05/07/2016 06:05 BST | Updated 04/07/2017 06:12 BST

Event: Place Des Anges - Hull

"It's going to be amazing," beams an associate. I try and share their enthusiasm but as they have been working on Place Des Anges, one of the biggest things to hit Hull since the ice age, I find it hard to share the enthusiasm.

"It" is actually one of those unquantifiable things, like fog or Christmas. It's an accumulation of high wire spectacle, parade, light show, gig, November 5, Christmas, Mardi Gras and New Year all rolled into one.

It starts with what looks like a refugee from the Ashes to Ashes video high on a rooftop overlooking Hull's answer to Nelson's Column, the William Wilberforce statue.

As a red flare illuminates him and the twilight, it already looks like the greatest David Bowie video never made.

As feathers cascade down to the stunned viewers below, other 'Angels' start to make their way across the city on wires. Doesn't sound that thrilling but the sight is spectacular.


Photos: Roger Crow

A pounding Akira-style soundtrack fills the night air. I wouldn't have been too surprised if a giant Tetsuo had appeared, mutated arm and all, but instead, after the aerial gymnastics of feuding, feather-strewn Angels, we get a giant inflatable cherub as feather cannons fill the skies around it.

It's easily the greatest sight Hull has seen, and that includes Rod Stewart's epic gig a few miles away a few weeks earlier.

Ten thousand onlookers marvel at the sight, and even if the avant grade nature of the show is literally over many peoples' heads, the sight of kids making snow angels in piles of feathers and adults throwing heaps of them onto one another brings a smile to the face.

"Think you're too old to play in the street? Think again" screamed the tag line. It hits the nail on the head perfectly.

The City of Culture starts on January 1, 2017 and if this curtain-raiser is anything to go by, residents and visitors are in for a Hull of a time.