The Flâneur

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Sartorial Elegance:

Still in search of the ineffable top hat? Click here for new links in Gentlemen's Outfitters.

Or indeed for the perfect pith helmet? We at The Flâneur raise our glasses to the brave stand on civilised head gear taken, against overwhelming odds, by a tiny handful of foolhardy heroes in the Antipodes - The Pith Helmet Appreciation Society.
Thrill to the reckless adventures of the Hunting of the Whistling Fiend!

And while we are on the subject, let's remind ourselves of Elemental's exquisite ode to the cuppa:

The Flâneur on Farcebuke - a confession:

Time goes on, and even flâneurs have to move with it (well, at least twitch the odd muscle and languidly glance at one's fob-watch every now and then), and so, here we are, four years after our launch, making a modification to our presence in this electronic webular world .
But despair not, the modification is by no means serious surgery. The Flâneur website that you are now perusing will continue its meanderings as the repository of the cultural, the aesthetic ,the literary, the peculiar and the downright unintelligable as it has always done.
But from now on, our (always rather haphazard) coverage of what is afoot, hitherto to be found in 'Places and Events', will be replanted on (dare I say it?) 'Facebook':
[Should this link not work, then you will recognise our page on 'Farcebook' easily enough, despite the plethora of paltry imitations, by the noble profile of Baron Robert de Montesquieu who has graced our website since its inception.]
Much to our regret, we find that we must invite you to become 'fans' (such vulgar language! - We can think of many more dignified terms) of The Flâneur on 'Farcebook' , but once the deed is done, then you will be party to a site on which all that is truly worthy of the attention of the cultured connoisseur, locally in Liverpool, but also nationally, internationally and beyond, is on display, and to which you are cordially invited to contribute.

Allies and Fellow Travellers:

Other new relationships are forged as the international network of flâneurs and their co-conspirators traverses the globe.

We are pleased to announce the establishment of full diplomatic relations with King Wilhelm-Rudolf von Elfberg & Queen Anastasia of Ruritania at [not to be confused of course with the Ruritania of]. Queen Anastasia's invitation that we become her 'loyal subjects' was tactfully deflected by pointing out that as Anarcho-Absurdists it would of course be quite impossible for us to be loyal subjects to anyone. The word chutzpah was not uttered (except very sotto voce) and not a single musket was discharged throughout negotiations, fraught though they were.

To ponder the musings of the inimitable Mr. Ray Frensham, founder of Constructive Apathy - a Lifestyle Philosophy, see

Some new friends of a Victorian, scientific, creative bent draw our attention to Steampunk Magazine at [There is an exhibition of steampunk work at the Oxford Museum of the History of Science till 21st February MHS - Museum of the History of Science, Oxford - Steampunk
For Professor Mycroft's daguerreotypes from a recent expedition:]

While we are at it, a propos of nothing in particular, Mycroft's daguerreotypes of the Great Liverpool Penguin Hunt can be viewed on

Our intrepid friend Tom Flemons is hacking his way through the jungles of Java again. To follow Tom's adventures as he demonstrates the art of extreme flânerie, visit his webular log on

Groves of Academe and Literature:

The Flâneur is delighted to present the most excellent contribution our library, a thesis entitled Decadent Art and Freedom by Kassim Qureshi - the perfect introduction to decadence, aestheticism, flânerie and related realms.

We continue to espouse the cause of new independent publishers L'OYS Press and Democritus (see Quincey Riddle's webular site to find out more) and to offer such support as we are able to Dedalus Books, purveyors of the finest translations, original fiction, and above all, jewels of decadence (for our review of their Decadent Handbook, click here). In dashed dire straits since the withdrawal of their arts council grant, see for the full story. Dedalus may not quite match the legendary swashbuckling of the ineffable Olympia Press of Paris in its heyday - there has never been a whiff of scandal about Dedalus (who knows, a Story of O rumpus might be just what Dedalus needs to turn its fortunes around?) - but it is the best we've got. Let us rally to the cause!

Degree in the arts of Flânerie enters its fifth triumphant year! Click here and here.

Crosby Beach, Antony Gormley's 'Another Place' installation
'Nothing by Gormley is ever to be missed!'
See also and for the best of what's on in Liverpool .

Mersey Green
Plans are afoot to set up a 'low impact sustainable community' in Liverpool. Contact for more details. (Just so long as there are proper cloakroom facilities for toppers, pith helmets, parasols ...)

The Flâneur visits 'Fashion V Sport' at the Walker Art Gallery
By Mr. Wainewright February 2009

Shedding his trenchcoat to enter 'Fashion V Sport', the Walker Art Gallery's latest exhibition, Our Man from The Flâneur made his entrance clad in a hacking jacket. Thus pupated, he reflected that sportswear has been treated as the poor relation to officers' field dress in historical writing on matters sartorial. Until perhaps twenty years ago, such representation may have been true. But this exhibition, from London's Victoria & Albert Museum, focuses on our recent and nefarious age of branded plimsols and polyester tracksuits...
Do click here and read on...

