What's on?

Michael Jackson: On the Wall at the National Portrait Gallery

Michael Jackson: On the Wall at the National Portrait Gallery

A new landmark exhibition explores the influence of pop icon Michael Jackson on some of hte leading names in art. Co-prouduced with the Michael Jackson Estate and curated by Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition will open in the Summer of 2018 to coincide with what would have been Jackson's 60th birthday.

Whilst his significance and influence on music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion have been widely discussed, his influence on contemporary art has remained an untold story. As a global superstar he was one of the most depicted cutlural figures in the 1980s to 1990s and this exhibition will bring together the works of 40 of these artists including Andy Warhol.

Tickets are available to purchase now priced £15 to £22 per person. Open Daily 10am to 6pm (late Thursdays and Fridays until 9pm).

National Portrait Gallery,
St Martin's Place,
London,
WC2H 0HE.

Images: National Portrait Gallery. 

Trevor Key's Top 40

Trevor Key's Top 40

Influential album artist Trevor Key will have a retrospective of his work in his hometwon of Hull. Called Trevor Key's Top 40 it highlights the best of his work including sleeves for Mike Oldfield, New Order, Can and the Sex Pistols. Kay would also work with acclaimed art directors Peter Saville and Jamie Reid

Part of Hull's 2017 City of Culture events, the exhibition will celebrate 40 of his greatest sleeves, housed in a specially designed display case by British artist Matthew Darbyshire and will take place at Broderick Gallery which is part of the Hull School of Art and Design

View some of his greatest hits via the Trevor Key Archive's Instagram.

Once complete the exhibition will tour local libraries across Hull:

  • Hull School of Art and Design, Hull city centre | Thu 21 Sept – Wed 18 Oct, 10am – 5pm.
  • Ings Library, Savoy Road | Fri 20 Oct – Fri 17 Nov. (Please check the library opening times).
  • Fred Moore Library, Wold Road | Mon 20 Nov – Mon 18 Dec. Please check the library opening times.

Find out more at the City of Culture website.

My Name is Prince at The O2

My Name is Prince at The O2

This October, a world premiere of the first ever official exhibition on iconic superstar and legendary live performer, Prince hits The O2 in London. My Name is Prince will allow fans to delve into the legacy of one of pop music's most influential figures.

The retrospective features hundreds of never before seen artifacts shared directly from Paisley Park, Prince’s famous Minnesota private estate, giving visitors a unique insight into the life, creativity and vision of one of the most naturally gifted recording artists of all time. These include instruments, stage outfits, awards and hand-written song lyrics.

Prince’s siblings, some who will visit London in October for the opening of the exhibition, said, "Our family is extremely honoured to have this exhibit at The O2, and we know Prince would be as well. He loved to share his work and life with his fans. We know him as a brother who became not only one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, but an entertainer and musician who was unlike any other. It's only appropriate we share him and these amazing artefacts with the world now that he’s gone."

My Name is Prince is currently scheduled for a limited 21 day run at The O2.

Open Monday to Sunday: 9.30am to 6pm (last entry), exhibition closes at 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced at £27.50 (adult), £19.80 (concession), £13.20 (child 5-15), £66 (family), £66 (VIP). Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over. For more details, and to purchase tickets, please visit the dedicated ticketing website.

The O2,
Peninsula Square,
London SE10 0DX

Images: AXS, The O2. 

Elvis on Tour at The O2

Elvis on Tour at The O2

Elvis returns to the O2 in London with a new exhibition, Elvis on Tour which covers the 1969 to 1977 years where the King of Rock and Roll returned to the live stage to tour America, playing more than 1,100 live shows in the latter days of his career.

The exhibition will feature Elvis’ costumes and stage-wear, guitars, jewellery, posters and, for the first time, interviews with Elvis’ touring band. The  exhibition will take fans back to the time when he played some of the greatest live rock and roll shows, some of which were televised for a TV audience of more than one billion. More than 200 items are on display from Graceland.

Elvis on Tour follows a 2014-15 Elvis exhibition at the O2 which saw more than 200,000 attend.

