Why?

 

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Today, Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool.

Came round the corner in a car with my friend Laura and we both said “What?” And then we said “They’re doing it now.” One machine on top of the rubble, the other pulling the walls down. And it’s not like we didn’t know it would be happening, but to come round the corner and see it happening in front of us was nevertheless a shock.

Then we both turned to each other and we said “Why?”

Then I got out of the car and took these photos. Of Cream going. Of the Mello Mello building nearly ready to open as something I wish only well, but it isn’t Mello Mello and won’t have what Mello Mello had. The feeling of belonging to us all collectively. Then round the other side of the block  to see through where Kazimier is going, back to where Cream had almost gone.

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Today.

DSC02630DSC02631DSC02632DSC02633DSC02634DSC02635DSC02636DSC02637DSC02638DSC02639DSC02640DSC02641DSC02642DSC02643DSC02644DSC02645DSC02646DSC02647DSC02648DSC02649DSC02650DSC02651DSC02652DSC02653DSC02654DSC02655DSC02657DSC02656And we said “The Cavern.” And we said “Cream.” And we said “The Kazimier.” And we said “Why?”

But don’t tell us why. We know why.DSC02628

7 thoughts on “Why?

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      More talk of ‘Got to live in the real world’ and ‘can’t stand in the way of progress’!

      I actually know the Kazimier people a bit and they’ve taken it all philosophically and are building something absolutely incredible at the North Docks. Even so, for a cultural city we don’t treasure our treasures very carefully. Here’s hoping we both make it to the Retro-Cream Re-Build Project in about 20 years time!

      Reply
  1. Jeff

    Lots of people will look at those pictures and recall happy nights spent with friends, dancing or hearing great live music. It’s a shame they’ve had to go.

    Reply
  2. Kenn Taylor

    I will miss these venues, however I have a similar philosphical view to the Kazimier guys. I am pleased I was at the first ever in 2008 (when it wasn’t technically legal) and last ever Kazimier events. Also watching MelloMello go from a ‘bring your own’ squat party place to somewhere with great food and where I even used to do martial arts (poorly) upstairs.

    I am with Tony Wilson though, who was indifferent to see his very own Hacienda in Manchester demolished for flats. The last things that should ever be museums are night clubs. I think they should burn brightly then dissapear. I would have rather the Cavern (which my mum used to go to, The Beatles were ‘alright’ apparently ‘but there were better bands’) was never re-built than the pastiche we have now.

    Cream’s heyday was long ago, and they’re getting a new club beneath the flats probably more suited to the way people go out these days and as you say, the Kazimier guys have exciting new plans by the Dock Road. If ‘The Conti’, den of 80s footballers which became the Kazimier, had never closed down, it would have never re-opened as the Kaz. If the original MelloMello had never closed (when it was owned by Cream as a ‘come up, come down’ spot, hence the name!!) the later Mello could have never existed. If Matthew Street hadn’t become a tourist trap, the arty clubs would have never moved on to ‘Ropewalks’ and when that changed, onto ‘Baltic’ and indeed now it seems the north docks. My mum was also always amused where she used to work in Vernon’s Pools in Aintree became the notorious Paradox nightclub! Now also demolished.

    While the city has been stupid and short sighted sometimes in what is knocked down, equally, when I was younger in the 90s and almost nothing ever got built in Liverpool at all, I would despair at the nostalgia people had for the old days and old things which I never knew. I just wanted ‘now’ to be better and for things to change. There are so many more music venues now than in the late 90s and many of them are better. Similary I remember the gnashing of teeth when the Everyman was knocked down, now Liverpool has a much better I would argue theatre, though you’re right the cafe could do with more work.

    Change can be painful but as regards music venues and nightclubs, I think change is good. I don’t mind venues closing as long as we keep getting new ones and at the moment, things don’t seem too bad in that respect. Forget the retro revivials, I want to see what the young people who have been going to Kaz open up in the next ten years!

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Well and thoughtfully said Kenn. I’m glad to have recorded the moments of their going though. And do think property wins over culture every time here. Highly planned and distantly owned buildings never allow the anarchic freedom of elderly survivals that can turn into the Kaz, Cream, Mello Mello and, hey, Granby 4 Streets pretty much while no one’s looking.

      More on this in my favourite architectural history book “How buildings learn: What happens after they’re built?”

      Reply
      1. Kenn Taylor

        Oh indeed. Sadly at the moment money wins out too many times. Yes they all show what can be done with love and effort in abandoned spaces. A lesson to draw is the need to protect the effort of the hard graft of grassroots regeneration, much like you’re doing in Granby with the CLT. The fate of Kaz and Mello was sealed when Frenson went to the wall and much of that area went on the open market. Don’t Drop The Dumbells is also a good example with a venue, having been kicked out of two town centre buildings they had informal arrangements for, they now own their own pub near the Wind Factory.

        I will check that book out!

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