The Amorous Cat Bookshop

Spiffing news for book lovers! The tragic decline in the number of second hand book shops in Liverpool is at last checked! We recently received the following ethereal mail:

You and your esteemed society may well be interested in the re-opening of the Amorous Cat Bookshop in Lark Lane, Liverpool on October 3rd. We feel that Flâneurs of all persuasions are sure to find items of interest and oddity in our shop. We will try to ensure that the surroundings are conducive to browsing and we are current ordering suitable portraits of suitable authors for decorating the walls. We will initially have some 12000 second hand books on offer, many of which are worthy of prolonged inspection. We rather like your website, may we have permission to extend a connection from our links page to your site on ?

The Amorous Cat Bookshop 47, Lark Lane, Liverpool, L17 8UW"

Welcome news indeed. Hie thee hither, Flâneurs everywhere!

Not one, but two awards were picked up by Tayo Aluko for his play, Call Mr Robeson, about the great African American singer, actor and civil rights activist, Paul Robeson, during at the Brighton Festival Fringe in May 2008.
After a 5-STAR review from Three Weeks Magazine, the play was awarded a rare Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence. And at the Latest 7 Fringe Awards Ceremony on the closing night of the festival, Tayo was given the award of Best Male Performer!
The play touches on Paul Robeson's music, his politics (he was a forerunner of famous figures like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X), his struggles with the American Establishment, and elements of his personal life, between the 1920s and 1960s. It includes many of the great man's speeches and famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol' Man River.
Call Mr Robeson was described by reviewers as "a moving tribute to a remarkable man", "arresting", "fantastic", "magnificent and moving", "outstanding", "thrilling" etc.
Tayo hopes that the Awards will help in his quest to bring Robeson's inspirational story to a wider audience, at a time when the world seems to be short of real heroes.
Award sites:
Our Theatrical Critic writes: "Call Mr Robeson is a first rate production - Mr Aluko has a first rate voice and a great stage presence. A labour of love and presented with real passion. Keep your eyes open for when it is on again."
For more details see

The Mighty Diamonds

The Picket, Liverpool.

Sunday 5th April 2009.

7.30pm. £10.00.

The Mighty Diamonds, Donald “Tabby” Shaw, Fitzroy ”Bunny” Simpson and Lloyd “ Judge” Ferguson formed in 1969 in the Trenchtown area of Kingston, Jamaica and for the past 32 years have been entertaining and educating the world with their sweet harmonies and conscious lyrics.

The Diamonds find strength and inspiration in their faith and their love of Jah. Their message is one of unity, love and at times, rebellion in the face of injustice.

'Moto Photo' Exhibition and Knees-Up

Your correspondent was pleasantly surprised to be invited to a private view at the Static Gallery on Roscoe Lane of 'Moto Photo', an exhibition of photographs evoking the spirit of motorcycling sponsored by the internationally-noted Davida Engineering of Birkenhead, manufacturers of classic helmets, goggles and other wares to the more style-conscious motorcyclist across the world.

There was a party in full swing upon our arrival and there were a hundred or so images on the walls. Mr. Fid himself explained (between bands) that the frameless mountings were used so the exhibition could be transported anywhere on the back of a motorcycle. You know that with this lot that this will literally happen. Previous Davida events have included public lectures with lantern-slides by chaps who have travelled to India by goat and returned home on a Royal Enfield motorcycle purchased there, or crossed some remote obstacle on a motorcycle perilously dangling beneath a hot-air balloon. As is usual with Davida parties, many of the guests had travelled from overseas, and at this one there were strong contingents from Iceland, Finland, Ireland as well as a place called London. Your correspondent became immoderately tiddly.

Davida is most famous for its 'classic' styles of motorcycle helmets that appear to be from a more civilised age but are built to modern safety standards. Similarly Davida goggles are based upon Second World War RAF fighter pilot's goggles.
See for other madcap events.

Huzzah for Homotopia!
November is Homotopia month in Liverpool! Log onto for more details.
Grand Vogue Ball in the Adelphi Hotel ballroom on the 8th November. Tickets from the Unity Theatre.

Shipping Lines Literary Festival 3rd-9th November. Click here .

The Chap Olympics 2008
Hampstead Heath may not be Peking, but at least no countries were over-run in the staging of this display of sartorial elegance (and tasteful absence of anything actually resembling a sporting event): click here, here and here.

Disturbing Rumours in the Capital of Culture?
The Flâneur hears disturbing rumours of mysterious goings on in the world of the City Council and the Capital of Culture. What is afoot? Is anyone going to stand up and come clean, or has everyone taken their hands off the wheel? Are we heading for a motorway pile up of denials, cloaks and daggers and the whiff of financial impropriety? The merest suspicion of murky antics does our city immeasurable harm, reinforcing all the worst prejudices about Liverpool. The citizens demand to know. What is going on? I think we should be told.

