Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are you sitting comfortably? It's the final chapter for the Storeyteller....

FASCINATING goings-on amongst the Lib Dims as the Fireman clings to power.

The Dancing Queen, Flo Clucas has been promoted to Deputy Lib Dim Leader as Bradley tries to shore-up his position in his last few weeks as Leader.

However, the price that Clucas demanded for coming to Bradley's aid was....the Storeyteller's head on a plate!

She refused to join the Fireman's Cabinet if Storey was kept on as Executive Member for Regeneration and Constant Self-Promotion.

So Bradley instantly sidelined his old mate - sugaring the bitter pill by giving him the job of being Mayor next year and with a few extra bob in his pocket (£6,000 to be precise, eds) for taking up the non-role of an Assistant Executive Member.

The Dancing Queen will show some nifty footwork if Bradley is disqualified from office and will, no doubt terribly reluctantly, quietly assume the mantle of Leaderene as the Lib Dims regroup and lick their wounds before being kicked out by the electorate in 2010.

However, at least Storey will now be able to fulfil his lifetime's ambition - dressing up in a funny costume every day and getting his picture taken.

That's if he first survives the Standards Board's blisteringly-speedy investigation which is expected to report sometime before the next Millennium (once they have counted all their pencils, made a brew and had a lie-down because of all the stress, eds).

But for the lame Storey the back benches now beckon - that's how a political career ends after 30-plus years, not with a bang, but a wimp.

What has also gone unremarked by the craven Echo is the astonishing dismissal of the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Wavertree, Colin Eldridge.
Bradley sacked him from the Cabinet and every other position he held after the two fell out spectacularly over the Mathew Street report.
Deep in his Municipal Buildings bunker, the Fireman also became increasingly paranoid that the lanky Eldridge - dubbed The Lurch by Sexy Rexy - was secretly plotting a come-back for Storey as Leader.So he had to go too.
The Eldridge dismissal is now likely to provoke all kinds of internal party trouble for the Fireman amongst the Lib Dims nationally, who will vainly try to spin it as 'Colin wanted to spend more time with his constituency.'
Of course, it is a huge slap in the face for Eldridge who was being wildly (correct spelling, eds) touted as the Lib Dim's best hope in Liverpool at the next General Election.
No doubt scores will be settled in the future.
Meanwhile the Fireman has carried on where he left off before Nadia Stewart threw him a lifeline - demonstrating his woeful lack of integrity, intelligence or judgement by giving the accused fireman Steve Hurst the job of Executive Member for Corporate Performance.

Hurst is in court in July accused of breaking election law.

What a performance!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What's wrong with giving some freedom to Herbert the Hairdresser? (Don't all answer at once...)

SECRET plans to give Herbert the hairdresser the freedom of the city have been kaiboshed after a furious row amongst the Lib Dems.
Lord Mayor Paul Clarke has become a firm friend of Herbert during his term of office, judging by the number of pictures they have had taken together.
So it was no surprise when Clark put forward Herbert the Hairdresser's name (it is Herbert Howe, donchaknow, eds) to the Fireman and Storyteller as a next Freeman of the City.
Herbert's work for charidee was singled out by Clark for special praise, as was his connection with various 'slebs' , WAGS and the usual suspects who turn up to every new bar opening.
The Fireman and Storeyteller throught the nomination might help them out politically, reasoning that a little bit of showbiz gold dust would bring some much needed lustre to the tired Lib Dems.
But they decided on caution first.
When preliminary 'soundings were taken' all hell suddenly let loose in the Lib Dem group, with emails, phone call and hurried conversations flying about the place.
The upshot of which was that the nomination was hurriedly withdrawn.
Quite why Herbert was not considered a suitable candidate for the freedom of Liverpool, we can only guess at.
One source tells us he was considered 'highly inappropriate'. Colin CoverUp was also apparently vehemently opposed. (Obviously incorrect, he doesn't get vehement about anything, eds)
Pity, because it would have brought smiles to the faces of millions if Herbert had been given the freedom to drive some sheep down the centre of Dale Street.
What other liberties he would have taken with being a Freeman, we can only speculate about. Answers on a postcard please.
We sincerely hope now, however, that his friend and another remarkable and extremely talented Liverpool celebrity, Mr Pete Price will begin an investigation or public campaign and expose those who opposed Herbert's nomination.
Pete has already (perfectly reasonably, eds) put Herbert forward as a potential elected Mayor of Liverpool in his remarkable and utterly spellbinding Secret Diary blog.
Only someone like Sinbad, or possibly Dean Sullivan, could possibly rival such a candidate. Surely?

Meanwhile we will leave you with more pictures of Herbert the hairdresser in action bringing joy and happiness with all his amazing charidee work. Enjoy.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Guess what the Culture Company theme song is?

It's here:

Gallows humour has gripped the Fun Palace as staff watch the £150,000-a-year-plus executives flap around like headless chickens. With one exception - as the Macca ultimatum over Anfield was delivered, CoC Director Donald Bullshitter departed out of the door without an apparent care in the world. Staff have come up with their own theme tune to celebrate the contribution to 2008 made by the likes of Bullshitter, Our Lord Redmond, Jase, McCogloose, et al.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

'There will be no whitewash at the White House," said Tricky Dicky, before Watergate...will Bradley & Storey be in the dock at Liverpool Town Hall?

FIREMAN Bradley and the Storeyteller face a 'Watergate' style public trial by watchdogs.

That is the strong and mounting speculation as investigators from the Standards Board spend their second week in the city.

Last week they questioned Labour Leader Joe Anderson and former Events boss Lee Forde over allegations that Bradley and Storey conspired to get rid of the Harbarrowboy with secret meetings and threatening emails, etc.

Meanwhile Jase conducted a telephone interview with investigators from his home in Spain, where he was relaxing in his hammock in the hacienda counting his £250,000 council taxpayers pay-off and eating ice-creams.

This week the Standards Board, which is responsible for monitoring the ethical conduct of councillors, has been interviewing Bradley and Storeyteller for their side of the story.

It turns out that the pair of them have, totally predictably, been blaming everyone but themselves for their behaviour.

"No guv, it wan't me, guv" goes the Fireman's explanation, "it was all that Lee Forde fella and Finnegan's fault."

(Is Bradley this gifted with alliteration? eds)

Quite how anyone but Bradley could have sent emails, text messages and passed the Perroni at his house while plotting to 'do in' Jase is anyone's guess.

It has become increasingly clear however, that Bradley has no intention of falling on his sword (to quote an expression first coined by Sir Diddy, interestingly) and intends to brazen the whole thing out.

The Storyeteller dare not cough to anything, because they would lock him up and throw away the key after first disbarring him for life from public office for his second offence.

So it seems likely that the Standards Board will take such a grave view of Bradley and Storey's behaviour and their refusal to admit their guilt, that they will haul the pair of them in front of a special adjudication committee at the Town Hall.

Anderson, Forde and the Harbarrowboy would all be called to give evidence in public, while Bradley and Storey would presumably take the fifth or try to blame everyone else.

Of course neither of them would have any control over other relevant evidence and the extremely detailed testimony which would be aired in public against them.

We have already booked ringside seats for these Watergate hearings and are currently negotiating with the Harbarrowboy for the ice cream sales concession.

Souvenir 't' shirts, paper hats and lapel badges are already in production (at a very modest and reasonable price, off the back of a lorry, eds)

And we are cureently talking to YouTube about live 'streaming' of proceedings for the expected global TV audience (well more people than will be watching Macca at Anfield, anyway. eds)

Whatever, this extraordinary spectacle would certainly further drag Liverpool's name through the mud on top of all the other Lib Dem sleaze and incompetence and failure. Which wouldn't bother either Bradley or Storey of course.

Such is their brass neck.

Friday, April 04, 2008


THE craven Echo's self-styled controversial columnist Joe Riley has been getting into more hot water.

You will recall that Riley survived, (thanks to the blog going public with it, eds) demands from 'Randy' Paul Newman to be sacked for dozing off during Jimmy McGovern's boring play.

But now Riley, affectionately known as Mr Bumble by scribes at Trinity Mirror, has put his foot in it again.

The craven Echo, which is world famous for its ready wit and erudition as well as its campaigning and investigative journalism, decided to play a little April Fools Day prank on its loyal readers.

So those wacky full-of-fun madcap lads and lasses from the management team huddled together in a corner and came up with a brilliant and oh-so-humorous wheeze.

