British Music Experience

14th June 2017

British Music Experience in Liverpool

The British Music Experience is an exhibition all about the history of the British music industry. It was previously on show at the O2 in London but it’s now on at the Cunard Building in Liverpool, which is rather fitting considering Liverpool is a UNESCO City of Music.

As soon as I heard that the exhibition was coming to Liverpool I knew I had to go. I’m very passionate about British music and the history of the industry is something that fascinates me. So after a crappy couple of weeks, Tyrone and I decided to buy ourselves so tickets and headed over there one Saturday morning.

The Cunard Building itself is absolutely stunning. I can see it from my house and I was pleased to discover that it’s just as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. Once we were inside, the friendly staffed showed us around and then presented us with our audio guides.

If you book your tickets online you are guaranteed the free audio guide. Personally, I found it easier to look around the exhibits without the audio guide, but there’s definitely a lot of information available if you want it.

The exhibition is split up into 8 zones or galleries, each covering a different period of time from 1945 to the present day. In the centre of the exhibition is a stage which shows holograms of artists performing. They were advertising loads of different artists, such as Oasis, Queen and Led Zeppelin, but all we saw was Boy George, so that was somewhat disappointing, haha!

British Music Experience in Liverpool

British Music Experience in Liverpool

If you make your way around the exhbition in order, you’ll start of in zone which covers 1945 to 1962. You’ll learn about ‘Trad’ jazz, Skiffle and Rock n Roll, as well as the American influence on British music at the time.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Zone 2 covers 1962 to 1966, which is all about the “British Invasion” of bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in to the United States. The suit in the image below belonged to John Lennon.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

If there is one thing I will take away from this exhibition it’s that a lot of musicians are/were quite short! And also incredibly slim. I kept looking at the outfits thinking “How on earth did they manage to fit in that?!”.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Zone 3 takes you through the progression of pop culture from 1966 to 1970, where things start to get a little psychedelic, before entering zone 4 which was probably my favourite part of the exhibition. In this zone, which spans 1970 to 1975, you will find some incredible memorabilia including this jumpsuit worn by Keith Moon. I recognised it as soon as I saw it as I used to have a photograph of Keith wearing it on my wall when I lived in student accommodation!

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Also on display in this zone is a drum kit belonging to Roger Taylor (of Queen, not Duran Duran!) and a collection of David Bowie’s costumes.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

I also enjoyed walking through zone 5. This covers 1975 to 1985 which is probably one of my favourite periods in music history (even if I wasn’t born then!). The suit on the right in the picture below belonged to Roger Taylor of Duran Duran.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Throughout the galleries you will also find these interactive boards where you can select an image to find out more about the music produced in each era. Naturally, in this section, I navigated straight to The Police; one of my favourite bands of all time.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Zone 6 was another gallery I found interesting. This covers 1985 to 1993 and features memorabelia from Black Sabbath, Motorhead and Iron Maiden, as well as a feature about Live Aid. I have to admit, I often watch clips from Live Aid and wish that I had a time machine so that I could go back and be in that crowd in London.

Zone 7 takes us into the new millennium, spanning 1993 to 2004. It showcases bands such as Blue, Oasis, Pulp as well as one of my personal favourites when I was a kid, Spice Girls. In the photo below you’ll see the handwritten lyrics to Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis.

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Zone 8, covering 2004 to the present day, was probably my least favourite zone because, to be honest, I don’t really like a lot of the music that is produced nowadays! It was mostly about the “X-Factor generation”. They had a few outfits that were made for X-Factor contestants, but they weren’t behind glass like all the other exhibits. I guess that says everything!

After you have travelled through the years, just before you head to the gift shop, there is the Gibson interactive studio. This was probably my favourite part of the whole exhibition as they have keyboards, drums and guitars for you to learn to play. There are different booths with different musicians and their relevant instruments, so obviously we went straight to the Keith Moon and Pete Townshend booths!

British Music Experience in Liverpool

I also had a play on the bass guitar, because I absolutely love the sound of an electric bass, and now I really want to buy one and take lessons to learn how to play. Basically I want to be able to replicate John Entwistle’s 5:15 bass solo!

British Music Experience in Liverpool

Do you think this guitar suits me?!

Tickets cost £16 for adults, and as say, if you book online you will be guaranteed a free audio tour. It took us about an hour and a half to look around the galleries and we probably spent a good half an hour messing about with the instruments! I would highly recommend you pop along with you are in Liverpool and you love music as much as I do. I think it’s well worth the money.

Although it’s described as being a permanent exhibition, I expect it will move on in the future, so get down to the Cunard Building as soon as you can!

Are you a fan on the British music industry? Do you think you’d enjoy this exhibition?

P.S. I apologies for the photo quality. As you can tell, it’s very dark in the exhibition.

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  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I like British music and I’ve been listening to Oasis and Queen and others as a teenager and I still do. I’m not sure I will visit as £16 seems a little much, but I’m not that into music.

    • Holly

      I love both Oasis and Queen. It is a little pricey, and I don’t normally visit museums that you have to pay to go in, but I’m glad I went. 😊

  2. This looks like such a cool museum! I wish we had things like this in Sheffield but all our museums are exactly the same all the time – with an exception of a few changes on occasion.

    Experiencing the British Music culture is awesome! I grew up listening to British music and love it! I would love to visit the museum one day (when I visit to Liverpewl ;)) My favourite growing up was Oasis.

    The guitar suits you!! <3 Haha, are you starting a band/dropping a hot fire album because dang, that photo looks good enough to be an album cover 😉

    • Holly

      We have some pretty amazing museums in Liverpool! And the British Music Experience is well worth a visit to the city. 😉

      Haha!! 😂😂 The album will be out this Autumn! 😂😂

  3. Chynna

    I jumped the gun and just read “the O2 in London” and immediately thought, “SHE CAME TO LONDON WITHOUT SEEING ME?!” Haha.

    British music is so extensive – this exhibit looks so interesting! Btw, that jumpsuit is hella cute – I think I’d actually buy that. Haha.

    I don’t think I would have liked Zone 8 either. I have no idea who the X-Factor winners are, even. Lol.

    Sounds like you had a great time, I definitely think I’d love to visit this exhibition. 😀

    • Holly

      No! I wouldn’t dare visit London without paying you a visit! 😉

      I know, I love that jumpsuit too. I’m currently wondering how difficult it would be to make my own version. 🤔

  4. Amy

    That looks like such a cool museum! I love learning about different artists and genres so I’d definitely find it really interesting. And I really like Boy George (shameful I know) so I’d be totally happy to just watch him. That hologram stage looks great!

    I’d love to see the 90s section. I loved anything popular in that era, so I’d probably know all the artists! I listen to a lot of obscure dark cabaret bands now though, so I doubt the 2004 onwards section would interest me either! I don’t even watch X Factor!

    Glad you had a great time!