This current exhibition is curated by Graceland and Priscilla Presley who said, "To have a second exhibition dedicated to Elvis opening in London is remarkable. We were overwhelmed by the huge numbers, who were not only fans but people who were curious to learn more about Elvis, who visited the last exhibition at The O2."

"Elvis was beloved by his fans and they also meant the world to him. We are delighted that this carefully curated selection of over 200 artifacts from the Graceland archives will give them the opportunity to gain an even greater insight into his life and how he impacted popular culture around the world through his music, movies and personal style. [Daughter] Lisa and I are excited to share these treasured memories that cover 1969 - 1977 for this unique exhibition in London."

Priscilla Presley will also be making a very special appearance joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on stage at The O2 in London on November 30, 2017,as part of the Elvis in Concert – Live on Stage UK tour.

Tickets are on sale now from the dedicated website.
Adult £25 / Child £12 / Concessions £18.  All ticket are subject to a booking fee.

Opens 3 November 2017 (hours: 9am to 7.30pm). Closed Xmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

The O2,
Peninsula Square,
London SE10 0DX.

Images: Graceland

Gerry & the Pacemakers at the Museum of Liverpool

Gerry & the Pacemakers at the Museum of Liverpool

The Museum of Liverpool presents a new photographic exhibition which captures the wit, warmth and energy of iconic Merseybeat group, Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Following the Beatles' huge success in 1963, Merseybeat exploded around the world catipulting local groups to national and even international fame. Gerry and the Pacemakers had six British top ten hits and were the first act to ever reach number one in the UK singles charts with their first three releases.

These photographs were taken by local photographers Graham Spencer and Peter Kaye, and explore the excitement of the period and the group’s enduring bond to Liverpool - images include the band performing to enthusiastic crowds in the Cavern Club and with locla pop singer, Cilla Black.

'Ferry Cross the Mersey', is one of nine original tracks Gerry wrote for the film of the same name. Manager Brian Epstein had been keen to capitalise on the band’s early success and the film is a fictionalised account of their remarkable story. The exhibition features a number of photographs taken on set during the film’s concert sequences at the Locarno Ballroom, Liverpool.

"To see these images takes me back to those incredible days... they give a glimpse of what an exciting time it was." Gerry Marsden

Find out more at Museum of Liverpool.

Free, open 

Museum of Liverpool Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool, L3 1DG

Pictures: Museum of Liverpool, Graham Spencer

ABBA: Super Troupers at the Southbank Centre

ABBA: Super Troupers at the Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre and Entertainment Exhibitions International AB, in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm bring to life the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation ABBA in a brand new, immersive exhibition that charts their music, lyrics, creative process, and irrefutable influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the modern age.

The guided exhibition transports audiences on a journey through previously unseen archive material including ABBA’s original costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music and instruments, plus album artwork, photography and film by notable collaborators such as film director Lasse Hallström.

Going beyond the surface, the exhibition will examine the serious stories behind the unforgettable lyrics and tunes, the band’s innovative multi-layered sound, their pioneering approach to the music video and the influence of their unique styling on successive generations. 

ABBA’s Frida Lyngstad said, "We are thrilled to be supporting the new exhibition ABBA: Super Troupers in London, especially since ABBA have always been very appreciative of the love and support shown to us by our fans in the UK. We are so excited that the exhibition is taking place at the Southbank Centre, which is just a few short steps away from Waterloo - this connection brings to mind very happy memories of the song that started our great success in Britain!"

ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus said, "Since our songs, which were written in the 70s, are still being played today it’s particularly interesting that the Southbank Centre exhibition is placing them in the temporal context in which they were created. We recorded Mamma Mia in 1975. What happened that year in the UK and in the world? One thing is for certain – it seems unbelievably long ago!"

Jude Kelly CBE, Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, said, "ABBA’s music, image and personal stories have the remarkable ability to transcend time, place and generations, and still continue to reach millions of people worldwide. We're very pleased to take this opportunity to shed new light on these cultural icons, and explore why they remain so enduring in their appeal across the globe. We’re delighted to be joining forces with EEI in association with ABBA The Museum to bring unexplored archives to life, and to pay respect to ABBA and their extraordinary place in pop culture history."