The Flâneur Labour Exchange offers escape from the run of the mill rat-race. Hi thee to the Himalayas! House mother required for new intake of children at primary school in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, from August 2008. Must be natural English speaker with sufficient stamina to cope with a live-in job with 25 lively Tibetan, Indian and Nepalese children for the next 9 months! Local salary plus free food and accommodation, with 2 weeks holiday. For more details contact Phuntsok Tashi at or:

Forthcoming Exhibition!

Spaces, Places and People

Thursday 15th May to Saturday 21st June 2008

Lis Edgar is an old bohemian chum of The Flâneur; she wore the brightest-polished Doctor Martens in the legendary Casablanca Club!

Contact her on

The Gallery is to be found above the celebrated Paul McCue's Bluecoat Books at 32, Hanover Street L1 4LN (only 200 yards from the Bluecoat Chambers)


Lark Lane Jazz Club invites all to Thursday evening sessions at newly opened bar, Vinyl.

Following 3 years and four months of Monday evening sessions at Metro in Victoria Street, Liverpool Jazz Club is branching out once again. The club established Woolton Village Jazz Club (Village Inn, Quarry Street) in August. Host and house pianist David Fishel is clearly delighted with the event. "We didn't expect such a wonderful response, so quickly. Jazz music traditionally takes time to rootbut the most enthusiastic people, mostly locals, turned up from day one. We now enjoy an action-packed, well-attended session every Tuesday evening".

And now it's Lark Lane's turn. Vinyl, a newly-opened bar at the Sefton Park end of Lark Lane in Aigburth, will host the club every Thursday evening, from 8 to midnight.

Fishel is convinced the evenings will be successful. "Lark Lane has always been an artistic, Bohemian-type area. We hope to meet and perform with instrumentalists and vocalists every session and we offer a house band, a PA system, keyboard and drums. Asked what makes a successful jazz/jam session, Fishel says, "Most importantly, everyone involved, including the public, must be made to feel part of the event. The evening should be hosted, the house band should be good musicians and guest artists should be greeted and signed in. We are always happy to promote and encourage emerging talent".

Liverpool Jazz Club artists are also currently performing each Friday lunchtime at BBC Radio Merseyside's new building in Hanover Street. The concerts are in aid of the radio station's Christmas Toy Appeal.

Are there plans for further jazz expansion? "We would very much like to play a regular evening somewhere in the Wirral", says Fishel. "There is lots of great jazz already there, but it is almost all Traditional or Dixieland, there don't seem to be any venues offering our version of hard swing and jam sessions!"

See for further details

Forthcoming Exhibition!

Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday 13th March to Monday 31st March 2008

Lis Edgar is an old bohemian chum of The Flâneur; she wore the brightest-polished Doctor Martens in the legendary Casablanca Club!

Contact her on

The Gallery is to be found above the celebrated Paul McCue's Bluecoat Books at 32, Hanover Street L1 4LN (only 200 yards from the Bluecoat Chambers)


Private View Sunday 23rd March 1.30-4.
Exhibition continues to 20th April.
Opening times Fri-Sun 1.30-4.30 and by appointment.
Paint is fascinating and flexible stuff.

The work on show displays the plurality of ideas and practices among the regions artists. They utilise the medium in diverse ways; whether “figurative” or “abstract”, “niave” or “conceptual”, each artist approaches their subject with diligent attention to their particular process. Featuring Elaine Fox, Jane Hughes, Stanislaw Krakiewicz, Treena Markland, Sue Millburn and Geoff Molyneux.

Entry fee to Gardens Adults £4.95, Children/concs £3.25/ under 5s free.

For FREE Entrance please RSVP to the contact details and get your name on the guest list (normal Norton Priory entrance fees will apply otherwise).

Visit our website for further details and directions to the Gallery.

The Kitchen Gallery
Norton Priory Museum & Gardens
Tel: 01928 577 487/ 0151 733 5986/ 0772 987 3001

No Banjos Allowed!

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is to entertain a toe-tapping crowd at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool on Friday 22nd February 2008. AS they say in their own words:-

"A collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies. See the universe in the grain of a Ukulele. You may never think about music in the same way once you've been exposed to the Ukes' depraved musicology. The Orchestra use the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom with Ukuleles, (little ones, big ones, high ones, low ones) revealing unsuspected insights into popular music. From Tchaikovsky to Nirvana via Otis Reading, the Orchestra takes you on a world tour with only hand luggage and gives the listener 'One Plucking Thing After Another'."

Musical Food for the Soul

"...I have been invited by the good people at the Parish Church of St. Nicholas to lend my baritone voice to the proceedings by singing .... I expect the keen eared will detect a faint rumbling as the slavers in the grounds around the church turn in their graves, wondering what their descendants are up to, allowing an African to address the holy throng?"

That is an extract from an article published in the now-defunct North West Enquirer in August 2006.

