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The British Music Experience at the O2, London

 
By on Wednesday, 13th May 2009 at 4:00 pm
 

British Music Experience logoThe British Music Experience (BME) opened it’s doors at hot-new London venue, The 02, in March of this year. Described as “the world’s only fully interactive, permanent exhibition devoted to the history and influence of popular music in Great Britain”, the BME excitedly takes you on a journey through time and space, colourfully exploring the fundamental British music movements that have rocked the world over the past 50 years and more.

You begin your “experience” by entering a cinematic-type room where you are given an exciting video introduction to the museum by top-DJ, Lauren Laverne. Amidst the intro, we are told about our “Smarticket”. Turns out the entrance ticket to the BME is no ordinary ticket, oh no! In fact, it contains a nifty little device which you can scan at certain points in the museum that take your fancy. Once you’re home, you can then load this saved info (may it be musical facts, videos, photos, etc) onto your PC using your personal “MyBME” number. Cool, huh? Anyway, following this 5 minute or so mini-movie, the doors to your right fling open and finally! into the British Music Experience you go (..to the screams of wild crowds, as if you’re about to magnificently walk onto a huuuge stage).

The outer area of British Music Experience is divided up into seven sections, all donated to a particular musical era. Each section offers you the chance to “learn about British music’s influence on art, fashion and politics”, through a range of exciting interactive displays. You can lovingly gaze at amazing memorabilia, explore interactive musical maps, glide your way around defining musical events on several humongous screens and even listen in on fantasy musician dinner parties.

British Music ExperienceYou begin your journey amid the years of 1945 to 1962, discovering and learning about the key musical movements of skiffle and rock n roll – meeting everyone from Lonnie Donegan to Cliff Richard on the way. The swinging 1962 to 1966 section is particularly exciting. Highlights include a huge display of Beatles artefacts, as well as a selection of beautiful vintage dresses worn by 60s goddesses Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black and Sandi Shaw.

1966 to 1970 takes us through the hippy-movement that was Summer of Love and beyond, with everything from Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic clothing to the famous Sgt. Pepper album cut-outs on display. 1970 to 1976 meanwhile, introduces us to glam-rock, showcasing the original flamboyant outfits worn by Bowie and Bolan – along with Marc’s personal (and rather awesome) flying-V guitar.

1976 to 1985 is great for the punk fans, with original Sex Pistol handwritten lyrics and clothing on show. Also be sure to check out the displays dedicated to the reggae, ska and new romantic movements of this era while you’re there.

Next up we have 1985 to 1993. This section recalls both the hard-rock of Motorhead and Black Sabbath, as well introducing us to the pivotal ‘Madchester’ movement – as lead by bands such as Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses.

Finally, 1993 to Present journeys all the way from the Brit-pop of Oasis (pictured top), to the boy-band mania of Take That, to the girl-power of the Spice Girls….finally ending up among our wide array of RnB, indie and singer-songwriters of today. Check out Noel Gallagher’s famous union-jack guitar, the outfits worn by the Spice Girls during their recent reunion tour, a selection of Arctic Monkey memorabilia and even a few dresses belonging to Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and Kate Nash!

The British Music ExperienceIf that’s not enough, the middle of the British Music Experience, or as The 02 prefer to call it, “the core”, contains further interactive displays to get your musical mitts on. Hit “Transmission” and “Playback” to visibly learn how the British public have listened to and played music since the 1940s (…no YouTubes and iPods back then!). Check out “Where It’s At”, a major interactive map that allows you to locate your home-town (or wherever else you please!) and find out a plethora of interesting musical facts about said location (I was shocked to learn that Pink Floyd played a gig a few minutes down the road from me!). “Hey DJ!” allows you to flick through an array of virtual 12″ dance records…. while the “Dance the Decade” booth teaches you some serious moves which you can record on your nifty “Smarticket” and play back when you get return home…(if you dare!).

Yet perhaps the highlight of the day is the Gibson Interactive Studio – a room brimming with instruments for you to rock out on at your leisure. Try your hand at a Les Paul, have a tinkle on the piano, play with some tunes on the mixing desk, sing your heart out in the vocal booth or have a bash on one of the drum kits (oh ..and don’t worry if you’re not any good, you wear headphones so nobody can hear what you’re playing). Interactive videos allow you to learn and play along with hit tracks, and you can even record yourself so you can listen back when you get home (…that’s if you can drag yourself away from this stupidly addictive room!).

