Saturday was music day for me! I went to the O2, which was a mall-like venue under a huge white tent at North Greenwich. Besides flat fountains that spouted up water, restaurants, a cinema and a Titanic exhibition, there was also The British Music Experience, interactive museum, and that was my destination. The museum had the concert feel, the doors opened at scheduled times and you walked into a dark room to watch on a short video on how the museum worked. Then you walked down a hall which felt like the same walk musicians go down before they hit the big stage: a lot of noise and strobe lights. The next set of doors opened to reveal a circular room with British music of the past 66 years (1945-2011) divided into sections based on the musical era. In each section, were rooms filled with fake keyboards and guitar frets used to select short clips discussing each item in the display case. Then there was a huge screen displaying facts from each time period that you could click on. with a huge mouse as well as jukebox machines to listen to several songs from each time period. Also, each room had short documentaries that you could watch with musicians and other creative people who were part of that time. Other sections in the middle of the room displayed media (ex. radio) technology that was used to broadcast music and music shows, dances over the years, geography and music, DJ culture and two studios in which you could actually play instruments. At the end, we walked into a dance club room where they mixed together all the music and music videos of over six decades on a screen to hear and see what music might sound like in the future. I find it interesting how much American, British and even Caribbean music are connected and influenced each other and I have a whole new crop of artists to listen to now. It was a great experience and worth my $12 ticket.
After I left the souvenir shop, I rode the Jubilee line again to St. John’s Wood and walked to Abbey Road, the famous crossing that was part of The Beatles’ Abbey Road album. It was hilarious to watch people try to do the pose before they were almost hit by cars; it is actual street that people walk and drive on (some say it should be cut off for visitors, but oh well). I walked a few feet down to Abbey Road Studios where people were taking pictures of the outside (visitors are not allowed to go in, boohoo) and signing the walls of the gate, so I signed it, too. On the wall, I wrote “Thanks for the great music – Sherese. BTW, I love Ringo!” Haha.