Well, another invitation has come, this time for me to present some songs as part of their Lent 2008 programme. See

I have chosen songs by Black composers, and exploring the idea of spirituality from this Black man's point of view. This is not something I do often, but it should be interesting, and perhaps a bit unorthodox.

If you are free, why not join me and my accompanist, Derek Sadler, at 1pm on Tuesday 11th March for 30 minutes of Musical Food for the Soul.

I hope not to cause too many rumblings: in your mind, stomach or elsewhere...


Tayo Aluko and Friends Ltd.
59 Seel Street
L1 4AZ

0151 707 8187
0151 707 8557 (Fax)

Registered Charity No. 1118172
Limited Company No. 5952260

Norton Priory plays host to the Kitchen Gallery, where a first rate group of local artists - including Stanislaw Krakiewicz and Sarah Nicholson - work and exhibit: see

School of Gonzo

Centre of the Creative Universe: Liverpool and the Avant-Garde
Tate Liverpool Gallery, Albert Dock,
20th February to 9th September 2007

Taking its title from a comment by Allen Ginsberg, this major exhibition investigates how the city has influenced and inspired a diverse range of important post-war artists such as Keith Arnatt, Stewart Bale, John Baum, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Boyle Family, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Maurice Cockrill, Jeremy Deller, Rineke Dijkstra, Filmaktion, Adrian Henri, Candida, Hofer, John Latham, Melik Ohanian, Yoko Ono, Martin Parr, Bob and Roberta Smith, Alec Soth, Sam Walsh, and Tom Wood.

There is a Liverpool University Press book featuring full-colour images of exhibited works, and essays by eminent thinkers and historians.

Frock coat and topper recommended for this one; a lorgnette perhaps to further annoy the shag-haired vagabonds this exhibition is bound to attract!

For further details, pop into the Tate gallery's own webular site:-

River Mersey Book Fairs 2007 Woodside Ferry Terminus, Admission free. Two minutes' walk from Hamilton Square Station, ample free parking, or take the ferry.
Opening hours 10am-5pm on the follwing dates:-

Saturday & Sunday 9th & 10th June
Saturday & Sunday 7th & 8th July
Saturday & Sunday 11th & 12th August
Saturday & Sunday 8th & 9th September
Saturday & Sunday 6th & 7th October
All enquiries tel. (0151) 638 0160 (after 8pm)

Masquerade: The Work of James Ensor, 1860-1949

(until 23rd September 2007)

Death Chasing the Flock of Mortals

Hie you at once to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight! This estimable gallery has temporarily sent William Holman Hunt's The Scape Goat to the Museum of Fine Art in Ghent for a large exhibition of British art, and in return The Lady Lever has an exhibition of lithographs, paintings and drawings by James Ensor, one of the most original Belgian artists of the nineteenth century and a precursor to the Surrealists.

Macabre, supernatural, spiteful, melancholy and yet also rib-tickling, it's just the thing to tickle the fancy of the sauntering cove of an artistic bent, and set in the picturesque surroundings of Port Sunlight to boot!

· Pros - the exhibition has large, hand-held magnifying glasses for use by promenaders, fops and loafers alike!

· Cons - the Gallery has only ONE measly reference copy of the catalogue, and none whatever available for purchase!


... Spellbinding!...Wonderful!....Sensational!....


A few words from consistent 5-star rated reviews for my play, Call Mr Robeson, from my recent sell-out perfomances at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Read the reviews here: I promise I didn’t pay a penny for any of them!

The play can be seen in Liverpool, UK between 17th and 20th October 2007 at The Arts Centre, Liverpool Community College, Myrtle Street Liverpool, with a support act starting at 7.30pm. Tickets from £5 to £10 from unitytheatre ticketoffice: 0151 709 4988. Flyer attached (Word version available on request)

It is also now available for touring around the UK (and abroad!), and any of you involved in, or with links to theatres that might like to book this one-man play are invited to get in touch with me through my website:

And for those who may not know about Paul Robeson, I suggest this link for starters:


Tayo Aluko

St. Petersburg Conservatoire Choir, Liverpool 3rd November

Dickie, a Russophile and flâneur of great standing in the darker haunts and licensed premises of Liverpool has informed us that the St. Petersburg Conservatoire Choir will be performing at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Saturday 3rd November.

We have no information on ticket prices or the like as yet, but when this delightful choir performed at the huge domed church in New Brighton a couple of years ago patrons simply paid at the door. The Choir does these tours in order to raise money for the Conservatoire which now has to survive the free-market madness of modern Russia. Hence the lack of publicity and the venues being Catholic churches.


requests the pleasure of your company at


to celebrate the Feast of Pokrov

The Polish Hearth Club, 55 Exhibition Road
London SW7 2PN

Reception with a Jazz Duo 8.00-8.30 pm
Dinner 8.30-10.00 pm
Dancing to Cabaret Russe
Carriages: 1.30 am Dress: White or Black Tie
Cost: £75 per person
Buy tickets online at
Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Romanov Fund for Russia . A donation will be made to Cossack charities.

