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Not strictly confidential (01/08)

Stuff that you may or may not know about bobbing about on the pool of life

Published on January 12th 2008.


Not strictly confidential (01/08)

CULTURE chiefs in Liverpool are being criticised for covering up a work by famous graffiti artist Banksy.

The 30ft image of a cat, and not a rat, on the walls of the former White House pub in Chinatown, has been covered by 08 hoardings.

Artist Amber Tan said: "Instead of covering up, the Culture Company should shout about the fact that Liverpool has the biggest Banksy artwork in the country."

But Amber Tan should not worry. There will be plenty of opportunity for the PR machine to do just that this weekend as journalists from national newspapers are bussed around the sights of Liverpool to mark the opening of 08.

Perhaps even The Sun will give some page three space to the story on Monday morning. Its correspondents, Liverpool Confidential has it on excellent authority, are among many members of the fourth estate being treated to a three-day feast of VIP wining and dining, as only Liverpool knows how, before scuttling back to Wapping. Watch the space (online of course), plus our own dear Ringo.

*****

LET the bells ring out for 08, right across the world. The first Iranian rolling news network broadcasting in English, called Press TV, had this announcement: “Liverpool has been named Capital of Culture 2008 amid scenes of jubilation as the city looks forward to boosting its image in Europe.”

Was the date of this story June 2003? Er, no. Thursday January 10, 2008 actually.

Who said news travelled fast? If Iran is as quick at processing uranium as it is news stories then, phew, the rest of the world has little to fear. And one can only assume the good people of Tehran will remain in blissful ignorance as to what George Bush has got in mind for them, at least for some time yet.

*****

BACK home, there are two chances to see the loveable Fab drummer this weekend. On the roof of St George's Hall, for free, and at the new Kings Dock arena, a ticketed event where tables for 10 have been touted to local businesses for £3,500.

Until May, the arena could find itself being as multipurpose as John Innes compost. Owing to delays on the adjacent convention centre, the early conferences booked in now face being moved next door, to a special prefabricated construction, we hear, in the middle of the arena itself.

There is even talk of curtains being used to hide the tiered seating from delegates' eyes. We are not sure if the Lib Dems' national spring conference in March is affected. But we are sure ACC will “pull themselves together”, are otherwise,“on track”, and wonder if that Lib Dem chap who does the Mr Bean jokes will be “drawn” on the matter.

IT was one of the top signings of the summer, but now Raymond Blanc has decided to pull out of the Grosvenor Liverpool One project because his brasserie is apparently “too posh for a precinct”.

We can't be sure what the Duke of Westminster, Rod Holmes et al think about their 42-acre baby, the one that is completely transforming vast swathes of the city centre, being snootily described as a “precinct” but we have it on good authority from our friends at Manchester Confidential that, really, this is no great loss.

“Blanc Brasseries, in the provinces, are just a watered down version of what Raymond Blanc actually does,” we are told. “They are way down in the corporate restaurant range, below Restaurant Bar and Grill and Piccolinos who do the job much better,” opined gastronomic expert Gordo. “In fact, over here, we keep drawing lots because nobody wants to review the Manchester branch. It is like having dinner in an operating theatre.”

*****

BLAND Brasserie says it still loves the city though, and is now looking for a more fitting, period building in which to set up its Liverpool home. Look no further, we say, than The Irish Centre.

The Wellington Rooms, which is not being covered up by an 08 hoarding, still remains in a shamefully neglected state. At the top of Mount Pleasant, it is one of only three complete Georgian buildings still standing in Liverpool, and was latterly great a place for a gig. Shame the Picket didn't bag it, say many. Now the clattering clogs of hundreds of schoolgirls on wood, and diddly diddly music, are but ghostly strains and it has astonishingly remained boarded up for nine years.

Councillor Flo (Quick, Quick Flo) Clucas's Dance Liverpool have been after it since a committee she sat on vetoed an attempt to develop it into a hotel/bar/restaurant. She was cleared by the Standards Board of using her position to help block plans this week.

Who knows the ins and outs of which scheme is best, but, please, can somebody just do something, before we are suddenly told the rot's gone too far and it's going to have to pulled down? Remember the Casartelli building?

*****

LEE Forde, the city's ex events manager and he of last year's Mathew Street report (remember all that?) saw in 2008 on a more pragmatic note than last. In a round robin text, which included Confidential, in the haze of Hogmanay, he wrote: “To all my friends who sent me best wishes for 2007, it did fuck all. For 2008, could you please send either money, alcohol or petrol vouchers.”

We're glad Mr Forde still finds plenty to chuckle about, and we'll take any money, alcohol and petrol vouchers going spare.

Meanwhile, we take this opportunity to wish all of you a great 2008. Liverpool's moment is finally here. Let's enjoy the ride.

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ToneJanuary 10th 2008.

Amen to that. They've taken over 2008 as it is, without trying to capture one of the last outposts in the city of sense and sensibility (to misquote Jane Austen).

Piggy LaneJanuary 10th 2008.

I've never forgiven Huddersfield for Roy Castle.

A crying shameJanuary 10th 2008.

Me too.

The ProjectJanuary 10th 2008.

And thank you, ma'am. Glad to see you are back to refreshingly normal - pertinent, intelligent and wise - so let's have no more of that Manc bollocks on our favourite site.

A. E. ScousemanJanuary 10th 2008.

Er... I always that that the daub on the disgustingly derelict White House pub was a CAT? I've walked past it every day for years, and It looked like a cat to me. And I've had several cats.Still, putting a hoarding around a prominent landmark until it falls down is what we expect from Liverpool City Council. Remember how the former Hacienda Club's irreplaceable Georgian building on the corner of Duke Street and Colquitt had a hoarding put around it for about FIFTEEN YEARS until it fell down/was demolished by the Philistines in the Town Hall. They never change.

John Lennon AirportJanuary 10th 2008.

Everyone calls it a rat, but it looks like a cat to me. And nobody comes from Liverpool at the Daily Post, I'm told, so why should they be able to spell Liverpool street names when the sub editors are sitting in Huddersfield?

Stanley StreetJanuary 10th 2008.

That's why the Echo contains no news just loads of tripe about 1. Footie, 2. trivia and tittle-tattle tenuously related to the Beatles 3. crime, 4. er - that's it.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2008.

So the Sun is here at the expense of Liverpool Council,Taxpayers? You couldn't make it up could you. Oh, sorry, you could!

Mike StandJanuary 10th 2008.

The Ringo event last night was utter bollocks. And they had the cheek to put the names of the people who uninspired it at the end. Shame on you. My two girls were crying with boredom.

A. E. ScousemanJanuary 10th 2008.

Hoild on! Don't thrash that minion too hard, Liverpool Confidential, the Daily Post stated that it was a rat too (but then their reporters can't even spell the names of prominent Liverpool streets - can't they afford an A-Z?)

Echo editorJanuary 10th 2008.

It's called progress, mate.

SniffyJanuary 10th 2008.

what Manc bollocks (lost in spaaace...)

Liverpool ConfidentialJanuary 10th 2008.

AE Scouseman, thanks for smelling a rat. You are, as ever, correct. We don't know our Rs from our elbow. PA, come here for a thrashing.

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2010.

It's a cat all right.

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