"I know," they said, "why don't we make up a story about a new bridge across the Mersey to the Isle of Man? That will have them all in stitches in Anfield."

So after the pranksters fought each other for the honour of making this proposal to EDITOR, Ali Mackray, the go-ahead was given.

Millions of readers guffawed their heads off and some were actually taken to Fazakerley because their sides had split open so much.

Oh how we laughed, especially since the story was identical to the 14,356 other Echo stories which have appeared throughout the last ten years, giving free publicity to any insane, no-hope-in-hell-chance-of-it-ever-happening scheme dreamed up by some property developer/speculator/cowboy on the back of a fag packet after two many G&Ts.

But there was one exception to the universal, almost hysterical, amusement caused by the article.

Step forward Mr Bumble.
Our Joe had not been included in the April 1st loop by those wise-cracking, playful Echo executives.

And he took serious umbrage at the madcap plan.

So much so, that he penned one of his distinctive semi-hysterical rants about the scheme for the next's day's Echo.

It was only an eagle-eyed sub-editor who was designing Riley's column, (shurely some mistake? eds) who spotted that Joe had been taken in by the wheeze.

And that the penny had never dropped with him - despite the laughter which had coursed through the Old Hall Street sanatorium like a raging torrent whenever the EDITOR was around.

Some lackey was then deputed to gently break the news to the bumbling Mr Bumble that the bridge story was a spoof.

Mr Bumble's florid chops were, apparently, even redder than usual, when he found out.

Meanwhile, come the revolution, we plan to take out the eagle eyed-sub editor and have him shot at dawn.

If only he had stayed schtum!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's all going pear-shaped: deficiencies, disagreement, decay and dissent - Firth's shocking verdict on the imploding Lib Dims

We told you so!

Deselected Lib Dim Kevin Firth has departed after firing an astonishing broadside at Fireman Bradley and the fast imploding Lib Dim group.

But we can't resist also repeating the choicest extract, viz:

Cllr Firth claimed that after he expressed his concerns about the cancellation of the festival, Cllr Bradley “launched into what I can only describe as an aggressive rant”.
He added: “I was shocked at the nature of his response to other members of our group, and made my feelings very clear.
“In my opinion such an aggressive response was entirely unnecessary and inappropriate, and ill befits a Liberal Democrat leader.”

Make no mistake, dear readers, this internal warfare will continue and will probably break-out again before polling day on May 1st.

Inspector Clueless Richard Marbrow is already pulling some strings and aims to be the rallying point for the dissenters against Bradley.

But nil desperandum (see comment on our last remarkably well-informed, neigh almost supernaturally prescient post, eds) is also close to the mark with his forecast of future leadership contenders if it all goes pear-shaped in May.

Oooooh, isn't this getting exciting?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Splits emerge amongst the Lib Dims as Fireman Bradley chews a wasp

FRESH splits are emerging amongst the Lib Dims despite angry attempts by Fireman Bradley to order a united front.

Within weeks of Beatrice Fraenkel's long overdue defection to Labour, news emerges of more turmoil in the Lib Dim ranks.

Today's Daily Post begins to lift the corner of the rotting carpet of the Lib Dim's internal warfare, with a short, but completely accurate, story about the deselection of Kevin Firth after 10 years service as a councillor.

Firth, a close colleague of Inspector Clueless Richard Marbrow, was dumped by the Lib Dims from Old Swan.

His crime?

Firth had the temerity to speak out against Fireman Bradley over the Mathew Street fiasco.

Well actually, it wasn't even that rebellious - Firth simply tried to hold Bradley to account for the Mathew St cock-up during a Lib Dim group meeting in December.

Firth had the audacity to stand up and ask a few pertinent questions about who did what, when and who knew what, when.

This was too much for the power-crazed fireman who has not the faintest idea of what is meant by political accountability.

He hit the roof at Firth's questioning and berated him in his customary 'angrily chewing a wasp' manner for daring to ask questions of "The Leader of the Council".

(Entertainingly, Bradley has become so puffed-up with his own self-importance that he has now taken to referring to himself in the third person! eds)

Meanwhile, his fireman lieutenant Steve Hurst, who faces trial on election offences in June, made a mental note of Firth's transgressions.

Bradley, Hurst and the Storeyteller then met secretly with Old Swan colleagues Keith Turner and the appalling and totally beyond redemption Bernie Turner, to plot Firth's downfall.

An extra reason for knifing him (apart from the Clueless connection of course, eds) was Bradley's claim that Firth had leaked "The Leader of the Council's" email to CoverUp demanding the Harbarrowboy's head over Mathew Street.

So off went Firth's head instead.

What is significant about today's Daily Post story is that it obviously comes from deep inside the Lib Dim group and reflects extreme unhappiness at Bradley's bully-boy tactics.

Expect more dissent to be publicly voiced soon.

We turn now to the deselection of another Lib Dim councillor - Ann Hines - from West Derby after 14 years.

The Fireman was desperate to keep Hines in place because of her compliant, no-questions-asked obedience to whatever he said.

So all manner of extraordinary tricks and manouevres were pulled to ensure Hines was re-selected as the Lib Dim candidate in May - which she duly was.

However this was too much for her two West Derby colleagues, the semi-detached Stuart Monkcom and Norman Mills who had been extremely critical of Hines's work-rate and attendance record.

They complained to the Lib Dim's nationally about Bradley and Storeyteller's role in this cynical stitch-up.

Astonishingly, their complaint was upheld by the national party who ordered that the West Derby party go through another candidate selection.

This was yet another humiliating smack in the chops for the Fireman, especially when, in the re-run, Ann Hines was duly-deselected.

Imagine his barely disguised fury at this turn of events.

Coming soon: It's Grand National time - so who are the runners and riders in The Lib Dim Succession Stakes?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


We bring you shocking tidings from the world wide web, dear readers.

Self-styled Events Expert, Jason Harbarrowboy has been forced to remove all of those splendid Events photographs from his new web site.

Harbarrowboy Associates were forced to delete the offending pictures when threatened with legal action by solicitors acting for the estimable Liverpool Events photographer Dave Evans.

Mr Evans, who is an excellent and notable lensman of this parish, had taken all the pictures on behalf of the Liverpool Culture Company.

So he was astonished to discover that Mr Harbarrowboy had pinched the lot to put on his new business web site.

Naughty Jason, who was also forced to remove all mention of working for the Firefighter Games after Lib Dem councillor Eddie Clein cut-up rough, has been rocked by this second blow.

Now his web site is looking particularly barren, minus all photographs of any distinction. All the pictures are taken from library stock or have been loaned by his mates in Virgin (see above). So its a pretty poor, unimpressive and amateur hour show for the £150,000 a year former chief executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, who the city council paid off with £250,000 of council taxpayer's money.

We do not know how this almost comical turn of events fits in with Jason's proud web site entreaty:

For first class, practical and excellent advice contact us to see how we can help you.

But our first class, practical and excellent advice to him would be this:

Stop pinching other people's work and passing it off as your own, you jerk.

Meanwhile Jason's clients are still 'Coming Soon'.

Monday, March 03, 2008


STRANGE goings on at the web site of Harborow Associates, which launched our Jase's new career as self-styled supremo of cancelled cultural events.
First his web site claimed that the World Firefighter Games was amongst the Harbarrowboy's flood of eager new clients, clamouring for his dubious services.

Lid Dim leadership hopeful Eddie Clein, a member of the Fire Authority, was suitably outraged and went on the radio to denounce Jase and complain about the web site in no uncertain terms.

"I shall be protesting in the strongest possible terms,"the ill-advised Clein told Roger Phillips. "I shall be demanding that he does not work for the fire authority in promoting this world class event. It does not inspire confidence when Mr Harbarrowboy is away in Spain half the year," he added.

Or words to that effect.

And with that, the plug appears to have been suddenly pulled on Jase working for the World Firefighter Games.

And all mention of the gig was subsequently removed from his web site.

What Councillor Clein fails to have realised is that his surprise intervention leaves the way wide open for some conscientious member of the public, or member of the council, to submit a complaint to the Standards Board against him.

To us, it looks like an open and shut case of Councillor Clein abusing his position as a councillor to interfere in a, no doubt, "perfectly proper" business relationship between the fire authority and the Harbarrowboy.

We gather that as a result of Clein's complaint, the fire authority have now been forced to pay Jase off until the summer when the Games are due to be held.

To make sure that Jase would go quietly and uncomplainingly.

The amount handed over? We are told Jase trousered £15,000 from Fireman Bradley's fire service.


Another nice little earner, anyway.

At this rate, the Harbarrowboy could make a living simply out of pocketing pay-offs and never have to leave the hacienda at all!

Meanwhile the list of clients on Jase's web site is now completely empty.

But there is worse to come.

Jase is now being threatened this week by solicitors acting for well-known Liverpool events photographer Dave Evans.

They have warned they will take legal action against the Harbarrowboy unless he removes Mr Evan's rather excellent pictures from the web site.

Mr Evans took the pictures and provided them copywrite free to the Liverpool Culture Company.

Not Harborow Associates.

So Mr Harbarrowboy should not now be using the photos for his own personal business gain, should he?

So stand by for more gaps on the web site in the near future.

All of which is enough to almost make you sorry for our Jase. Almost.

We can only observe that it's hardly what you would expect of Harbarrow Associates, who proudly boasted on the web site:

Saturday, February 23, 2008


While we're on the subject of the Harbarrowboy....
Below is his back of an envelope Briefing Report on the ill-fated plan to stage the McCartney Concert in Salthouse Dock (remember? the one where the Culture Company were going to stun all the fish and put them in a giant goldfish bowl, eds?).
While the amount of bullshit in the report below is truly astounding, it is worth reading all the way through.
From what we hear it will give you a full insight into the preparations now underway and the spiralling cost of the Macca concert at Anfield.
And it will help you to fully appreciate the gob-smacking stupidity of the people at the city council who are still in charge.
Particularly worthy of your attention - as the bankrupt city council now wrestles with a £60million hole - is the 'back of an envelope budget' that £150,000-a-year Jase has drawn up.
Thrill to some of the completely fictitious estimates he has made for revenue!
How many of these are going to come true for the Macca concert at Anfield eh? Eh? Eh?
We will not mention the totally unsubstantiated figures for estimated costs which Jase appears to have pulled completely out of thin air for the entertainment of CoverUp and his cabal.
They were so obviously and woefully short of the mark that the Salthouse Dock plan had to be scrapped six months later.
However, we learn that the McCartney concert is already costing the city council £7.5 million - but is likely to hit double figures before long.
We shall be returning to this subject in the very near future.
In the meantime, read the Harbarrowboy's report and weep - it will certainly give you little confidence in Jase and his Associates if you have been stupid enough to become one of his new clients....

TO: Executive Management Team
SUBJECT: Liverpool Sound Music Event
DATE: 20 March 2007
The purpose of this paper is to provide the EMT with background on The Liverpool Sound music event and gain endorsement of the strategic direction.
a) The Event Overview
The Liverpool Sound will be a unique once in a lifetime festival to celebrate Liverpool’s global status as The World Capital of Pop, featuring events all around the city. The climax will be a spectacular concert broadcast to the world on bank holiday Monday, 26 May 2008. This concert will have a unique atmosphere as a live broadcast, in a world heritage setting. A surprising show with world famous contemporary stars who can talk of how the Liverpool music scene inspired them and their music and how that music has travelled around the world and come back home to be redefined in the place it was born. An international concert, world-class musicians, funny and famous hosts and a fantastic waterside location, all add up to a never to be forgotten moment in time. Where better to celebrate the sound of Liverpool – than in a place from where the city began. Salthouse Dock will become the biggest temporary stage and seating structure this country has ever seen seating over 25,000 people and giving the illusion that both artists and audience are floating on the pool that is Liverpool. The city itself becomes the frame for the stage. Behind the Liver Building, to the side the World Heritage site of the Albert Dock and from the stage a panoramic view of the City Cathedrals and the brand new centre.Less than a hundred years ago most of Europe travelled through Liverpool to get to America indeed nearly a third of all Americans can trace their family’s journey back to this port. From its origins as a slave trade port, the exotic was always part of the fabric of the city. As one of the first multicultural cities in the country the unique acceptance of the different in Liverpool meant that when “The Beatles” stepped off the plane in America and proudly talked about specific “Black” songs that inspired them it was a crucial paradigm shift for the way that Black music was perceived in America. If Liverpool loved this music then so could all of America. The musical links between Liverpool and America are incredibly strong and this concert will be an international demonstration of how this city has been one of the biggest influences in the world of popular music over the last 50 years.
b) BBC Engagement
The BBC is fully supportive of the event and are intending to provide 2½ hours of live coverage on BBC1 on 26 May, 2008 (May Bank Holiday). Radio TWO are planning to spend a week in the city and Radio ONE are also very interested and are researching the John Peel links that could provide special programming for them.
c) Artists
The key Liverpool artist (Macca, ed) is committed to the project and is providing personal support in the approach of key international and UK artists. A preferred participant list has been developed (with a priority shortlist) and approaches are currently being made. This process will take several months and there will certainly be additions and changes as the process unfolds. Booking artists of global stature always takes time and the key to this event being successful is the element of surprise and excitement when the line up is finally announced. A carefully executed PR plan for creating a real demand for ticket sales is vital and any supposition prior to the chosen dates could put in jeopardy all artist negotiations that have to happen behind the scenes.
d) Location
Following a review of all potential locations in Liverpool it was determined that Salthouse Dock would be the perfect option given that it is an iconic location in the heart of the World Heritage site and that it will provide an unparalleled, spectacular backdrop to television that will be beamed nationally and internationally. In one single camera sweep you can tell the story of the city. It is a unique skyline that can only be Liverpool. Music concerts are great for the international broadcast market, but to stand out from the crowd you need a great line up, a great atmosphere and a unique never to be repeated occasion. The Liverpool Sound ticks every box.The proposal is that both the concert stage and the spectator seats will be placed within Salthouse Dock which will give the impression that both are floating on the water. This will help create spectacular television and will showcase Liverpool’s waterfront.
Much work has already been done with dock stakeholders and consultants and it has been confirmed that these plans are feasible both from an engineering and dock operation perspective. We are still to finalise the formal license agreement with GSE and we expect that within the next few months.
e) Location Contingency
We have identified an alternative location (Queen’s Dock) as a contingency. This area was originally selected by Barrie Marshall as an alternative location for PM’s concert in 2003 when there were issues with King’s Dock. Plans and costs are currently being explored.
f) Additional Concert
We are currently planning that there will be a concert on during the weekend just prior to the key event. The purpose of this event will be to provide the BBC with a rehearsal evening at the venue, provide an opportunity for key international and Liverpool artists to perform at Salthouse, give more people a chance to experience a concert at the venue and provide another revenue stream to help offset the costs of creating the Salthouse Dock venue.
g) Music Festival
Given that a number of international artists will be coming to Liverpool some time in advance of the Monday concert, there is a unique opportunity to showcase these and other key artists across the venues of Liverpool in the week leading up to the concert. Initial discussions with television and radio broadcasters have also been very positive regarding their interest in these pre-concert gigs.
h) Event Charitable Structure
To gain participation of some of the world’s greatest artists in this event, it is important that we create a charitable dimension to the project so that the artists are compelled to perform for the cause as well as the uniqueness and profile of the event. Discussions have already been held with both LIPA and Nordoff Robbins (a global music charity that is widely supported by the global music industry) and they have confirmed their support of the event.We will be working with them further to identify the nature of the support and how we can collectively create a legacy for Liverpool and the UK. They also have realistic expectations on the scale of any potential support given the anticipated costs of staging the event. They are also very excited about the potential from national and international exposure.Whilst we are budgeting for a slight surplus on this event with the expectations that an element of this will go to the charities, we have budgeteda guaranteed commitment to the charities, which will both are important to the artists and the media. This is included in the budget outlined below.
i) Company Structure
We are currently exploring with Hill Dickinson the best strategy for the structure of the entity that will both manage the key elements of the event as well as provide a charitable dimension to the overall structure. The current thinking is that a trading arm be established with surplus revenue following all identified expenses transferred to the charitable entity for distribution with agreed protocols.
j) Procurement
The procurement process recommended by the LCC Procurement team will treat the events as four distinctly separate areas:
• Auditorium Construction (Salthouse Dock)• Event and Technical Production• TV Productions and Artist Management• Venue Management
The Auditorium Construction would be a capital expenditure.
The Event and Technical Production will involve all elements of the event production including all associated equipment costs and staffing.
TV Production and Artist Management will consist of all equipment and staff costs for the production of the broadcast in all of its forms (live transmission, webcasting, CD and DVD) as well as all associated costs for the artists involved.
The Venue Management will involve all peripheral costs (staff, barriers, fencing, facilities including toilets) for both the Salthouse Dock event and any other activity across the city.
k) Key Staff
It is important to note that key staff will be required for this event to support the Culture Company team and this has been included in the outlined budget. These include:
• Executive Producer: This person has been in place for approximately 9 months, has already played a major role in developing this event. This person will be focused during the actual event primarily on the television and other broadcast production liaising with the BBC and other international broadcasters.(we shall return to this person soon, eds)
• Event Producer: This person will manage the staging of the event and all technical elements
• Musical Director: This person will be responsible for all the musical elements of the event including working with the Liverpool RoyalPhilharmonic Orchestra and other music partners in Liverpool
• Auditorium Construction: This company will lead the construction of the stage and seating within the Salthouse Dock
• Venue Management: This will be undertaken by the Culture Company Events Team
• Concert and Festival Promotion: We will be shortly inviting interested companies to support us with the promotion of both concerts (with a clear focus on the May Bank Holiday) as well as the Festival leading up to the weekendl)
Launch and Promotional Support
The current plan is that the event will be publicly launched at the end of September by the significant Liverpool artist. (Macca, eds) Given that the opportunities to purchase tickets will be limited (capacity of 25,000) this launch will include a call-to-action for all those who are interested in purchasing tickets to register via the Liverpool.08 website where their details will be captured and a lottery will be conducted with those individuals then contacted to purchase tickets. This has been the normal process for both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremonies as well as recently for Glastonbury. Prior to any lottery, allocations will be made to ensure that a significant percentage of the tickets are available to local people. This process will be developed further and will need LCC endorsement of the strategy.The launch will receive significant global and national coverage and will provide a perfect platform to build awareness of Liverpool 08. A national marketing effort will also be required to support the launch to help maximise the response.
To begin preparing the ground for this launch we are planning for the ’08 website to have a World Capital of Pop page that will play selected Liverpool Songs and this page can then be used to get chat room discussions going on the songs that best sum up the spirit of the city. This is a great opportunity to involve everyone in the city in a discussion about what makes the city unique and why it is the World Capital of Pop.
From September, alongside the ticket launch, each month the 08 site will list a top ten from well known Liverpool faces e.g. Steven Gerrard, Daniel Craig, Anne Robinson, Johnny Vegas etc to build further excitement and interest. These contact details captured will provide a critical foundation for future national marketing efforts to encourage people to take part in 08 and come to Liverpool. It is anticipated that the launch and accompanying marketing effort could result in hundreds of thousands of enquiries.The Festival will also require its own marketing and PR effort, which will be developed following the initial launch
The Liverpool Sound Concert tickets (in some cases including accommodation and transport) will play a crucial role in encouraging ongoingmedia partner support and will be another catalyst to build further awareness and interest for Liverpool 08 and the 08 Programme Highlights.
The Business Plan
Event Revenue Estimates
These represent initial estimates of revenue and should be considered to be at the conservative end of the spectrum:
• Ticketing revenue: Anticipated revenue from two concerts with an average ticket price of £50 (this assumption has been supported by leading concert Promoters) £2.5 M
• Hospitality/concessions revenue: £ 0.25 M
• Merchandise/other: £ 0.15 M
• Global Television Rights. In addition to live BBC1Coverage, The Queen’s Jubilee Concert was able to secure sales of the global television rights. This was also a multi-artist event and The Liverpool Sound may have a more recognisable theme for international sales. The longest running radio programme in the US has been “Breakfast with the Beatles”. £1.25 M
• Event DVD: £1.0 M
• Local Broadcaster Support: Anticipated cost recovery from BBC £ 0.85 M
• Texting revenue: subject to securing a mobile telephone partner and protecting the rights of current CoC partners, there is a possibility of revenue from texting during the ticketing phase as well during the event £.0.25 M
• Additional sponsorship: subject again to protecting Current CoC partners, there is an opportunity to offset some production costs (eg travel, accommodation etc). Similar sponsorship was secured for the Queen’s Jubilee Concert and significant interest has already been received from companies who do not conflict with current CoC Commercial Partners £1.5 M
Total Estimated Revenue £ 7.75 M