Or by cheque made payable to "R.S.B." to:
Alexander Suscenko
c/o The Lansdowne Club
9, Fitzmaurice Place
London W1J 5JD

Enquiries: 07960 30 84 25
Fax: 07092 813 680
Please note that there is no admittance without a ticket. No ticket sales on the door. Places are limited to 120. Bookings must be received no later than the 14th October 2007 . Regrettably no refunds for cancellations

Liverpool's Mathew St Festival cancelled! Aux barricades, mes braves!

Liverpool Dérives:
As part of Architecture Week 2006, John Elcock, in the spirit of Situationism, organised / precipitated / catallysed (?) an excellent dérive in Liverpool on Tuesday 20th June.
For future such events, see

The ‘Old Boot’ Token for Liverpool?

According to a report on Liverpool Confidential, Liverpool City Council has instructed its own workers to vote on-line in working hours in a competition run by Parker Games, makers of the board game Monopoly.

It appears that the floundering ‘Liverpool Culture Company’ is embarrassed by the poor showing for Liverpool in the national competition which offers to put the town or city with the most votes on the playing board of a special edition of Monopoly. It appears that genuine Liverpolitans couldn’t care less!

Gormley's iron men will have to go, planning committee rules!
Vote to save our Gormleys at,,1927804,00.html#ballot

Good news from Crosby Beach - Anthony Gormley's Another Place does not need another place to go after all! .....

Slip on your smartest and shiniest shoes and pop along to the splendid Walker Art Gallery to saunter through its monumental halls!

Alas, the imminence of Liverpool's donning of the gaudy raiment of European Capital of Culture 2008 has not prevented the apparent ending of the late opening until eight o'clock on Fridays.

This was an excellent escape for the wage-slave; a fellow could slip the chains of wretched employment upon a Friday evening then nourish his battered soul in the revivifying galleries. When his soul was sufficiently healed of the corrosion of the working week and the gallery was about to close, it was but a short amble downhill from William Brown Street to St. Johns Lane and the neo-Victorian splendour of Doctor Duncan's, a comfortable and welcoming hostelry (if you time your arrival between the after-work drinkers going home and the evening shift moving in!) True to the flânerial nature of Liverpool, it is not unusual for a fellow to be accosted by a total stranger in the exotically-tiled back room and he asked his opinion of the exhibitions. Here below are two of note that have just opened:-

Doves and Dreams
The Art of Frances MacDonald and J. Herbert McNair
27th January 2007 - 22nd April 2007
Free admission

"The careers of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his artist-wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh are well documented and internationally celebrated. The achievements of the other members of the 'Glasgow Four' - Frances Macdonald McNair (1873-1921) and J Herbert McNair (1868-1955) - have however been only partially assessed. The exhibition 'Doves and Dreams' aims to present for the first time the full narrative of their lives and art and reveal the artists as among the most consistently inventive and individual artist-designers of that period in Britain."

Pop into for the factual account

The Cathedral that Never Was - Lutyens' design for Liverpool

Saturday, 27th January 2007 - Sunday, 22nd April 2007

"The stunning architectural model of Lutyens' design for Liverpool's Catholic cathedral brings to life the story of an ambitious building that was never built. The model will be displayed for the first time since the completion of a major thirteen- year conservation project to restore it, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exhibition will help to interpret the model and its construction, as well as the background to Lutyens' commission."

At eighteen feet long, the model of Sir Edwin Lutyens' spectacular cathedral to tower over Giles Gilbert Scott's (Anglican) Liverpool Cathedral really is astounding, and provides much food for a flâneur's dignified musing and contemplation over the top of a silver-topped cane. Sadly, the War stopped building after only the crypt had been completed. One can't help wondering how long it would have taken to complete - the vast (but still smaller) Liverpool Cathedral was started in 1904 and not completed until 1978! Among other things, the crypt is used for the annual CAMRA Beer Festival (See Places and Events on this webular site) in February.

For more information on the exhibition and of these bizarre, American-style, lower-case titles, pop along to:-

For information on these and many other exhibitions at the superb Walker Art Gallery, cut along to:_

The F.A.C.T. Centre - 'Live from the Metropolitan Opera, New York!'

Flâneurs who have lingered rather a long time in the sort of second-hand bookshop that Atticus was might well have caught Live from the Met on the wireless, broadcast by the B.B.C.'s Third Programme at six o'clock, after Jazz Record Requests with Geoffrey Smith.

Well now those rum coves over at Picturehouse have decided that listening to the Metropolitan Opera was not enough and several Picturehouse cinemas are staging live, high-definition performances on the big screen.

Liverpool's own F.A.C.T. Centre is one of them (a full list can be found at ) and the programme is:-

Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) 6.00 for 6.30pm, Saturday 24th February
American soprano Renée Fleming hits the high notes whilst Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky makes the ladies vibrate with pleasure in the opera whose title causes so much pronunciation distress (if you pronounce 'Onegin' as 'An-yehgin' in the Russian way then surely 'Eugene' ought to be pronounced 'Yevgeny'?)

Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) 6.00 for 6.30pm, Saturday 24th March
Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez sings Count Almaviva

Il Trittico (Puccini) 6.00 for 6.30pm, Saturday 28th April
James Levine waggles the stick.

At £25 per head per opera with discounts for concessions and members, these performances aren't cheap, but in the FACT they might just be shown with sufficient imagination to make each performance an event rather than just getting a stiff back whilst staring at a screen in a roomful of damp denim and noisy popcorn-eaters.

Fuller details here:-

Liverpool Confidential
It was dubbed "the store that even Hitler couldn't kill", but shocked staff at Liverpool's best known department store were reeling from the bombshell this morning that their jobs hang in the balance after its parent company went into administration.

Want to know more? Click here:

Merchant Palaces:
Liverpool and Wirral Mansions photographed by Bedford Lemere

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight,
16th February to 13th May 2007

What many second-rate townships cannot accept is how important Liverpool was and still is; they constantly bicker amongst themselves as to which of them deserves to be acknowledges as second place to London, when of course what they really mean is third place to Liverpool!

Here is an exhibition of photographs of the grand houses built by the merchants in and around the city that made their fortunes.

The photographs in this exhibition were taken between 1888 and 1916 by the London-based firm Bedford Lemere & Co. Most are the work of Harry Bedford Lemere (1864-1944), one of the best architectural photographers of his day.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery and Port Sunlight itself is excellent dawdling country! Cane and jaunty hat recommended.

For a peep at some of the pictures and more info, pop into the Lady Lever's own webular site ( ) for official details.

Jake and Dinos Chapman:
Bad Art for Bad People

In our view, Jake and Dinos Chapman are worth all the rest of the Brit-Art crowd put together. Drawing inspiration from, and commenting upon, such sources as Goya, Bosch and Dante, informed by Freud, Lacan and Bataille, the Chapmans resurrect the authentic spirit of Surrealism, liberating it from the domestic cosiness of Monty Python (wonderful though Monty Python is in its way), and making it truly dangerous again.

Shocking, yes, but not gratuitous splatter, the Chapmans' work is genuinely disconcerting. Disturbing sculptures of distorted, cloned, sexualised child mannequins, whose hideous deformities do not prevent them remaining sweet, innocent and eerily touchable. Goya's Disasters of War provide the images re-enacted by diaromas of figurines, and a full size sculpture where you don't have to be a card-carrying Lacanian to feel the queasiness of castration. Dioramas of Nazi holocausts set in Auschwitz-cum-McDonalds, fascinating to the nerdy little boy inside the adult, until the overwhelming horror of the details spells out the nightmares awaiting you later when you try to turn in. And finally a room of mock 'primitive' art, where cheeseburgers and Ronald McDonald squat as Polynesian-style totems (after all, when the remains of our so-called 'civilisation' are unearthed in the future, what will they make of McDonalds paraphernalia - 'probably of some religious significance'?...).

With genuine wit, imagination and real skilled and committed creativity, not to mention the visceral punch of art that leaps off the wall to assail you, and a real sense of the uncanny, the Chapman brothers' work engages your eyes, brain and body in an unforgettable onslaught, providing a much welcomed kick in the pants to the lazy posturings of 'post-modern' ironic cool. Modernism bites back - and its teeth still draw arterial blood. Do not miss this brilliant exhibition of the best of two of the best artists of our day

For further information see

The Wigan International Jazz Festival "Ten Days of Cool" 13th-22nd July 2007

Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival

Now in its sixth year, Liverpool's annual festival of Arabic culture runs from 1st to 15th July 2007.
This year's Festival includes two performances by Marcel Khalife:- see

A Message from the Pestalozzi Trust:

Hi everyone,

We are delighted to at last be able to bring you details of the event of the year, yes - the one that you've all been waiting for! Never mind the Queens birthday, never mind the BAFTAs, so guys and girls get out your glad rags this is the fund raising dinner to be held at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, on the 1st July, in aid of the Tibetan students at the Pestalozzi Asian Village in Dehradun, India.

The ticket are on sale now on a first come first served basis, note there are only 100 tickets available so don't miss out order your tickets now to guarantee your place for what will be an extremely enjoyable evening.

See here for further details

We need you! Your help to sell and promote this fun event will make it the great success we know it will be, but it needs your participation. So .....


With our regards,

Chonpel Tsering
Tsering Yangchen
Karma Samdup
Ngawang Dichen

Cinematic masterclass in first rate caddishness, courtesy of the Geovictwardians and Hendrick's Gin, see

Last Tuesday Society
For evenings of Exquisite Loss and Decaying Beauty, see the Last Tuesday Society,
That'll put a spring in your step!

