Article – Liverpool’s Unusual Sights

See the Sights

(Originally published in Inform Magazine, September 2004)

You’re new to Liverpool so you’ll want to see some of the sights Liverpool has to offer. Ignore the usual haunts and try the patented Inform magazine guide to unusual things to see.

1. Crap Statues
Liverpool has a long tradition of putting up embarrassing statues to people who usually turned out to be slave traders or, worse, members of the royal family. These days we’ve tried to keep up that tradition with such statues as the completely baffling horse-with-huge-knackers-plus-bloke-pointing-at-nothing-in-particular on Church Street, the orange-block-done-in-cubist-style which is regularly pissed on by punters in Concert Square, the bloke-in-the-nude-looking-impassioned-about-something above Lewis’s, and the twin horrors of the statue of John Lennon on Mathew Street with an oversized head, and Paul McCartney in Clayton Square, which successfully captures his matey obnoxiousness. All rubbish, although we quite like the superlambanana. Trouble is, no-one else did which is why it’s virtually impossible to find.

2. High Looney Quotient
Where to start? Cooper’s Pub near Clayton Square may be a good place, as no matter the hour of the day it’s always packed with people belting out karaoke versions of popular hits. Or how about the similar but far more disturbing bloke who operates a bunch of teddy bears to a musical accompaniment, often donning a teddy head as well? Has been giving kids nightmares for years. Or why not check out the bombed-out church, preferably during the evening, where the true loonies congregate in between haranguing the staff in Bargain Booze across the road.

3. Architectural Disasters
When we’re not cruelly cancelling constructions before they’ve even started, we can also put up some damn fine monstrosities. Witness the statue of Queen Victoria on Derby Square which, from a certain angle, looks like she’s got a penis. Or how about the creepy Masonic graves, which takes up valuable land on Rodney Street? Or our two rather large cathedrals, both designed to outdo the other and both running out of money near completion, resulting in one side of the Anglican Cathedral being obviously much cheaper than the other, and the Metropolitan Cathedral’s once famous leaking roof. Our favourite, though, is the unfinished building on Whitechapel, which looks like a normal construction but has been like that for four years.

4. General Oddness
So what else is there to see? Well it’s hard to miss the trumpeter on Bold Street who somehow manages to make any song sound utterly miserable. Or the Quiggins Wind Tunnel on School Lane, a strange natural phenomenon which has been freezing the eyeliner off the HMV punks who gather there. The guy up a ladder outside the sign shop on Berry Street, who will one day finish that sign. Or just how many lights are ever lit at any one time on the terribly artistic wormy multi-coloured light things on Wolstenholme Square.

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About klausjoynson
I'm a writer, editor, musician, DJ and cartoonist. Contact me at: klausjoynson(at)gmail.com or follow me on Twitter: @KlausJoynson

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