The Bristol Culture Blog’s recent Bristol arts and culture power list 2013 brought back memories of the last time a meejah luvvies list was compiled in this city as the prospective membership list for the ill-fated Il Bordello club. Just goes to show the names might change but the sheer self-regard and absurdity of some people in Bristol never will. Here’s what The BRISTOLIAN had to say in 2002:
The appalling snob and social climber LIZ LEWITT has finally managed to turn her festering rustbucket into IL BORDELLO – “ARTS BAR AND VIDEO LOUNGE”. The risible project – intended to be Bristol’s GROUCHO CLUB – has membership only open to – wait for it – “MULTIMEDIA CREATIVES”. Ha! Fuckin Ha! Ha! What a wanker!
When you look at the “prospective membership list”, however – intended to coax others to join under the impression they’ll be hanging out with Massive Attack and Portishead – it’s full of interior designers, PR consultants and “LAVINIA from the Chamber of Commerce”. Just the kind of people you’d happily walk the plank to avoid!
We can pick out a few such luminaries. There’s that riveting couple Sue and John Midwinter. Lewitt boasts that “John is an entrepreneur and does interiors”, while “Sue is a PRIVATE CATERER”. What does that mean – she cooks her own fucking tea?! Emphasis on “private” to make her fascinating and not just any old caterer, you understand.
Compared to this lot any visiting Sue Pollards will be A-Listers! And there’s Roger Davis, described as a “GAME DEALER” from Cotham. What’s media-creative about that? He’s just one up from a fucking rat catcher! Your caring Bristolian exclusively publishes Lewitt’s list of “prospective members” for you, dear punters, to scan and see what you’re missing out on, and why IL BORDELLO will soon be heading for Davy Jones’ Locker!
To join Lewitt’s SNOB BOAT will cost you a mere £500 just to get in, or £1,000 corporate rate. These already represent a big drop in price from that Lewitt was originally proposing to charge – because there were predictably few takers. Lewitt wails “the membership fees were originally set in conjunction with a consultant from London but now we have decided to lower membership fees”.
The truth is that Lewitt was proposing a 3-Tier membership scheme: Silver for the interior designers, Gold for anyone vaguely to do with the media, and Platinum for Nick Park/Massive Attack/Beth Gibbons etc. When none of these showed any interest in coughing up £2,000 a year to hang out with a work experience girl from the Bristol Observer and the woman wot cooks for Aardman Animation, she realised her consultant was talking the proverbial metropolitan bollocks.
The opening of Massive Attack’s Nocturne Club was a further kick up the gunnels. She is reassured though by an endorsement from an anonymous “media solicitor”: “It would be useful to have a venue where we can present prospective legislation to our clients in an artistic ambience with no risk of marauding townies”.
To join you have to show “proof of professional integrity”, though apparently “a sample of corporate stationery will do”. How very individualistic! Expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth by about June this year when this Ship of Fools finally founders and there’s a long line of gullible Lavinias trying to get their money back!