Signature’s Liverpool sat down with Deputy CEO of the British Music Experience, Judith Owens to talk all things rock ‘n’ roll at the new music attraction that’s jam packed with iconic memorabilia and more…
When British Music Experience founder and music industry legend, Harvey Goldsmith MBE was looking around the UK for a permanent home for this unique museum there was only ever one real choice and that was always going to be Liverpool. It isn’t just that the city gave birth to the most famous group ever but it has supplied more number one singles than anywhere else. It is at heart a city built on music and this was formally recognised with the awarding of the UNESCO City of Music title in 2015.
Even though it is a national museum Harvey wanted it to be Liverpool. When he was shown the pace at the historic Cunard Building right on the city’s beautiful waterfront, he knew he need look no further. Even without the incredible exhibits inside the museum, the transformation of the ground floor space is hugely impressive and it takes everyone by surprise as they walk through the doors.
So, to slightly misquote those song writing giants Bacharach and David ‘What It All About BME?’
The short answer is that the British Music Experience is the UK’s only dedicated national museum of popular music history, memorabilia and performance. As well as our displays of unique memorabilia, outfits and instruments we bring the history of UK music to life through a combination of state of the art technology, holographic performance and touch screen devices that allow you to chart key moments in music history and discover how social and cultural change has impacted on UK popular music. Why were UK teenagers so receptive to rock ‘n’ roll? Why did punk music emerge at that particular time, and how did X Factor become such a dominant force in the UK music industry? Clothes and fashion have always been an important part of music and we showcase memorable outfits worn by world-renowned artists ranging from Dusty Springfield, Cilla, and the Spice Girls, through to Bowie, Freddie Mercury and The Rolling Stones.
Do you want to see famous musical instruments? We have got guitars from Oasis, Coldplay, Queen, Marc Bolan, Stone Roses and the Sex Pistols to name just a few. Some of the smallest items are among the most significant objects we have. Adele’s handwritten lyrics for Chasing Pavements is right up there for me and we have got loads of similar priceless little gems.
Although our focus is rightly on major British artists in our ‘On Tour’ section we have unique Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix collections never before shown in the UK.
There’s also plenty of opportunities to celebrate the pure joy of making music. Many visitors spend hours in the Gibson interactive studio where you can play along with one of our tutorials or just cut loose and pretend you are delivering an epic guitar solo to an audience of thousands. We don’t just have top of the range Gibson guitars though, there are hours of fun to be had with our drum kits (my favourite), and keyboards. With all of these, you can record yourself playing and email yourself the recording so that when you get home you can listen back to see if you played all the right notes in the correct order. Of course, we have a vocal booth too so if you fancy belting out a tune it is all there for you. Or if your skill lies more in your hips and feet then you will love Dance the Decades where you can film yourself and your mates attempting the Macarena, the Twist or even a bit of classic disco dancing.
If you are a little tired after all that then calm down with a leisurely browse of the exclusive range of gifts, clothing, books and memorabilia in the Merch Store, or enjoy a selection of delicious snacks and meals in the Star Café.
Whatever British artist you are into, from Bowie to Adele, there is something for everyone at the British Music Experience.