Event Cost Estimates
The team consulting on this project have, between them, worked on numerous global television events of a similar stature (e.g. Live 8, Party at the Palace, The Prince’s Trust, Nelson Mandela 46664 Concerts from South Africa and The Grammies.) This expertise and experience is also backed with the engineering skills to manage specific aquatic concerts. With this detailed background knowledge of what it takes to create a global television event, we anticipate the event budget to consist of the following:
• Auditorium Construction £ 1.55 M
• Television Production and Artist Management £ 2.45 M
• Event and Technical Production £ 1.25 M
• Venue Management £ 0.85 M
• Marketing costs: Campaign to support PR efforts £ 0.3 M
• Charity Commitments £ 0.3 M
• Contingency £ 0.66 M
Total Estimated Costs £ 7.36 M
Total Estimated Surplus £ 0.39 M

Thursday, February 21, 2008



Jase, who according to an anonymous whistle-blower knows all about the Fireman's Freebie, has meanwhile moved into new offices at the Corn Exchange.
He has also unveiled a web site for Harborow Associates, complete with details of his Spanish address - which he shares with one of his business partners, Roz Hughes.
Below is an extract from the site, if you can't be arsed looking.
Needless to say it is full of the most self-important bollocks that you will ever have the misfortune to read.
Together with the ugliest prose, including schoolboy spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Eeeeh bah gum.

Harborow Associates was established at the beginning of 2008. A team of world-class professionals have been pulled together to offer a range of services specialising in sport, leisure, tourism, events and culture for the public and private sector. Jason and his team have a unique range of experience in the sector areas and have consistently provided eye-opening results on a range of different projects and campaigns. Our team have a track record second to none and results proven over time.

Monday, February 18, 2008


WE interrupt our hunt for Sheriff Bradley, the cowboy Fireman, to bring you exciting news of his bete noire - Jase the Harbarrowboy.

Seems Jase is still hanging around these here parts (quit the cowboy talk, we've moved on to another subject, eds) and has got himself a nice sinecure in Chester.

Jase is working for a £15,000 project fee for his old mucker Chris Brown, former Head of Marketing at The Mersey Partnership.

Jase is 'developing some event ideas' for Chester Racecourse for Brown who is boss of Visit Chester.

So we can now look forward to Chas Cole also being invited along shortly to see if he can attract any old 80's rock bands along to play at Chester racecourse.

As long as Phil and Chris can each wangle a gig for their lads, should be no problem.

Failing that Jase will no doubt suggest some mad rugby playing idea which can involve his many rough and tough mates.

Also look forward to some bizarre crackpot idea like those huge US trucks being brought along to churn up the racecourse and jump over 20 blondes (supplied by the Rotteweiller of course, eds)which have been laid head to toe along the length of the final furlong.

Or fierce ceremonial battles being staged down the home straight between Roman centurions and the invading barbarian hordes (voters from Liverpool, eds).

PS we couldn't resist including this advert that Jason has now sponsored for some posh suit makers in Liverpool. Follow the link, or read below... SUITS FROM JUST £695 TO £1,500!