A New Sheridan Club Christmas gad-about, a day of flânerie and foppery

The Geovictwardians appear to be a dandified group of loafing good-for-nothings enjoying themselves, rather after our own hearts. The cove 'Albion' was prominent in the 2006 Chap Olympiad in Russell Square, London, and the webular site features what used to be known as a 'photo-romance':-

Our near name-sake runs a splendid restaurant and spectacular delicatessenat
41 Farringdon Rd, London
EC1: Flaneur Food Hall & Restaurant

The World Beard and Moustache Championships were held in Berlin on the 1st October 2005.

Heartier flaneurs might be interested to know about the next Liverpool Beer Festival 2007 in Liverpool, the annual mass-extermination of brain cells held in Lutyens' splendid crypt beneath the R.C. cathedral.

Although this event does not take place until next year (Wednesdy 14th until Saturday 17th February 2007) tickets first become available on Saturday 16th December 2006 for one day only at the entrance to the crypt itself, tickets can be ordered by post from Monday 18th December 2006. All tickets are to be bought in advance.

Full details here:-

In the past it has been noted as a place where interesting coves turn up, but alas the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King has now become completely anti-smoking.

Therefore it is likely that any briar-puffing chaps, handlebar-moustachioed voluptuaries and proper, full-time, tweed-clad drunkards will seek solace in the Everyman Bistro across the road

An e-mail from Parr Street Studios

More from the battle of Parr Sreet:

The end in site:

Good news:

With thanks:

PJ Wright (Dylan Project) and Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention) play locally and nationally. See

Local all-female band Tinytinlady playing in and around. For more about them and where they are playing, visit their website

What's on Downtown. The online magazine for news, views, and information about downtown Liverpool.

To keep up to date with Liverpool's city centre regeneration, see

For the best up-to-date news of what's on in the North west, see:

Homotopia 2006

This year's splendidly effulgent celebration of arts by gentlemen and ladies who are 'not the marrying kind' (but not to the exclusion of others!) runs from 26th October to 18th November 2006.

The Festival Director is a fellow-saunterer of The Flâneur: the impresario of the KooKoo Club, practitioner of the danse orientale, a Grand Admiral of the Queens' Navy and occasional Indian Prince, the immaculately turned-out Mr. Gary Everett.

The festival embraces film, drama, dance, painting, sculpture and performance art from across Europe and around the world, full details are to be found here in
Aficionados of camp entertainment will richly enjoy The Lavender Club at the Unity Theatre on Thursday 9th November; the bill includes the return of The Australian Dollar, tribute group par excellence! (As well as being thespian chums of flâneur, theatre critic and absinthe drinker, Hildebrand Staggers)

Outsiders Film Festival

Incorporated within Homotopia is the Outsiders Film Festival, a celebration of lesbian and gay film-making. Specific information is to be found at

Free Thinking: A Festival of Ideas for the Future

BBC Radio Three and BBC Radio Merseyside are launching "a unique festival exploring ideas that will change the way we live." To run from Friday 3rd November to Sunday 5th November 2006.

With contributions from Brian Eno, A.S. Byatt, Howard Jacobson, Loyd Grossman Sukhdev Sanhu and Carl Djesserai the events, which include lectures, debates, 'speed-dating' mostly take place at the FACT Centre (88, Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4DQ) and the new BBC Radio Merseyside studios (31, College Lane, Liverpool, L1 3DS) with some at Hope University and The Walker Art Gallery.

Full details of this intriguing festival of thinking are available at:-
All tickets for these events are free, and they are available from this telephone number 08700 100 300

Ripping Film Alert! But look sharp!

Screenings at 12.30pm and 6.30pm on Thursday 23rd November 2006 ONLY, at the FACT Centre, Wood Street, Liverpool. See

How To Survive The 1940s: Post-War Public Information Films (U)

Director: Various Origin: United Kingdom Year: 2006:

"These films, screened to huge cinema audiences, aimed to put a war-weary nation back on its feet. Some remain surprisingly topical such as WORTH THE RISK? (a sardonic exposé of dangerous drivers in post-war London) or YOUR CHILDREN'S MEALS (practical guidance for the parents of fussy eaters). Others reflect the particular preoccupations of those post-war years: THE PEOPLE AT NO. 19 is a mini noir thriller on the subject of venereal disease, while Richard Massingham's POOL OF CONTENTMENT - on how to get the best out of the typing pool - offers a comic glimpse of the '40's workplace"

One day only, so do pop along!

Fundraising Event for the Education of Tibetan Refugee Children
Never mind the Queens birthday, never mind the BAFTAs, so guys and girls get out your glad rags this is the fund raising dinner to be held at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, on the 1st July, in aid of the Tibetan students at the Pestalozzi Asian Village in Dehradun, India. Further details

Mathew Street Festival all over Central Liverpool: THE must attend music festival of the Bank Holiday weekend August 25th-28th.

