‘Yanks out’ goes viral

So, Liverpool’s finest are set to get together to film a video in protest at ‘the most hated man on Merseyside since Kelvin MacKenzie’ (still our most hated man) as fears grow that LFC owner Tom Hicks, along with partner-in-crime George Gillet, will ruin the footie club.

It’s been curious to watch the plight of Reds over the last 12 months, especially after they took such delight in NUFC being sent down the season before last, but no-one wants a football club to go down.

So, with a typically scouse flourish, Liverpool is uniting against the hated American tycoons, in what is the latest attempt to lever the owners out of Anfield.

Behind all of this are the trio of Hollywood film producer Mike Jefferies, Liverpool author Kevin Sampson and Liverpool musician Neville Skelly, while plenty of the usual suspects – McCulloch, Broudie, Bishop and Fitzmaurice – are also connected with the video.

The Culture Blog’s not sure what to make of all of this – all of the YANKS OUT stuff is uncomfortably close to jingoism – but we once spent an evening with Kevin Sampson, who was an amusing, witty, softly-spoken and fundamentally pleasant chap.

So, what the hell. Why not send an old American bloke a video clip telling him how much you hate him?

• Filming takes place Saturday from 10.00am–6.00pm at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool.

• Image by Dave The Pap

Liverpool girls go wild for Brazilian

Another day, another new restaurant. This one’s Viva Brazil, opening towards the business district on Castle Street.

Considering the amount of cash sloshing around that part of town, the Blog reckons the area isn’t brilliantly served food-wise, with the brilliant Etsu one of only a couple of eateries in the area that really excel.

If I was feeling uncharitable, I might suggest that some of the outlets on that side of town are more interested in chasing a WAG and Yuppie demographic than actually creating good food, but there you go; business is business.

Will Viva Brazil buck the trend? That remains to be seen, but we’re not entirely sure what to make of this publicity stunt, staged yesterday in time for a weekend opening:

If you made it this far down the page, here’s some blurb about Viva Brazil:

Viva Brazil Churrascaria is an authentic, Brazilian style Steakhouse. The concept is simple, Viva Brazil gives you more – more of everything… food, service and atmosphere.

Once seated, your Brazilian style dining experience begins. Guests are given the chance to relax and enjoy one of their favourite cocktails, make a selection from our list of hand-picked fine wines, or you can head straight over to our choose from our selection of seasonal salads and side dishes.

The real experience begins as our troop of Passadors (Carvers) move from table to table, offering over fifteen select cuts of Beef, Lamb, Pork, Chicken and Sausages, all slow roasted over our charcoal barbeque and expertly carved at the table.

To further accompany this feast, dishes such as garlic mashed potatoes, polenta, fried banana and artisan cheese breads are served to your table for you to enjoy.

Your Brazilian experience would not be complete without one of our hard to resist Caipirinha cocktails. The national drink of Brazil, mixed together using only Cachaca rum, freshly squeezed limes and Sugar. At Viva Brazil, we bring the bar to you with our bespoke mobile cocktail stations. Let our experienced bartenders mix and serve freshly prepared drinks at the comfort of your own table!

Join us for a dining experience that dates back hundreds of years to the cowboys of Southern Brazil. Times may have changed, but we’re sure that our food, service and hospitality, is just how they would’ve loved it!

The Culture Blog hasn’t sampled the delights of Viva Brazil as yet, but with publicity like this will anyone care what I think?

Viva Brazil Churrascaria – Liverpool

• Image by Dave The Pap

Dave McCabe outside Liverpool Crown Court

Dave ‘Look at me now’ McCabe has been making headlines recently, having been found guilty of sticking a nut on a student earlier this year outside Korova – for making fun of his girlfriend’s coat.

The former Zutons frontman took what hasn’t become as ‘The Gerrard Defence’, which described how punching someone in the face is actually a case of pre-emptive self-defence – a little bit like the War on Terror. Here’s the beardless singer himself, as quoted in the Grauniad:

“He raised his hand and I could tell from his body language that he was going to punch me so I headbutted him and backed off.”

Anyway, McCabe’s defence didn’t wash, and he was found guilty of assault. He is yet to be sentenced.

Dave the Pap sent over this image of McCabe in Derby Square. It’s nice to see that Dave adhered to the classic rebellious ‘short tie’ rule for his appearance.

Review: ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at the Everyman

“Well, that was a laugh eh?” quipped the Culture Blog on the way out from ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore at the Everyman.

To say that the play ends with a bloody slaughter shouldn’t really surprise anyone after what unfolds over the course of the previous hour and a half, but the brutality of it certainly raised a few eyebrows.

I wasn’t familiar with the play, imagining some John Osborne slice of 50s realism, so didn’t anticipate the events that were to follow; namely incest, murder and revenge.

First impressions were excellent, though, with a small cast putting nary a foot wrong, especially Hugh Skinner as troubled protagonist Giovanni, Matti Houghton as his sister Annabella and Eileen O’Brien, with an initially amusing turn as the latter’s Guardian, Putana.

Kevin Harvey, first seen at the Everyman in a brilliant production of Yellowman years ago, also puts in an interesting performance as Friar Bonaventura, mentor and confidante to Giovanni.

Young, massively bearded and scouse, where Bonaventura appears to be a much older character, he makes an unlikely sight, but it’s strong and animated.

Similarly incongruous is Ken Bradshaw, with a strong Irish accent, as Vasquez, calculating manservant to the vengeful Soranzo. But that works too, to the extent that Vasquez ends up as one of the production’s more intriguing characters.

I won’t bother to explain the plot, with its twists and turns. Suffice to say, things don’t really end well for anyone concerned.

It’s really strong stuff, in several senses of the word and, I thought, somewhat ambiguous. What I took for some pointed comment on the hypocrisy of the characters’ skewed morals could be viewed as something rather more simple; the straight-up belief that the female characters, portrayed by most of the men as various shades of whores, harlots or out-and-out witches are just that.

For it’s not clear with whom the play’s moral centre, and where the sympathies of the author, reside. Giovanni, despite the carnage he’s responsible for, is shown as something of a Byronesque romantic; Vasquez, the closest thing to an out-and-out antagonist, seems almost ennobled by his part in the last act’s mayhem; it’s not clear if the Church is mocked for its twisted morals or elevated for them.

Because of that ambiguity there’s the suspicion of a hefty streak of misogyny running through Tis Pity She’s A Whore; and the grand guignol finale does little to suggest otherwise.

Still, I couldn’t fault the production, the cast of Everyman Family players, sets, music and direction were quite superb. But there’s a lot of nagging doubts as to the intention of the play, and of this production. To an extent, that makes it all the more powerful, but it also makes it all the more troubling on several levels.

Don’t take your Grandmother. Or, for that matter, your sister.