Why Choose GUI?
Total convenience to suit you
GUI Couture represents the ultimate in convenience for busy business men and women. We will arrange a consultation for you at your office or home, or our fitting studio in Liverpool city centre. We make ourselves available to suit you, and will happily arrange appointments during weekends and evenings.
Premium quality from the fabrics to the finishing
Our range of fabrics is astounding, from pure new wool and cashmere to special blends incorporating Lycra for extra fit and comfort.
Quality is paramount in our entire offering from fabrics to finishing, and everything in between. Whether you select our basic Essential service, or our exclusive Platinum experience, GUI Couture never compromises on the quality of service or care received by our customers.
Looking great, every day
Ever dreamt of having your own style consultant? Now you can. Our experts will help you understand what suits you and why, and GUIde your choice to ensure you look great in everything you wear. For special occasions they will assist in designing a totally unique outfit so that you stand out from the crowd.
For organisations with teams of front line staff where initial impressions are everything, GUI Couture offers a specialist Corporate Image Consultancy Service, to ensure you get the best response from your customers every time.
Loose on the waist, tight on hips?
Do you know anyone who fits off-the-peg clothing? Most of us will be larger or smaller in the waist, back, shoulders or thighs, and longer or shorter in the arms and legs than the so called ‘norm’. Even people with the same measurements will have a different body shape, stance and stature, and GUI Couture will solve these problems of fit by ensuring each of our customers is professionally measured to create a garment designed to give you the ideal fit.
Feeling great from the minute you step out the door
Research has shown that successful people feel good about their presentation and image. Whether your job involves important meetings, sales pitches or interviews, GUI Couture can help you feel and appear more confident, boosting your potential. We will dress you for success, boosting self esteem and enhancing personal pride.
“I am delighted with the suit Guy tailored for me. It is a perfect fit and is everything I wanted it to be; well styled, individual, unique to me. The service Guy provides is first class."
Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company

WE couldn't make it up....

Thursday, February 14, 2008



I snapped this long-haired bloke wondering up and down Mathew Street in the wee small hours of the morning, obviously the worse for wear. He was in his cups and muttering something about losing his barrow and something else about a camel. Then he slurred a few words I couldn't quite catch about forgetting all about his Ford. I presume he has a Mondeo? Although he was in no condition to drive anything, obviously. And he was clad in very strange full-length leather gear - not unusual for Mathew Street at that time of night, admittedly. Do you think the cowboy Fireman could have grown his hair this fast, or was it a wig? The 'tache is obviously a cowboy thing. He looked very lonely. The last time I saw him he had staggered all the way up to Dale Street and was hammering on the door of the Town Hall. Perhaps he is holed up inside there now? I think we should be told....

yours ever,

The ghost of Lee Forde


Dear Tonys,

He isn't at home at all. I spotted him just this last week in Hawaii - he has gone out there to visit his old mate Charlie, who has obviously coined it in so much from the city council, his property speculator mates and English Partnerships, that Charlie has now amassed enough wealth to start his very own cowboy ranch! As you can see, I managed to take a quick snap of the cowboy fireman Sheriff Bradley when he was out at the coral (I thought they were an up-and-coming new Liverpool combo? eds) admiring Charlie riding his latest mount. Although Bradley is obviously dying his hair now to try and disguise his exact whereabouts, close examination of my photo will reveal the truth. As ever.
Don't ask me what I was doing in Hawaii, it's top secret at the moment, but look out for some bold and imaginative new proposals for the Mersey on the front page of the Echo in the not too distant future....


a developer friend of Charlie's

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The mystery of the cowboy Fireman's whereabouts deepens.

Seems that he may not have gone off to his brother in law's wedding in Mexico after all, despite what he told friends.

Nor may he have gone off on a walking tour of the Lake District, as he told his Executive Board on Friday.

Nor headed off to Jason's gaff on the Cala Menor in Spain, as claimed by one of Jase's mates.

In fact, it seems the Fireman Bradley could, amazingly, be sitting at home with the curtains drawn, after he apparently did a Greta Garbo act and told officials: "I vant to be alone."

One theory is that Bradley is firmly ensconsed in Wavertree, drinking Peroni and talking to the parakeet and not answering his council mobile phone (which is probably bugged anyway, eds)

Perhaps he is taking the opportunity to reflect on:

  • his own personal behaviour

  • his failure to keep his promises

  • his stabbing Lee Forde in public

  • and his failure to deal properly and decisively with the civil war between councillors and officers which is now a running sore seeping from the very fabric of the Town Hall.

We doubt, however, whether he will demonstrate any self-awareness whatsoever. Much less will he apologise to those he has wronged. Indeed it is revealing that no-one appears at all certain of his whereabouts at all. Because no-one can now believe a single word that he says.


Dear Tonys,

Jase's mate is bullshitting you. Bradley is definitely in the Americas. I was on holiday in New York recently, desperately trying to find this twin city agreement with Liverpool, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this familiar figure racing past. It was the cowboy fireman for sure - he was behaving like there was a house on fire. Which there may have been. Or maybe he was just trying to avoid the DA? Here's the evidence, anyway.



Monday, February 11, 2008


Dear Tonys,

Re:Your search for the missing cowboy fireman.
Me and my business partner Jase were having a break in Spain - he's been through a tough time recently and needed to put his feet up a bit - when we went out for the day to watch a carnival parade. As Jase was munching on an ice cream watching the parade go by, we spotted this menacing figure in the distance. He was wearing a mask so it was difficult to be entirely sure, but Jase went several shades of white (which shows how shocked he was) and nearly choked on his Mivvi. Now he swears blind it was Sheriff Bradley - and you know he's not a bullshitter. See what you think - sorry it's so far away but Jase has now promised to buy me a new camera with his winnings from the council. So not all bad news.


Jase's mate


Dear Tonys,

We were recently on holiday in New York when we spotted a familiar figure walking down the sidewalk. But he seemed to have swapped his Everton scarf for rather more unusual attire. However, the resemblance was unmistakeable - the publicity-seeking, the arrogant swagger, the selfish streak a foot long (missus! ed). It was none other than Sheriff Bradley! Having escaped from the worst local council in the country, the cowboy fireman now appears to have begun a new career in New York. We knew that you and Chucklebutty would require some photographic evidence - so here it is below!

best wishes,

anti-cabalists on tour

Saturday, February 09, 2008


MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of the cowboy Fireman Bradley today.

He vanished like the Lone Ranger soon after the city council was officially ranked the worst in Britain.

The mystery deepened after two contradictory explanations were given for his sudden disappearance (and recent failure to appear in cheesy city council photo opps).

The first explanation for his absence, which he gave to members of his Lib Dim Executive Board as he departed on Friday, is that he has gone off on a week-long 'walking holiday' (yes, we did say 'walking', eds) to the Lake District.

The second explanation, which we have from totally authoritative sources, is that he has in fact gone to Mexico (Viva Zapata! eds) for his brother-in-law's wedding.

The second explanation seems to us to be the most likely since, as we all know, there are already quite a few other cowboys 'down Mexico way'. But who is Tonto?

Perhaps the Lone Ranger is planning to be at The Last Gunfight at the OK Corrall?
Anyroadup, we are now launching An Official Public Appeal for anyone who spots the cowboy Fireman anywhere in the world in the coming week.

Please let us know where and when - preferably by supplying photographic evidence. (You can post us some links in comments, eds....)

The cowboy Fireman's disappearance is perfectly understandable however.

Pressure is mounting on all sides as the Standards Board begin their investigation into his plot to oust the Harbarrowboy.

The Lone Fireman has already been going around in recent weeks, stetson in hand and Tonto at his side, begging for character references from the great and good.

He will then submit any references he gets (and we shall name names, eds) to the investigators as part of his defence.

The Storeyteller tried the same trick three years ago, but it did him no good whatsoever.
Legendary solicitor 'Sexy Rexy' Makin has also become the first public figure to call for Bradley (and Hilton's) resignation.

This has been the view amongst the great and the good for some time - but none of them have had the bottle to go public.

Unlike Rex.

Interestingly, the arch hypocrite, arrogant and pompous Councillor Richard Kemp (not our favourite person then? eds) who has a lucrative little sinecure with the Local Government Association which enables him to hold forth on any subject in his typically puffed-up way, has also broken cover for the first time.

He has ludicrously demanded a public apology from the Audit Commission for ranking Liverpool as the worst council in the country.

This has only succeeded in attracting even more negative headlines.

Kemp does not yet appear to have learnt the first rule of Public Relations - when buried deep in hole, stop digging!

Readers will recall that Kemp - being the true liberal he clearly isn't - publicly argued for the original Tony Parrish's 'Liverpool evil cabal' blog to be banned and for the people of Liverpool to be denied the truth about Henshaw, McElhinney and Halsall.

Kemp is also the architect of the disastrous Boot Estate fiasco.

We would really, really, really, love it if he made a serious bid for Bradley's stetson.

For Kemp appears to be supremely arrogant enough to actually believe he should be Leader!

Meanwhile watch out for the spin machine going into overdrive to give the impression that Bradley is still present and correct in Liverpool.

Already a press release has been issued pledging that Bradley is personally going to plug the £60million hole in the council's budget.

This was a desperate attmnpt to convey an 'I'm in charge' impression after Bradley had run for cover from the Audit Commission and refused to be interviewed.

