Friday, 15 April 2011

The British Music Experience

Earlier this week I took a trip up to the O2 in Greenwich to visit The British Music Experience. I haven't really fancied going to this before until I realised that they had some serious Bowie memorabilia. The exhibition is set out in different sections starting with 1945-1962 which obviously covers, skiffle, trad & rock n roll. Then we have 1962 - 1966 which has some Beatles bits, R&B with The Who, Yardbirds (original drumskin) and Kenney Jones of The Small Faces white suit which was pretty cool to see, along with lots of interesting bits such as Ricky Tick posters, various handbills and an original Marquee Club booking sheet. Plus dresses from Cilla, Dusty and Sandie Shaw's Eurovision frock.

The next section is much more my kind of thing, 1966 - 1970, here we had a Small Faces drumskin, Jimi Hendrix outfit (teeny tiny!), Lennon's glasses and original UFO membership tickets and Hapshash & IT artwork and papers. There was also the original artwork for Odyssey & Oracle. Another cool thing here is Mick Jagger's Ossie Clark jumpsuit.

Ziggy era Numbers Suit, David Live Suit, Handwritten Lyrics to Five Years.

So onto my favourite bit, 1970 -1976. I was beyond excited to see a whole case dedicated to my mate Dave, you can see a selection of pics below. The best item for me was the handwritten lyrics to Five Years, such a special thing to see. The outfits were amazing too, The Ziggy Numbers suit also had the red patent boots with green laces which you can see in The Old Grey Whistle Test vids. The suit from the cover of David Live was just beautiful as was the Station To Station outfit, they looked super well made and once again were soo teeny! Other items in this room were Marc Bolan's flying V and a Granny Takes a Trip Lame Jacket, plus stage costumes from The Sweet and Slade.

The next room was 1976 - 1985 covering Punk, Two Tone and New Romantics. In here we had the clown suit from Ashes to Ashes which was an exact replica of one worn by Bowie's mentor Linsey Kemp in 1967 and was really beautifully beaded and in stunning condition, probably because it didn't get too much wear. There was also an Adam Ant outfit which was originally worn by David Hemmings in the film Charge of the Light Brigade (1967).

Bowie's hand drawn Young Americans album art, Ashes to Ashes Pierrot Suit, Station To Station Outfit (with Gitanes)

1985-1993 covered Madchester and Hard Rock. I actually rather enjoyed the 1993 to present room as there was a case dedicated to Brit Pop, I felt quite emotional seeing beautifully typed lyrics from Suede, Elastica set lists and a jacket & glasses belonging to Jarvis, aaaah the 90's!

Other fun things are the Gibson room where you can play guitars, drums and do a bit of singing. The funniest part of the whole exhibition is the Dancing the Decades booth, here you can recreate iconic dances and using a little smart ticket thing, record them to view online at home. Yes, I participated and no those videos will never be made public! Best of all, it only costs £10! You can't take any pics inside so all the pics below are from

Dusty's dress, original lyrics to Suede's Animal Nitrate, Small Faces Drum Skin.


Misfits Vintage said...

Oh bloody hell I would LOVE this! What a fabulous exhibition. The Bowie clown suit and the numbers suit must be amazing and I would love to see the girls' frocks. And handwritten lyrics!

Go on - show us your dancing...go on... please...

Thanks for the pics - I want to go there!

Sarah xxx

Smashingbird said...

Thanks Sarah - it was a really funny day, the video is beyond embarrassing, I literally cried when I watched it back!

annimal said...

So intrigued by the dancing booth, but you gotta dance like no one's watching (or recording!) right?!! I'd love to see all these artistic artifacts in person, and I'm following your link merrily now!!

Jessica / Lola Vintage Clothing said...

Oh you lucky! Those David Bowie Pics are SO COOL!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these photos. I love that there is a pack of Gitanes in the Thin White Duke Bowie suit.

are you dressing up or dressing down said...

love your skirt.

Helen, X


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