The World In One City

 

Liverpool European Capital Of Culture 2008

In 2008 Liverpool celebrated it's European Capital of Culture Year.  Being a proud Scouser I have created this section to pay homage to our amazing city.  Join me in my home city for a tour around the world famous views and landmarks, and see all the highlights from our Capital of Culture year.

Me next to the famous John Lennon statue, located at the top of Mathew Street.

Capital Of Culture Year Highlights

The main events from our Capital of Culture year

The year began with a bang in January with the grand opening ceremony held on St. Georges Plateau.  Loads of people dressed as construction workers (wearing hard hats and high-vis) stood on top of all the key buildings and pretended to play various musical instruments.  Then a loud voice bellowed out 'People of Liverpool, it's time for the big dig to turn into the big dream' - I had to think about that one for a minute!

The show was pretty good in places and pulled in a large crowd.  However, if I'm honest I thought it was a bit over-hyped and while it was good, it was certainly not brilliant.  Ringo Starr's guest appearance was certainly over the top and his capital of culture song was incredibly disappointing, albeit very cheesy - I'm being very polite here! Peace and love Ringo, peace and love - just nothing signed or it's getting tossed!  The highlight for me was the man playing the guitar on top of St John's beacon, and the acrobatics interacting with the visuals in perfect sync on the two big screens - that was very clever.

In the height of the summer Liverpool became host to the world famous Tall Ships, and what a spectacle they were.  Over 70 sailing vessels arrived the city, celebrating and paying homage to Liverpool's Maritime history as a major port.

The majesty and splendor of them all docked in the Mersey was amazing.  Pulling huge crowds and the perfect weekend weather - this was a very special occasion with a carnival atmosphere. 

And I had the luxury of working there on our stand as an exhibitor, promoting the Agency - and getting paid for the pleasure!  Ah it's a good life...

 

In late summer the city became home to over 100 super lamb bananas, which just appeared out of nowhere and could be found anywhere and everywhere!  The super lamb bananas were minature versions of the original yellow lamb banana; a controversial piece of modern art which has been in Liverpool for over ten years.  At first I did have my reservations about these smaller lamb bananas but then quickly realised how popular they were. 

They attracted lots of media attention and families in their masses flocked to the city to embark on a super lamb banana hunt and join the great super-lamb-banana-craze!  Even some of my friends were totally hooked on finding them all (don't worry Natalie I wont mention your name here!!).  It reminded me of pixie trails you used to find in the woods when I was a very young boy whilst on holiday with my parents. 

In conclusion the super lamb bananas were very successful and loads of money was raised for charity when they auctioned them off.  Lets hope they make it an annual event!  By the way the pale green one above is a 'super-glow-in-the-dark-lamb-banana'!

 

In the autumn a massive mechanical spider suddenly arrived in the city, hanging from one the building by Lime Street Station.  She was called La Princess (La Machine), which I thought was ironic considering she was a giant ugly spider.  It was enormous and its legs and body spanned over four floors on the building.  Then at the weekend it woke up and started to crawl through the city centre, trying to escape.  It hissed and spat at the crowd as well as playing live music.  Like the super lamb bananas I initially had my reservations over the project, mainly due to the cost (over 1.5 million!).  However, when I saw the media attention it attracted and the crowds of people it pulled, including loads of young famalies, I was instantly converted.

La Princess was the best piece of free live sreet theatre I have ever seen and it was spectacular to witness her roaming the city centre streets at peak time, crawling over peoples heads as she tried to escape.  I also thought the live music and the story were spot on too.  La Princess eventully escaped through the Queensway tunnel on the Sunday evening after flooding Liverpool in a jaw-dropping finale featuring many of the elements; snow, wind, water and fire!  But I bet she didn't pay the £1.40 tunnel fee at the other end! 

The Spider Queen

 

During the week of La Princess it was reported that there were no flies to be seen anywhere in the city centre.

 

Every year the city hold the walk of faith, people from different faiths and religions unite together and walk from the Catholic Cathedral to the Anglican Cathedral, linking the two together.

The Liverpool Lord Mayor, Paul Clark, and Phil Redmond, Creative Director for the Capital of Culture Board, took part in the 2008 walk of faith and are pictured above.

 

Following the disasterous organisation of the 2007 festival (which nearly didn't go ahead at all), the 2008 Mathew Street Festival was a huge success drawing many bands and spectators alike.  It was well organised received good reviews.  The festival attracts many tribute bands from all over the world(mainly to the Beatles) as well as some big name artists.  The Queen tribute band were a particular highlight of the festival for me this year - they rocked the place big time!

A grand firework finale over the Mersey at the Pier Head to formally close the Capital of Culture year.  The show featured audio clips from local Scouse celebrities sharing their unique stories about the city and talking about Liverpool's past.  There were big screens showing all the highlights from the culture year.  The screens also showed the Liver Birds take off and fly to Linz (the 2009 European Capital of Culture City in Austria).  One amusing bit of the show was when the Liver Birds flew over London and flew around Boris Johnson several times, making him spin around look dizzy.  You can't beat a bit of Scouse sarcasm!

A gorgeos sunset over the River Mersey looking towards Birkenhead on the Wirral.

The Victoria Building; the building that was responsible for the term 'red brick university' in Britain.  The Victoria building is now a museum and is located at the top of Brownlow Hill.  The University of Liverpool's Headquarters (the Foundation Building) can be seen in the foreground to the left.

 

The Liver Building with one of the Liver Birds.  There are two Liver Birds in total, one male and one female, they are looking away from each other so they don't mate!  One looks out to sea to guide the ships and sailors in, whilst the other looks in land to keep an eye on the pubs!  Legend has it that the city of Liverpool will be doomed if the Liver Birds ever fly away.

 

The Albert Dock used to be derelict in the 80's and was nearly bulldozed.  Fortunately it was restored and is now a tourist honeypot site.  The Albert Dock was home to the ITV show This Morning in the 90's with Richard and Judy, not to mention Fred's weather map!

Art Sculptures & Statues

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Modern art display called 'Another Place', created by Antony Gormley on Crosby beach. 

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Liverpool's world famous waterfront at night is stunning

 

Available Galleries


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Scouse Landmarks

Catholic Cathedral

Anglican Cathedral

Liverpool Aerial View

 

 

 

 

 

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Page last updated: 7/2/09