ABBA: Super Troupers opens to the public on Thursday 14 December 2017. Find out more at the Southbank website.

Spirit Level at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall For ages 7+. Not suitable for younger children (including toddlers and babes in arms). Tickets £15 to £25.

Images: Wikipedia, Southbank Centre

Swinging 60s Bus tours – Winter 2017

Swinging 60s Bus tours – Winter 2017

Back by popular demand... The Swinging 60s Bus returns to the Royal Albert Hall for its winter tour dates.

Punters will then hop aboard a classic 60s Routemaster bus taking in the sights of the Swinging 60s – including Kings Road in Chelsea, the Rolling Stones' first home, and the first psychadelic boutique, Granny Takes a Trip. On Return to the Royal Albert Hall, a two course lunch will be served in the venue's Verdi restaurant, before embarking on a fascinating behind the scenes tour of the iconic venue which will include the Queen's Box, private suites and the iconic auditorium itself. 

  • Sunday 15th October 2017 (11.00am and 1.30pm)
  • Sunday 5th November 2017 (11.00am and 1.30pm)
  • Tuesday 5th December 2017 (11.00am and 1.30pm)

For full details of the tours and events, please visit the Royal Albert Hall or purchase tickets here.

Additional information is also available from the Swinging 60s, email info@60sBus.London or phone 020 8940 1040.

Images: Swinging 60s Tours and Events

Black Sound at Black Cultural Archives

Black Sound at Black Cultural Archives

Black Sound tells the history of 100 years of black music in the UK and how over that time the music has moved from the margins to the mainstream. Running until November 2017 in Brixton, London at the Black Cultural Archives.

The exhibition celebrats the pioneers who helped to make it happen - "the players, promoters, producers and punters that changed Britain's cultural history", and includes sound, moving imge and archive material to present a dynamic storytelling of black british music through three phases of the musical journey: original imports, DIY culture and re-mastering the mainstream. 

Drawing extensively on Black Cultural Archive material, the exhibition inlcudes ephemera, photographs, vinyl, cassettes, and music tracks to showcase the musical heritage of Black people across the UK and is curated by Lloyd Bradlet, author of critically acclaimed anthology of British Black Music, Black Britain.

Admission is free with audio-guided tours costing £3. 
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10.00am – 6.00pm; last entry 5.30pm.

Black Sound, Black Cultual Archives (BCA), Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2 1EF.

Images: Black Cultural Archives

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait at the Jewish Museum

Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait at the Jewish Museum

Discover the woman behind the music and beyond the hype in this intimate and moving exhibition about a much loved sister. The exhibition returns to the Jewish Museum after a successful stint in 2013 and will be accompanied by a new Amy Winehouse themed street-art trail around Camden Town.

As in the first exhibiton, visitors will be able to get to know the real Amy Winehouse through her personal belongings, including family photographs and her clothers. Returning following an international tour, Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait was co-curated with Winehouse's brother Alex and sister-in-law Riva.

The street-art trail culminates with a new piece, 'Love is a Losing Game' created by renowned street artist Pegasus for the Museum. He first gained recognition for his work 'Fallen Angel' honouring Winehouse shortly after her death. The trail also includes soon to be iconic work by Captain KrisMr CenzPhilth and Amara Por Dios and has been created in collaboration with Global Street Art.

Find out more about the exhibiton and the street art trail at the Jewish Museum's website.

Jewish Museum London
Raymond Burton House
129-131 Albert Street
London NW1 7NB

Images: 'Fallen Angel' by Pegasus and Jewish Museum

The Isle of Wight Festivals at the Portsmouth Music Experience

The Isle of Wight Festivals at the Portsmouth Music Experience

The Portsmouth Music Experience presents a major exhibition on the Isle of Wight Festivals, brought to you in partnership with festival founder Ray Foulk.

