edutainers; presumably bringing enlightenment through the use of boobtubes. Of course, the whole thing went -ahem - tits up despite the pouring in of large sums of public cash; hence the Lomax-Braveheart link-up. Nobody, it seemed, thought through the dynamics of linking a rock and roll venue with a dance school, a decision on shared branding only a few inches away from bringing together an opium den and a Pittman secretarial college under the same banner. Added to the uncertainty caused by the second relocation of the Lomax - this time to the empty husk of the old Cream venue; and the massive challenge offered by the appearance in the city of the Barfly Club flexing their brand strength - and the place was going to struggle no matter what it did.

"The bid's strength was stressing that there was more to the city than football and the Beatles" - Yorkshire Post report
"It's as if Liverpool won the Champions League, Everton won the double and The Beatles reformed, all on the same day" - Council Leader Mike Storey, quoted in the same report. (Having said that: has nobody explained to him quite how tricky a Beatles reformation might actually be?)

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