Shakespeare at the Tower

Every summer for the last three years Dean Taylor Associates have been presenting open air productions of Shakespeare plays. 'Twelfth Night' in 2003, a perfect 'As You Like It' in 2004 and this year a romping 'Merry Wives of Windsor'.

Following on from an initiative launched at a 1999 conference at Lancaster University (drawing on evidence that Shakespeare spent some years at Hoghton Tower) to create a Shakespeare festival at Hoghton and turn it into the Stratford of the north - Dean Taylor Associates collaborated with the Trustees of Hoghton Tower to set up 'Shakespeare at the Tower' where the 2003 and 2004 productions were staged.

The resulting popularity of Hoghton Tower as a venue for lucrative weddings and the like now ironically means that this year the Tower could not find any time for Dean Taylor's Shakespeare, which had to be performed elsewhere. Whilst it is a perfectly good thing for 'Shakespeare at the Tower' to tour the north west, if it loses its toehold at Hoghton, then it is no longer 'Shakespeare at the Tower', and that would be a shameful loss.

We at The Flâneur offer Dean Taylor Associates our warmest support and urge the Trustees of Highton Tower to make their magnificent venue available next year to keep 'Shakespeare at the Tower' alive!

Keep an eye on

Creative Tension: British Art 1900-1950

Creative Tension celebrates the achievements of British Artists in the first half of the twentieth century.

As well as the major art movements with which we are familiar - Abstract art - Surrealism - Impressionism - the exhibition looks at the contribution of mainstream traditional art, and looks at the connections, as well as the differences, between modern and traditional styles.

The exhibition is based on the rich collections of the North West's galleries, particularly those of Oldham, Preston, Bolton and Rochdale. Major artists, sculptors and studio potters of the period are represented including LS Lowry, Sir Alfred Munnings, Ben Nicholson, Bernard Leach and Stanley Spencer.

The exhibition travels to the following venues for the following dates.

Gallery Oldham
5th March - 30th April 2005

Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston
14th May - 10th July 2005

Bolton Museum & Art Gallery
23rd July - 18th September 2005

Touchstones Rochdale
1st October 2005 - 8th January 2006

Fine Art Society, London
January - February 2006

Webular site:-

Glorious October!

Revolutionary Fervour in Streets!

The Flâneur's chumrades and brothers-in-charms at The Chap magazine will be staging their annual protest against vulgarity and bad manners yclept 'Civilise the City', on Monday 17th October 2005. Precise details have yet to reach our ears, but last year the force of fops made their rendezvous at the Oscar Wilde Memorial in Adelaide Street, London W1 in the early afternoon.

These urbane guerrillas will demand devilled kidneys and a pot of lapsang suchong in so-called 'burger' "restaurants", to view the monocle selection in 'Specsavers' and carry out random acts of common courtesy on the coarse streets of the capital.

The only other city where such events are announced as planned is York, though last year there was Anarcho-Dandyist activity from an active cell in Exeter.
Readers of The Flâneur will of course be kept posted with times and locations so all may rally to the agit-fop banner.

Novel for this year's Civilise the City is the news that the protest has attracted international revolutionaries to the barricade.

Lord Whimsy, Mammal of Paradise, imparts on his webular journal that he has been invited to join New York Chappists at Union Square Park and he mentioned that there is also to be a protest in Paris, though no details were given.

Alas, we idle fellows at The Flâneur confess that we have as yet instigated no such revolutionary activity in Liverpool. This is purely because of idleness, hangovers and a profound languor that virtually chains a fellow to his chaise longue. Also, popping into my central Liverpool optician's emporium and demanding to see the monocles would fail to cause outrage or consternation as they do indeed supply monocles to flâneurs. Neither can we condone the drinking of champagne from paper cups.

However, shamed to think we are being outdone by a lot of foreigners, it is possible that something might be organised, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

Further reading:-

Civilise the City; report with photographs of the 2004 Day of Action

Article 'A Call to Arms' from Lord Whimsy's The Affected Provincial's Almanck

Move over Sundance, this is the St Helens Festival of the Moving Image, where the future of film is really made. 7 March 2006, 5.30 onwards.
Open area between Brook St and Smith-Kline Beacham sites.
Be there, or else you won't be.

Deeside Independent Voluntary Arts Film Festival 2005

Turn on, tune in and drop into the 'Summer of Love, Art of the Psychedelic Era' at the Tate Liverpool, on till 25th September. Spiral those eyeballs, scramble that brain matter (and make mine a Green Fairy).

The Manchester City Pride festival, 19-29 August


Volunteer Housemother to mixed nationality young children at Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Dehradun, N. India. This is a charitable organization providing free schooling to intelligent & bright children (mainly girls) of extremely poor families who otherwise cannot afford schooling for their children. Duties to include teaching conversational English, health and social etiquette. Post available from 1st September 2005 for seven months. Although this will be technically a “volunteer” position, we will be providing full board and accommodation, plus spending money (equivalent to local pay). Would suit English speaking woman, age 35 plus.

Enquiries to Phuntsok Tashi at