The press release was very helpful to those Labour supporters amongst us who would be truly horrified if the Government decided to bale the Lib Dims out of the mess and crisis they have created in Liverpool.

Why should the Labour Government save the necks of the Lib Dims in Liverpool?

But now that Bradley has promised to personally find the dosh and make the cuts, all the MPs can go back to representing their constituents.


No more crisis meetings with Hasitall and CoverUp Hilton ringing their hands and begging for help?


Bradley's going to sort it.

So that's alright then.

Meanwhile, we hope that Inspector Clueless will busily step into the breach to solve the mystery of the Fireman's continuing disappearance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


GOSSIPERS worried about the condition of accused law-breaker Steve Hurst can rest assured.

It looks as though the Lib Dem Chief Whip's failing health is gradually improving, since he apparently felt well enough to attend a neighbourhood meeting this evening.

Councillor Hurst appeared perfectly relaxed and composed throughout the meeting and exhibited no signs of the unfortunate stress which has forced him to go on sick leave from the fire service.

This now makes it three council meetings he has felt well enough to attend while on sick leave from the fire service.

There is also some further good news for Councillor Hurst, who has so far escaped suspension from the Lib Dem group despite facing a criminal charge accused of election dirty tricks next March.

His Lib Dem colleagues are having a whip round to help him out (although he is still on full pay with public money from the fire service, of course).

If by some remarkable travesty of justice, Councillor Hurst were to be found guilty next month of producing a disgusting nasty and untrue little smear leaflet in Belle Vale last May, it would tend to show his Lib Dem colleagues to be a bunch of unprincipled, cynical, nasty little bastards who believe in nothing but themselves and cannot distinguish right from wrong.

Monday, February 04, 2008


WHAT are we to make, dear Gossipers, of the appearance of accused law-breaker, Councillor Steve Hurst, at last week's full council meeting?

We only ask because, sadly, Hurst is currently on sick leave from the fire service with stress, pending his forthcoming and keenly awaited trial next month.

Hurst, the Lib Dem Chief Whip responsible for internal Party discipline, is, you will all vividly recall, accused of breaking election law by delivering a disgusting and thoroughly nasty little smear leaflet against the Labour candidate and her fireman husband through the letterboxes of houses in Belle Vale.

His understandable stress at the prospect of facing a trial with 10 witnesses ranged against him, seemed to miraculously disappear last Wednesday when he was able to take his seat in the council chamber, without any apparent ill-effects.

(Sadly, many public spectators were in need of emergency treatment after listening to Fireman Bradley, eds)

Even more astonishing was Hurst's appearance the week before at a day-long Planning Committee meeting.

Again, Hurst appeared to demonstrate remarkable resilience and good health.

Perhaps he finds attending boring council meetings an effective therapy for the terrible curse of stress-related illnesses?

If so, perhaps Hurst has unwittingly discovered a cure - and we should therefore make compulsory attendance at council meetings now immediately available on the National Health Service?

Any appalling suggestion that, in fact, Hurst is swinging the lead from the fire service and thereby ripping off the public who pay his wages, is of course, without any foundation, whatsoever.

For what could his motive for that possibly be?

Some suspicious people would suggest that perhaps Hurst was going to use his illness in mitigation to try to win a sympathy vote. Or even, perhaps, it would make him unfit to stand trial?

If the outrageous suggestion that Hurst was swinging the lead were true, it would then also have to be true that Hurst suddenly went on the sick when he was tipped off by an insider that Fire Chief Tony McGurk was about to suspend him, pending his criminal trial.

That couldn't possibly be true. For it would mean that Hurst did not want to attract more damaging publicity and increase interest in his trial through being officially suspended by the fire service.

And that would be an outrageous slur on a fine and upstanding public servant - rather in the mould of the beyond-reproach Fireman Bradley.

Meanwhile Fireman Bradley, who is obviously a far better judge than Fire Chief McGurk on what is appropriate behaviour (and is clearly better able to judge Hurst's innocence ahead of a trial), is still refusing to suspend Hurst from the Lib Dem group pending the outcome of the prosecution.

And nor has Cover Up yet launched a council investigation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


LIB Dim chief whip Councillor Steve Hurst has apparently come up with an unusual defence to the charge of breaking election law.

Word has it that Hurst is insisting that, rather than posting illegal smear leaflets through the doors of homes in Belle Vale, he was actually removing them from the letterboxes.

"Are you 'aving a larfff?" said that funny little bloke from Extras.

Hurst's portrayal of himself as a public-spirited, anti-litter minded environmentalist, is of course, entirely plausible.

Indeed it is incredibly similar to the brilliant defence mounted by Jack the Ripper when caught standing over one of his lifeless victims, brandishing a bloodied knife in one hand.

"I was taking the knife out of her chest, mlud" protested Jack to the trial judge, "to help her breathe more easily. I just had to do it several times...."
Jack was of course promptly cleared of the murder charge and then went on to massacre a further 4787 ladies of the night with total impunity. (We have made all this up, of course, but you get our point, eds)

We await Hurst's trial in March with bated breath, when every detail of the disgraceful dirty tricks that happened in Belle Vale will hopefully emerge.

The seriousness of the charge facing Hurst has been underlined by the revelation that the Crown Prosecution Service decided to press a criminal charge against the Lib Dim councillor who is reponsible for internal party discipline.

You couldn't make this up! eds.

The police prosecution follows the extraordinary doorstep dust-up in Belle Vale ward during the local elections.

At least 10 witnesses are ready to be called to give evidence against Hurst.

Readers will recall that at the centre of the prosecution will be a fake leaflet purporting to be from 'a real socialist party - TUSP' which smeared the husband of Labour candidate, Pauline Watson.

Her husband is a local firefighter - like Hurst.

The leaflet was clearly an attempt to damage Labour's chances in the local elections - but thankfully backfired (literally).

Lib Dim Council leader Fireman Warren Bradley has so far failed to suspend Hurst, or even withdraw the whip from Hurst, even though he has been charged with a criminal offence.

Which reveals, interestingly, that Bradley has less of a clue about what constitues appropriate behaviour and Leadership skills than even Tory Leader David Cameron.

The leaflet also broke election law by carrying no imprint giving the name and address of the organisation which had printed and published it.

So far lazy chief executive Colin CoverUp has also done nothing about this - not even rousing himself from his slumbers to launch an official investigation (probably still too busy investigating the first Tony Parrish, ed).

We can only ask this question:

Where else in the world - but Liverpool - would a member of the ruling Cabinet be allowed to carry on in office when facing a criminal prosecution?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


BOTH former chief executives of the Liverpool Culture Company turned up on Saturday night for the Albert Dock party after the Arena show.

The 'off-sick' Jason Harborow arrived with an apparent retinue of supporters, including ex-Granada boss Sue Woodward and the woman pictured in our exclusive photo.

And Sir Diddy Henshaw was also present in the queue outside the Albert Dock with his wife Alison - although he appears to have turned tail and run for it, shortly after being spotted by our photographer.

Which was lucky for him, because according to reliable declarations from a string of enthusiastic volunteers, Henshaw would have ended up in the dock himself within minutes.The little man ducked and dived in the queue to avoid his photograph being taken and pretended to engage Professor Michael Parkinson in conversation as Lady Henshaw looked on anxiously.

Our spies then collected at the dock entrance, where Pete Price was interviewing random C list celebrities for telly, ready to give Henshaw an early bath.

Only to be left waiting, while Henshaw disappeared sharpish back to North Wales to count his money.

Still there's always a next time.

Between them, the two failed chief execs have trousered more than £600,000 of council taxpayer's money in the run-up to Liverpool, Capital of Culture 2008. Neither paid for their tickets to the Arena - their freebies were authorised by CoverUp.

But spare a thought for poor Jason.

He is in complete denial and appears to think he will be back in charge of CoC Up within weeks.

He went around the Albert Dock professing to anyone who would listen that he was 'fighting fit' and boasting of how much much he had contributed to the Arena show.

As someone remarked - "he might be physically fit, but it sounds as though he's gone a bit doo-lally".

