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The Laz Word .....Larry Neild

Arena and Bluecoat in line for global gongs. But back home it's still a case of fighting in the dance halls

Published on August 4th 2008.


The Laz Word .....Larry Neild

TALK about a tale of two cities. The wonderful new ACC arena and convention centre has already made its mark on the world of architecture, by scooping a coveted RIBA gong, and now it is taking on the world. The ACC has won shortlisting on a list of 150 projects worldwide in the first ever World Architecture Festival Awards.

It joins a public loo in Texas and a church in Beijing on the list, with the winners due to be announced during the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona this October

But the showpiece facility was making headlines last week for different reasons: the grim disclosure that drunks and ne'er-do-wells are spoiling things for concerts goers.

Why do some people feel the obsessive need to ruin things for everybody else? As soon as the lights dim and the show starts, suddenly they feel the desperate urge to spend a penny, or they are overcome by a life-threatening thirst that can only be quenched by an infusion of extra-strong lager.

Throw in a few fights in the aisles and a little Western-style chair throwing, and you have the cast for a side show called Scousers Night On the Tiles.

It’s as though some of us just don’t know how to behave in public, as if many of us suffer chronic intestinal worms that force us to fidget through any performance.

I even wonder whether the ACC marshalls should give the once-over to gig-goers by checking their fingernails for grubbiness and making sure they have scrubbed behind their lug-holes. And that’s only for starters. They should provide notes from the GPs to confirm they are not suffering from involuntary twitching or some other annoying habit endemic in this part of the world.

Perhaps the solution at the arena is to close the bars 10 minutes before the show starts and stay shut until the intermission or the finale, banning boozing within the arena hall. They should lead us into temperance, not into temptation.

The announcement that Liverpool ACC is in the running for its second big gong, following its success in the recent RIBA North West awards.

It joins a public loo in Texas and a church in Beijing on the list, with the winners due to be announced during the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona this October.

A second Liverpool building is also included: The new look Bluecoat, better known to me as the Breezeblock Chambers.

You take Liverpool city centre’s oldest building, you savage its guts, create a barn of an exhibition space – forgetting two and a half centuries of survival – and expect to win an arty-farty award.

Guess what, it’s bound to win, on the basis the people voting are the type that will wet themselves with excitement at the new look. People who have held the old Bluecoat dear to their hearts continue to mourn the loss. But we, the people, are often ignored and instead the fate of our heritage is in the hands of imported custodians.

As much as I realise things have to change, I look at the Bluecoat and feel we have been robbed of something unique. There will no doubt be a canapes and cheap wine party to celebrate in the barn.

Every time I read the Bluecoat was originally built in the 1700s, it hits home that all that remains is the walls – everything else has gone.

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

Dr DoomwatchAugust 4th 2008.

It's all very well being scornful Dig, but I have been checking out issues re phone masts and I'll say this, makes you think. So many inventions/gadgets in the past were deemed to be safe (ie X-rays, radiation, asbestos) and look what happened. So keep riding your high horse Mr N, but please make sure you are always fully clothed. Now even Liverpool can cope with a Lord Godiver.

professor chucklebuttyAugust 4th 2008.

No look what's happened! My name has filled all the "your rants" column. If they see this at the clinic, they'll think I am back on the Jeyes Fluid. somebody write something quick. Dig, where are you? Jack Lemon Airport? Utting Avenue?

The TeamAugust 4th 2008.

We concur. Very funny. And no, we can't delete them Yaf.

DigAugust 4th 2008.

Also Prof, I'm touched that you mentioned my name 1st when suggesting somebody write something. Touched, honoured and slightly worried.

DigAugust 4th 2008.

I wonder how much Co2, microwaves and radiation his electric whisk generates into the atmosphere when he's parading around Liverpool on his high horse like a clothed, Scouse, male version of Lady Godiver. I only have to read one oh his articles and I get the shakes and a rash. Not sure where I'm going with this rant so I'll end it...............here.

Professor ChucklebuttyAugust 4th 2008.

How did that happen!?? this was supposed to be on Vincent Woolton Woods peice about the tiger shot in Newsham park! Where's Arthur C. Clarke, Fox Shoulder and Mully, Kreskin?

Sebastian ToombesAugust 4th 2008.

pssst! Dig it's me, the prof, writing incognito, well in me dressing gown actually, just so they don't see my name at the clinic. Appreciate the help in getting me off there so quickly. Although you shouldn't have mentioned the mobile phone design for the arena, it must require one hell of a mast and you'll have Neild out again now with his electric whisk looking for radiation.

Professor ChucklebuttyAugust 4th 2008.

Ahh the lines of William Blake, spring to mind. Tiger, Tiger.And did those tiger feet in ancient times walk upon Newsham bowling green. And was the holy Lambanana, hang on, somebody's set me chariot on fire!What immortal hand or eye would flame a Citroen 2CV?

professor ChucklebuttyAugust 4th 2008.

Sorry Larry, yes very interesting. Now can I delete these?

DigAugust 4th 2008.

Sorry Prof I'm back. Been ill after stumping up £3.50 for a tiny bottle of Carling in The Echo Arena during the Roger Waters gig. In my defence I wasn't one of the louts urinating in bins or sinks in the toilets rather than wait for a toilet or urinal. I just wet myself. I also hurt myself when I climbed onto the roof of The Arena and Convention Centre to phone the police about the criminal prices in there for food and drink after finding out the design of the whole building is based on a clam shell mobile phone. To anybody else thinking of climbing up there there's no buttons there. Just some bloke called Ringo handcuffed to a drainpipe. For our next building design influence may I suggest a cloud? Ahem.

DigAugust 4th 2008.

I wasn't being scornful. Just a rambling ranter when I get going. I do actually believe the microwaves and radiation eminating from mobile masts are causing illness. It's a fact that areas which have masts have higher rates of certains illnesses and disease. A few years back I remember reading about a B.T. engineer who worked for hours every day with a mobile between shoulder and ear for years. A huge tumour behind the ear he used was found. Not sure how the story ended tho. Although I do know how The Never Ending Story ends. I even know how the dictionary ends. The Zebra did it.

DigAugust 4th 2008.

I'll even post one more message so it looks like mostly my name on here. Wouldn't want your clinic getting the wrong idea. Sorry Prof, got to admit that is too late as I have been assigned by the clinic to keep an eye on you in here. You now have choice. You can come quietly or kicking and screaming. Apologies for my duplicity but somebody has to watch you. It's for your own good and safety.

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