There are few people who can say music has never touched them, never moved them in some way. For most of us, from a young age, music has effortlessly found its way deep into our psyche, taking us to places we might otherwise never have been, stirring emotions that might otherwise never have been stirred. Music has comforted so many of us in times of need, excited us when in the mood for exactly that, and soothed us just when things seemed to be getting too much. And for many, much of that music has been created by British artists.
The British Music Experience at the O2 in Greenwich is a celebration of more than 60 years of great British music (and not so great, depending on your taste). Whether you're batty about the Beatles (still), a frenzied Franz Ferdinand fan or simply crazy about Haysi Fantayzee (remember them?), the British Music Experience gives you a chance to wallow in all that's wonderful about music made in Britain.
Seven "Edge Zones" provide an entertaining look at how British music has developed over the decades, from 1945 to the present day. As you'd expect with an exhibition like this, there's plenty of memorabilia to keep you engaged – but this place has a whole lot more besides. Its creators have utilised state-of-the-art tech to provide you with what they hope will be an unforgettable day out.
For starters there's the Gibson Interactive Studio, featuring a range of Gibson guitars, Slingerland drums and Baldwin digital pianos – all waiting to be strummed, bashed and tinkled by your own fair hands. Video tuition is available if you're a complete novice, so don't be shy and have a go.
Another popular part of the BME is the Dance the Decades booth. Here you can strut your funky stuff (or put your back out) as you give rave dancing, disco dancing, and the twist (among others) your best shot. A virtual dance teacher helps you along the way, and after you're done you can have a good laugh watching your efforts as part of your very own music video.
In The Beat Goes On you find yourself at the centre of a five minute audio-visual avalanche as life-size video clips of the greats (Stones, Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead and The Clash included) play around you, making you feel like you're actually there.
Fun and informative, the BME highlights the nation's contribution to world music and celebrates the musicians we grew up with as well as those that are playing today.