The blog was well represented (purely on the grounds of reporting accuracy, you understand, eds)

Front line staff from the Culture Company were not invited to the piss-up - two free drinks and as much nosh as you could eat - but CoverUp was there, along with a myriad of 'senior' city council boring bureacrats and the usual Lib Dem councillors (so not much of a 'do' then? eds)

The Fireman stomped around, leaving his missus trailing, with a face like thunder (as well he might, according to tales from the fire engine room. Of which more follows soon, eds)

But there was no obvious sign of the Storeyteller.

However, as another spectator remarked: "He must be here if Bradley is here - there's no Punch without Judy".

Acting CoC chief executive, Donald Bullshitter was creeping up to Steve Broomhead from the NWDA, while Henshaw's former £500 a day personal spin 'matron' Alison Hastings, wife of Museums boss David Fleming, spent most of the evening constantly looking over her shoulder.

(Perhaps she was worried that Henshaw might need further attention? eds)

Other interesting snippets:
  • That PR bloke, Ben Lucas, from LLM, who trousered £323,000 for doing bugger all, was also loitering around some of the politicians looking for the next money-grabbing opportunity.
  • The great and the good had apparently been treated to a slap up meal before the show at the Malmaison as part of of a CoC Civic event. Labour leader Joe Anderson was not present.
  • A mate of Our Lord's, a bloke called Carl, who used to work with Redmond at Mersey TV, was given responsibility for organising the event. We don't know who gave him the go-ahead or why, or even if the event organisation was put out to tender.

And we have no idea how much it cost.
But we were reliably infomed it was in the region of £80,000.
And who paid?
Why you did of course.....!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


We reveal for your enlightenment, proposals by Ear to the Ground - the Manchester-based company - for the launch of Liverpool Capital of Culture tonight and tomorrow.

Unfortunately top record producer Mark Ronson - 'Valerie' etc - has turned down the opportunity to appear.

As has Ian Broudie, of the Lightning Seeds.

The Culture Company are desperately keeping the list of artists who will be appearing a closely-guarded secret.

So any appearances by anyone will look like a bonus.

Meanwhile, as you know, huge containers will open up outside St George's tonight spilling out Liverpool's cultural offering for 2008. Rather like vomit. (No mention of jobs or the millions wasted etc, eds).

There is huge speculation and joking in the Culture Company that at least one of the containers will contain all the people that have been hired and then fired (guest appearances by Jase, Henshaw, Robbing, etc).

The other will contain all the millions of pounds that has been wilfully and negligently handed over to them and wasted.

Meanwhile, this is a verbatim transcript of how the opening nights are being choreographed by the Mancs from Ear to the Ground.
(PS We know it's not really Gossip, but we couldn't fit this in anywhere else because all the blogs are up to date with important and good stuff and there is more to come. So stay posted, eds)

The provisional performance timeline;
18:30 Start of procession
Mark Ronson and the other artists will be on a ferry travelling down the Mersey. At key points there will be fireworks let off to animate the journey.
At the same time The RLPO will be split on to two open top buses that will lead 2 lantern processions to the arena. The processions will involve other celebrities and people from Liverpool.
19:08 St Georges Hall and the plateau : the city unites
The massed Liverpool artists will be welcomed by the people of the city in front of St Georges’ Hall. Projected clocks on the side of the building mark the countdown as aerial rockets are launched every one of the last eight minutes to the opening of the City of Culture.
Across the plateau there will be art installations and fairground rides, but until 20:08 they are still. Lights are focused across the buildings but again are dimmed, as sky trackers and huge spot lights scan across them.
Around the square huge close up projections of the faces of a cross section of Liverpudlians talk about what their city may become –their fears and hopes for the future.

Aim: Mark Ronson to open the Liverpool Arena and European Capital of Culture
Date: 12th January 2008
The artists arrive and begin to flood out though the doors of the hall onto the steps, in front of the massed crowd.
The tiers of performers interspersed with two dimensional cut out figures of past and absent heroes, recall the famous cover of Sergeant Peppers Lonely hearts Club Band and Adrian Henri’s iconic Hope Street painting. This tableau of Liverpool artists, photoshopped prior to the event, is projected cross the building and accompanied by a soundscape of the people of Liverpool talking about what they so love about the artist’s work they have selected and how it has enriched their lives. These voices are layered and supported by the echoing sound of the sounds and songs of the city, its music, its football crowds, the bells of its cathedrals and favourite songs.
20: 05
A representative of the city makes a short inspirational speech, (so not the Fireman, then eds) inter cut by ever larger markings of the passing minutes. This speech welcomes the artists who the city’s people have chosen to honour at this historic moment (not Henshaw, not Storey, not McElhinney, not Hasitall, not Robbing, not Jase, either, eds) and what their work has meant to them.

It welcomes the artists and people of Europe and the world to come, enjoy and savour the culture of one of the world’s most unique cities.
The speech concludes, (thank Christ for that, eds) a wall of fountains lift off from the buildings, surrounding the audience in a ring of fire, as huge aerial shells light up the sky.
Through the smoke of this opening salvo a figure is illuminated high above the crowd
on the pinnacle of the Radio Mast. (Is it Cover Up? Perhaps it's Our Lord Redmond? eds)

He holds a guitar, and has a small guitar amp at his feet. (It's Hasitall!, eds) His image, projected across the projection screens, could be that of any of the tens of thousands of young aspirant guitarists, who have been the bedrock of the cities musical fame (Someone from Sirenz? eds)

After a moments pause he plays an opening guitar break. (Don't get too excited. It's Dave Stewart, Liverpool connection unknown. But that's a detail, eds)

As it echoes across the space, flares are released from the building tops all around the crowd, illuminating 200 young guitarists that appear on the rooftops surrounding the crowd below.
Together they play a ‘Liverpool Concerto for guitars’. Their silhouettes fill the skyline of St Georges Hall, Lime Street, the Holiday Inn, The Royal Court, St John’s Car Park, The Empire
As they play a further ten famous Liverpool guitarists are lifted into the air on scissor lifts between each of the pillars of the Hall.
Finally a rhythm section joins in as Ringo Starr is illuminated on the roof above the
Portico, with a support band made up of iconic Liverpool musicians.
From the Portico Roof, Cilla Black steps forward and welcomes the crowd. She is
joined by Atomic Kitten who perform a new version of ‘Step Inside Love’, produced by
Ian Brodie (They can't spell his name properly, but never mind, he's not tuurning up anyway, eds) which is released into the charts the following day.
As the ‘concerto ‘concludes, three cherry pickers rise up into the air. They carry Roger McGough, Levei Tefara and the young winner of a competition run through Liverpool
schools. They who recite three inter locking short poems commissioned specially for the event.
Then as fireworks lift off the building, Dave Stewart, and Ringo Starr perform their new collaboration ‘Liverpool I left you, but never let you down’ , from the St Georges Rooftop, again to be released as a single the following day and delivered at no cost to the event. (Utter Bollocks of course, eds)
There follows a commissioned piece for lone saxophone and a massed Liverpool choir climaxing with the lighting of a large, crane hung ‘08’ fire sculpture and an intense three minute firework display that lights up the sky.
The opening is finished and attention focuses to the evenings main performance.
21:30 The opening of the arena
For the press and VIP’s, the 1000 people who have won tickets through a city wide ballot, and the 7,000 ticket holders, the focus of the evening now shifts to the opening of the New Arena.
For its first public performance, the City commissions an extraordinary new work, a
contemporary reflection and ‘re-invention’ inspired by the musical heritage, reworked,
mixed, stirred and put together again in a radical new way, both a tribute to the past
and mirror to the future.
The concert brings together Mark Ronson, (oh no it doesn't, eds) Vasily Petrenko, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, choirs, a cross section of the city’s principal and most famous
musicians from the last forty years and a range of prominent musicians from around
the world.
Staged on an eight tier high and twenty metre wide scaffolding structure, it vertically stacks choirs, musicians and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra vertically in to the air, and through the use of theatrical scrims projects on to them, through them and over them a collage of extraordinary images of the city.
At the centre of the project sits Mark Ronson (oh no he doesn't, eds) While based in New York Mark traces his roots back to Liverpool where his family is from. While growing he became a close family friend of many of Liverpool’s most influential musicians. Today, as a producer
and DJ he has become one of the most influential figures in contemporary music and
production. (But he won't be in Liverpool anyway so it doesn't really matter, does it? eds)
His speciality is the reinvention of songs of the past, fusing them with new beats, rhythms and influences and working with a range of the world’s most prominent vocalists and artists. Past work has included re-workings of ‘Hey Jude’ and the Zuton’s ‘Valerie’ re-recorded by Amy Winehouse. He currently has a number two in the charts, a recreating of a Smith’s song, and an acclaimed new album ‘Versions’. (Good idea (ish) but he isn't here is he? eds)
Mark will work with classical composers, the RLPO and wide selection of contemporary and popular musicians and singers to create this re- imagining of the cities music, a homage its power to inspire new generations of artists. It will range from early traditional Liverpool songs and lullabies, through the songs of the Mersey Sound, to Eric’s and Cream and unsigned new Liverpool bands. It will feature many of the most loved son and daughters of the Liverpool music scene and integrate spoken word and text, featuring the array of writers, poets and playwrights for which the city is famous, figures such as Roger McGough, Willy Russel, Alan Bleasdale and Jimmy McGovern. ('Who invited him then?' - Joe Riley)
The selected song line will be ordered and chosen in such a way to tell the story of the city and the influences that will forge its identity and future, as it explores different ways to re-invent and re-generate itself. (Utter bollocks - ways to waste taxpayers money, eds)
This story will be visually told through a collision of images drawn from the amazing range of visual artists, film makers and photographers who have been inspired by the city’s qualities and identities. It will draw widely on the current Tate exhibition ‘The Centre of the Creative Universe’.
However, like the music, these images will be forged together, in new ways and forms,
manipulated and re-invented with the latest developments in digital film technology, and cutting edge artists from the city.
Initial thoughts for songs include
1. The Beatles Eleanor Rigby
2. The Zutons Valerie
3. Elvis Costello Shipbuilding
4. Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon
5. The Farm All together now (hey, that's us! eds)
6. Space Female of the Species
7. The Las There she goes
8. The Undertones Teenage Kicks (John Peels Favourite Song)
9. George Harrison My Sweet Lord
10. Paul McCartney Live and Let die
11. The Real Thing Can you feel the force
12. The Coral Bill McCai
13. The Dead 60s Riot Radio
14. Cilla Black Step inside
15. K Klass Let me show you love (last song played at cream)

