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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, January 25, 2009
    The most incredible intensity

    The highlight of the excellent BBC Culture Show: Liverpool Capital of Culture retrospective was their eight minute feature on yet another show I wish I hadn't missed: The Rightful Owners of the Song, in which composer and show director Jonathan Raisin brought together the cream of Liverpool's pub singers with the Philharmonic Orchestra to perform together at the Phil, with style and integrity. A celebration of the city's grassroots musical culture featuring L8's Willie Wenton and the woman Raisin calls 'the Ella Fitzgerald or the Billie Holiday of the north of Liverpool' Margaret Doyle, it brought tears to my eyes.

    And then, in a programme full of great (and curiously forward-looking, unsentimental) pieces about our year of cultural adventures, there's a great section in which Mark Kermode and Terence Davies stand alongside a used car showroom on Kensington Street L6, creating together a rich psychogeographical moment:

    Mark Kermode: At the very beginning of 'Of Time And The City' there's that quote, 'The happy highways where I walked and cannot come again', and there is that sense that that's exactly what's happened here: the place, the streets that you walked, literally don't exist any more.

    Terence Davies: No they don't, um, but they live inside me, I mean, with the most incredible intensity.

    Still of Margaret Doyle from The Culture Show: Liverpool Capital of Culture, A Year in the Life [BBC iPlayer, 09.00 mins]
    Kermode / Davies shot from the Culture Show website