Finally, your experience comes to a close with “The Beat Goes On”, an epic 5 minute audio-visual collage of the greatest gigs to have happened in British musical history. Feel like your on stage with Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Radiohead…heck even Elton John during this completely immersive life-sized show.

Admittedly, British Music Experience will probably not provide too much new information for those musical geeks out there. Yet, either way, the BME is still an incredibly fun day-out, brimming with lots to see, do and play. The interactive element of the museum is really cool, and the hands-on approach means you never get too bored. You may come away from the Experience with a bit of a knowledge-overload headache, but, basically, if you’re a fan of music, you should definitely check this place out, even if it’s just for the shop at the end of it (which had some uber-cool pencils, may I add.).

British Music Experience, at The 02, Greenwich, costs £15.00 per adult (£12.00 per child). For more details, hit their website now

 

Daily Roundup – 20th January 2009

 
By on Tuesday, 20th January 2009 at 12:05 pm
 

I meant to pop this up last night, but somehow didn’t quite manage it, so here are some things that are tickling our fancy here at TGTF at the moment.

Red Light Company (new side)We were sent two very special MP3s yesterday from Red Light Company (who we introduced here, and are off on tour shortly). Their debut album is out shortly, so expect more coverage as that comes out – they’re really rather great. Download and enjoy, as ever.

MP3: Red Light Company – Arts And Crafts (School of Seven Bells Remix)
MP3: Red Light Company – Be the One (Ting Tings cover)

You may remember that we’ve proclaimed our love for Fabchannel before, the video service which lets viewers catch gigs filmed live. They’ve announced that tomorrow night (Wednesday 21st January) they’ll have of Montreal (pictured top) live on their website – just go here from 6:30pm (GMT) and catch the action as it happens from Amsterdam. Expect colour, chaos and anything else that begins with C when the US experimental popsters take to the stage.

Like a bit of down and dirty indie-rock? The 51/50’s have announced that they have a new single out next Monday (26th January). The rising foursome count The Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Thin Lizzy and Oasis all amongst their influences, and have an incredibly sing-it-loud style that would keep most Kooks or Pigeon Detectives fans of today happy, along with the older school who love the Stones or Guns and Roses. “Lies” is that great sort of song that everyone will love, so make sure you pop on down to your local independent record store or iTunes come Monday to get hold of a copy to say you were one of the first to discover them.

Finally, you know I love Friendly Fires. I’ve caught them live twice, now they’ve gone and released what must be the last single from their debut album, Skeleton Boy. As with all great songs, there’s a great video… featuring Skeletons. See the great pun they did there? Oh, okay. Watch it below. Apologies about the quality – couldn’t find a better one around.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyA8zfouG4Y]

 

Bands To Watch #52 – Noisettes

 
By on Thursday, 4th December 2008 at 7:55 pm
 

Earlier on, I reviewed the Pipettes and I am pretty sure I have found the Thrash Metal version, Noisettes. I love Noisettes and I think it is hard not to. Big rocky riffs, brilliant vocals, huge bass lines and the fact three people can make such a huge sound should be enough to please anyone. I’ve also been lucky enough to catchy them live and by the end, the venue was full of dizzy kids and drained faces.

Their debut album “What’s the Time Mr. Wolf” showed the trio display their astonishing variety with elements of Indie, Jazz and metal all on the same record. The fantastically named singer, Shingai Shoniwa produces the gentlest vocals but she can suddenly explode with some wild singing like is feature at the end of the track “Break Free”.

Guitarist Dan Smith knows how to create ear pounding riffs and while Jamie Morrison is at the helm of the drums, the tracks will be fuelled with insane, galloping drum beats.

The band are spell binding live and you can see that the albums they produce aren’t the best thing in the world because there gigs are! You can describe the band as much as you like and you won’t be able to sum them up with the exception of the phrase “Amazing music”.

Their MySpace provides a great work-out if you need to get fit. Warm-up with “Don’t Upset the Rhythm” and then watch your limbs go wild to “Don’t Give Up”.

 

Bands To Watch #44 – Verra Cruz

 
By on Thursday, 20th November 2008 at 9:54 pm
 

I was reading through a music magazine the other day and came across a band called Verra Cruz. Just as I was about to turn the page I caught a line of the text describing the band’s sound as bluesy lapsteel guitar rock. What? A lapsteel guitar in a rock band! Instantly I loaded up there MySpace page and from then on I have been hooked.

The band consisting of Marc James (Vocals/Guitar/Lapsteel), Jimmy Cooke (Drums) and Henry Cross (Bass) is the best new rock music I have heard in ages. The Lapsteel guitar is played with heavy distortion and creates awesome, face melting riffs that feature on the band’s songs like “Rock and a Hard Place” (my favourite track).

The guys genuinely have a unique sound and they execute it with great style. The vocals supplied by Marc sound like a brilliant cross between Kurt Cobain and Bryan Adams while the guitar playing (on all of the three types) brings together mind boggling tunes like “Freedom”.

A video on their MySpace gives a quick profile of the band and Marc James confesses that there early material was good to listen to but people could not get involved at a gig. I am pleased to report that they have also conquered this problem in their more recent material where astonishing variety is shown. The range of skills is evident from the passionate slower paced “Friend to You” to the crowd friendly “Put the Weapon Down”.

 

Primal Scream headline 2008 NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Riot Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 30th July 2008 at 10:16 am
 

Primal Scream have been announced as the headliners of this year’s NME Rock ‘N’ Roll Riot Tour. The supporting bill will be announced shortly, but expect some great bands, as the NME normally pull out all of the stops.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £22.50 for all dates except London, which is priced at £25 a ticket. Tickets are available from here.

Thursday 20th November – Oxford Academy
Friday 21st November – Cardiff University
Sunday 23rd November – Bristol Academy
Monday 24th November – Southampton Guildhall
Tuesday 25th November – Reading Hexagon
Thursday 27th November – Nottingham, Rock City
Friday 28th November – London Hammersmith Apollo
Sunday 30th November – Norwich UEA
Monday 1st December Sheffield Academy
Tuesday 2nd December Brighton Dome
Thursday 4th December Birmingham Academy
Friday 5th December Cambridge Corn Exchange
Monday 8th December Leeds Academy
Tuesday 9th December Newcastle Academy
Thursday 11th December Manchester Apollo
Saturday 13th December Glasgow SECC

 

Live: Palladium at Scala

 
By on Friday, 20th July 2007 at 1:52 am
 

Palladium - Live @ Scala“This is a slower song – hope you don’t mind” Palladium‘s Peter Pepper says before launching into “White Woman”. The audience certainly didn’t, as it gave a welcome respite from the scintillating pace they’d been playing at for the last twenty minutes.

Opening up with their new single “Happy Hour”, they quickly set out their manifesto: fast, friendly and frantic pop. Racing through 7 songs in 30 minutes, they worked the crowd well and had more arms flailing down the front than The Thrills did half an hour later for the main set of the evening.

Whilst trying to think of a band to compare them to, this Londonista really couldn’t decide, in the end settling on Klaxons fronted by Patrick Wolf playing Delays and Sunshine Underground. They really are an oddball group of people that really shouldn’t be in a band together, but somehow it just works.

There were three songs in the set (their opening two and closing song) which were very promising, easily able to outshine most of the current crop of pop-wannabes; however the middle of the set did seem to largely be filler that started to sound very similar. Their energy may have been unstoppable, but it’s no good if the tunes all sound similar but slightly re-jigged.

Peter Pepper (if that is his real name…) introduced the last, and perhaps best, song of their evening, Hi-5, by giving the record company spiel about buying their new single in a decidedly boring and un-Palladium like way… they might as well got the guys from EMI to do it themselves. This is one band where they should leave the music to do the talking for them.

Whilst at the moment Palladium are only playing small venues supporting bands at the moment, expect in time them to be playing their own palladiums and theatres near you

Palladium support Amy Winehouse at Somerset House tomorrow, then play Lovebox on Sunday and a headline show at the Barfly on Thursday 2nd August.
Continue reading Live: Palladium at Scala

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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