Thursday, August 24, 2006

MATT WILLIS: AMBASSADOR

There's a small flurry of excitement in Liverpool over the news that, while the plans for City of Culture year are looking more than a little flaky with just 18 months to go, at least they've signed Matt Willis up as an "ambassador" for the year.

We're not quite sure what that means - presumably he'll visit other years, maybe in a time machine, and represent 2008. It's obviously a wonderful honour for Matt, who loves his home city of Liverpool (he was born in the Tooting area, just a short, three-hour train ride and a fairly expensive taxi ride from the shadow of the Liver Birds), and the honour is in no way diminished by being shared with Herbert the Hairdresser and, indeed, anyone who wants to fill in an online form.

Of course, the ambassadorship conferred on Willis gives us an early glimpse of what defintion of "culture" the Liverpool Culture Company has in mind. We're sure what swung the post for Matt was his guide to the V festival in last week's NME:

I hate people who pretend to be something they're not "(although presumably not if they're pretending to come from Merseyside) "Girls Aloud are what they are. Plus [Cheryl Tweedy] beats up toilet attendants. I fucking hate toilet attendants."

What a charming man. Unfortunately, Willis didn't have the space to explain if he hates all people who do really shit jobs for pisspoor wages and would celebrate someone who launched unprovoked physical attacks on them - would he want to see roadsweepers happy slapped, for example, or fast food servers pelted with rotting fruit? Maybe the Liverpool Culture Company could give him a platform.

Later in the piece, though, Willis shows he knows he knows his Liverpool music scene, talking about a meeting with Ian McCulloch:

He came down with some shades on and never took them off. I read up on him, and Echo was in fact the name of the drum machine. I always thought 'what a weird name'."

He read up on him enough to discover the fact that even my dead grandmother knows about Echo & The Bunnymen - good lord, he'll be popping up to tell us that actually, Bono's real name is Paul next - but not enough to discover the reason why Mac always wears darkglasses.

Perfect.


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