With the obligatory Beatle

So apparently the people of Liverpool haven’t been embracing their Capital of Culture mantle.

That’s because it hasn’t started yet, naysayers.

Things kick off properly tonight; at 20.08 (see what they did there?). And try telling that to the 50,000 (20,000 more than expected) people who are standing in front of St George’s Hall, in the wind and drizzle, with thousands more trailing back up the streets watching big screens.

It’s all a bit of a disappointment really, unless you were near the front, and everyone wanted it to be good. For most of the evening all you can hear is the tux & hardhat wearing compare (think the Scouse son of Brian Blessed). Acrobats hang off cranes, flipping and tumbling in front of the screens as they project videos like the ones in between songs at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Due to the wind, the line up of drummers and guitarists playing on the roof tops of St George’s Hall, the Empire Theatre and the Radio City tower, sound like they’re playing proto-industrial noise symphonies. It’s pretty avant garde for such a mass appeal event; perhaps Yoko’s hijacked it.

If The Wombats had played ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’, then everyone could have had a cheer when they mention “Liverpool”, but instead they do ‘Moving To New York’. It’s their best song, but doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of things. Then Ringo does his well-intentioned, but ultimately rubbish ‘Liverpool 8’ song; bobbing around on the roof in his beanie hat.

And everyone cheers, because they sort of have to.

Join us on VERO

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.

Follow Clash: