Originally Posted 26/08/14
By Esin Huseyin
I visited the British Music Experience, at the O2, not too long ago – before I get going on what I thought, I feel that it may be best to be warned that I felt that this was more a casual stab in the dark at a music exhibition, rather than leaving me with a magical experience.
Even though the exhibition may have now closed down, after 5 years, it is actually looking for a new home. So da da dunnnn, lets hope it’s not coming to a door near you.
One thing I will have to say is that upon reading the news of the closure, it certainly comes as no surprise. When I visited this exhibition, there were hardly any people about – not to mention that everything in the exhibition including all the staff seemed to be exhausted. Most of the interactive features in each exhibition didn’t even seem to work, which my boyfriend was unhappy about; we all know that men love to go around touching buttons and what not.
It featured little cubby holes that exhibited memorabilia from different time periods; 70’s through to the 00’s etc. Don’t get me wrong, in some cases it was absolutely fascinating to see where certain genres originated from, and just how small our music industry can be sometimes, as you can see the link and influences of artists throughout the years.
It featured artists such as The Kinks, The Beatles (obv), Elton John, and even the Spice Girls. Most of the memorabilia was complete outfits that that stars had worn throughout their careers – which honestly, rivaled the inside of a primary school craft box…sequins everywhere.
As you walk past the glass cabinets in to each time period, the music would change to music of that era – this was done well. In some senses you did feel yourself transported from one age to another, I just think because of the broken aspects of this exhibition it became a little disjointed and almost unconfident in portraying it’s message. Whilst I did feel proud to have such a wide music industry; through the genres, ages, artists – I feel that it could have been conveyed a little more stronger than “here’s some clothes to look at”.
When you first walked in to the exhibition you came across a few walls dedicated to Taylor Swift, as she is dubbed as the most successful artist of her time – I annoyingly and ironically thought this was the only aspect of exhibition that made me stop and go “oh, wow”. As interesting as it was to see Beatles’ lunchboxes and what not, I would have loved to see a tiny glimmer of a journey for each artist – something personal to them, which unfortunately the clothing just didn’t give to me.
It was after this part of the exhibition, that you could enter the studio; voice recording, digital drum kits, pianos, and also “Gibson” guitars – which of course they weren’t. This part of the exhibition was okay, but felt that if there was a member of staff on hand to maybe guide you, it would have been more enjoyable. My boyfriend can play the guitar so that was fine, and I can play the piano so I dabbled with that – but there was a family also in the studio that had NO clue what they were doing; they could have possibly taken more from the experience.
On a side note, some of those outfits exhibited, I swear to you I saw people wearing on their way in to carnival this bank holiday. Elton John would have been impressed.
Did anyone else visit this exhibition? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below