There is a further list one the last page.
We need Marks input on songs that he feels his unique style would do the most justice. These are quite famous songs and should only be looked as a starting point.
The inevitable conversations between Mark and other artists will lead to gems being uncovered that will produce a truly unique performance. (ie, 'we have no idea what to do next,' eds)
There is the potential to use other songs not from Liverpool but performed by Liverpool artists
It is important that the whole evening does not rest on the legacy of The Beatles.
The quality of artists that collaborate on the evening is crucial to the success of this event, using Marks contacts alongside our own something great can be achieved. (But won't be, because Mark is not doing it, eds)
23:00 Performance over
Rehearsal time
We would imagine 4 full production rehearsals taking place in the Arena with the
orchestra 8th – 11th January.
It is possible to arrange a number of days working with the RLPO whenever Mark is available.
It is also possible to arrange meetings between Mark and Vasily Petrenko the principle conductor of RLPO
Performance Rights
We have a dedicated lawyer who will sort out the publishing rights for the chosen songs
The CD and DVD rights are to be negotiated and will form part of the negotiations of
Marks fees for the studio, rehearsal and performance. (And there's the rub, eds)
10,000 seats at the arena
The provisional allocation is
1,500 VIP / rider (oh aye, who is this lot then? Will Tony Parrish get a seat? eds)
1,000 giveaways to the people of Liverpool (Gee thanks, eds)
7,500 paid seats
Hospitality packages are available and are still to be negotiated.
40,000 people around the city watching on large screens (high dependency on weather
in January) (This figure appears to have gone down to 25,000, eds)
Liverpool Capital of Culture will be promoting and ticketing the whole event and taking the revenues. (With The Rottweiller's LDL, raking off their mark-up, eds)
The Liverpool Capital of Culture will be underwriting the whole event and taking out event and cancellation insurance
The event will be produced by Ear to the Ground.
Once contracts have been signed EttG will be the sole point of contact for the event
Media Coverage
To be decided upon Mark and other artists involvement
Next Steps
To organise a face to face meeting with all parties to finalise the contracts as soon as possible
Nigel Jamieson
Nigel Jamieson is one of the world’s leading event and theatre directors.
His work has included creating the central component of the Opening Ceremony of 2000 Sydney Olympics Games, directing six segments of 24 hour worldwide Millennium Broadcast, and Artistic Direction of the 2002 Closing Ceremony of the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
He directed Jose Carreras at Ankor Wat ,Cambodia, has worked at the Royal National
Theatre, and created the London Festival of New Circus and the London International
Workshop Festival. His recent production ‘Honour Bound’, about Guantanamo Bay
opens its2007 European Tour at the Vienna Festival prior to a major tour culminating
at London’s Barbican Centre.
Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground is an events agency that conceives and produces experiential activity using its understanding of contemporary culture.
They confidently combine innovative concepts with a solid production foundation to inspire both clients and audiences.
The company was formed in 2002 by Jon Drape and Steve Smith. They met in the legendary Hacienda where Jon was the in house venue manager and Steve had filled it with one of his many club nights. That was then, today Ear to the Ground has a wide portfolio of events ranging working across many sectors, art, fashion, film alongside music.
David Norris will be leading the project from Ear to the Ground.
Richard Mc Ginnis
Richard Mc Ginnis is a Liverpool based promoter with over 11 years experience in the city. Behind Liverpool success stories Chibuku & Circus, through these events has won every major dance music award out there from Mixmag club of the year to BBC Radio one House Rules Club of the year. Richard is also talent booker for the legendary Liverpool dance festival Creamfeilds now in his 4th year as talent consultant as well as being one of the owners of the extremely successful Manchester based Warehouse Project at Boddingtons. In 2006 alone he was behind no less than 200,000 ticket sales
Liverpool Culture Company
The Liverpool Culture Company is the organisation set up by Liverpool City Council to
deliver the culture programme up to and beyond 2008 (God help us, eds)
They are working closely with all their stakeholders - including cultural organisations, communities, artists, schools, businesses, commercial partners, funders and our fellow Merseyside boroughs - to help Liverpool shine on the world stage by delivering the best-ever European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Liverpool Culture Company has a broad remit and the definition of culture covers everything from artistic performance to heritage, health to tourism.
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. A number of European cities have used the City of Culture year to transform their cultural base and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally.
Conceived as a means of bringing citizens of European Union closer together, European City of Culture was launched on June 13, 1985 by the Council of Ministers on the initiative of the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri. Since then, the initiative has been more and more successful amongst European citizens and has had a growing cultural and socio-economic impact on the numerous visitors it has attracted.
The Song List
Boo Radley Wake Up Boo
Cilla Black Liverpool Lullaby
Classic song In My Liverpool Home
Echo and the Bunnymen 7 Seas
Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon
Elvis Costello Shipbuilding
Elvis Costello I can't stand up for falling down
Frankie goes to Hollywood Relax
Frankie goes to Hollywood Two Tribes
George Harrison My Sweet Lord
Gerry and the Pacemakers Don't Let the Sun Catch you Crying
Gerry and the Pacemakers Ferry across the Mersey
Gerry and the Pacemakers You'll Never Walk Alone
Isaac Hayes I love Music
Jimmy Osmond Long Haired Lover from Liverpool
John Lennon Power to the People
John Lennon Starting Over
John Lennon Whatever gets you through the night
John Newton Amazing grace
The Undertones Teenage Kicks
Julian Cope World Shut yer Mouth
K Klass Let me show you love
Ladytron Seventeen
Lighting Seeds/Ian Brodie Footballs Coming Home (Football moment)
Lightning Seeds/Ian Brodie Marvellous
Marc Almond/Gene Pitney Anyone who had a Heart
Paul McCartney Live and Let Die
Pete Wylie Heart as big as Liverpool
Screaming J Hawkins You Put A Spell On Me (Listened to by the Beatles)
Space Female of the Species
The Beatles Come Together
The Beatles Revolution Cream
The Beatles Working Class Hero
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles Yesterday (Ray Charles Version)
The Farm Altogether Now
The La's There She Goes (Gabrielle's version)
The Mighty Wah! Story of the Blues
The Real Thing Can you feel the the Force
The Real Thing Children of the Ghetto (Mary J Blige version)
The Zutons Valerie
Possibly using just the rifts and samples of The Beatles songs to abridge the performance.

(And the cost...............? eds)