The exhibition presents the stories behind the historic festivals on the Island which took place in 1968, 69 and 1970 and shares photographs, music, memories, posters, images and ephemera from the events.

To accompany the exhibition, Portsmouth Music Experience curator Nigel Grundy has co-authored with Ray Foulk a special 56 page illustrated book available at the exhibition, The 1968, 1969 and 1970 Isle of Wight Festival Experience.

Tickets are £3.00 on the door. More information on their website.

Portsmouth Music Experience
Portsmouth Guidhall
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO1 2AB

Images: PME

Strawberry Studios: I Am in Love

Strawberry Studios: I Am in Love

This year long exhibition at Stockport Museum celebrates the iconic studios which welcomed The Stone Roses, Joy Division, The SmithsPaul McCartney and The Buzzcocks.

"Founded in 1967, Strawberry Studios became one of the finest professional recording studios outside London.

Home to pop group 10cc, the studios offered technical opulence never seen before in the North. By day Strawberry entertained a diverse array of artists – from local brass bands to international headliners. But by night the Studios were transformed into a rich playground of experimental sound, paving the way for a new generation of post-punk Manchester music."

The exhibition includes memorabilia, musical instruments, pieces of the recording equipment, and a mural to the artists who recorded on site.

Find out more at the Museum of Stockport website. See pictures at BBC Manchester.

Entrance: free (closed on Mondays)
Stockport Museum
30/31 Market Place,
Stockport,
SK1 1ES.

Images: Stockport Museum

Hull: UK City of Culture 2017

Hull: UK City of Culture 2017

Kingston-Upon-Hull is 2017's City of Culture... as you'd expect there's a host of music related exhibitions, concerts, festivals and events. 

Check out their website for a ful low-down of what's on, however, we have selected some current musical highlights below, we'll update this periodically but do make sure you check their website for up-to-date information.

  • Independent Venue Week (24th January for a week at the New Adelphi)
  • Gruff Rhys and Guests - Set Fire to the Stars at Middleton Hall (31 Jan)
  • Back to Ours Festvial featuring Pigeon Detectives at various venues (25 Feb)
  • Black Kes perform Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars at New Adelphi (24 March)
  • Sensational 60's Experience featuring Herman’s Hermits, Chris Farlowe, New Amen Corner, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fortunes, The Ivy League, Alan Mosca from Freddie and The Dreamers at Hull City Hall (7 April)
  • Tribute shows by What the Floyd (6 March) and T-Rextasy (13 April)
  • John Grant's North Atlantic Flux (28 April to 1 May)
  • Polish rockers Lady Pank at Hull City Hall (7 May)
  • Tribute acts and disco at The Smiths & Morrissey Festival at Tiger's Lair (19 to 20 May)
  • Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott with support from The Divine Comedy and Billy Bragg at the Lightstream Stadium (on 3 June)
  • Beverley Folk Festival at Beverley Racecourse (16 to 18 June)
  • Jeff Lynne's ELO at KCOM Stadium (1 July)
  • Hull Folk and Maritime Festival (20 to 23 July at various venues)
  • Jools Holland at Hull City Hall (23 July)
  • Hair Metal Heaven featuring Smashed Gladys and Leatherwolf at Hull City Hall (25 to 27 August)
  • Jerry Dammers - A Journey into Vintage Reggae at the New Walton Club (4 Nov)
We'll Live & Die: A Celebration of the Enemy at the Coventry Music Museum

We'll Live & Die: A Celebration of the Enemy at the Coventry Music Museum

The Coventry Music Museum highlights the work and impact of local indie rock band The Enemy throughout 2017.

The exhibition entitled 'Live & Die: A Celebration of the Enemy' celebrates the band who made a name for themselves in the noughties and who remain the only act from Coventry to have a number one album.

Curated by Pete Chambers BEM of the Coventry Music Museum, the exhibition forms part of the permanent exhibit and features stage equipment, rarities including their first ever demo which can be listened to (when they were then known as Bridges), personal items and treasures and video interviews of the band members.

Find out more at the Coventry Music Museum or on their facebook page. 

Coventry Music Museum,
80 Walsgrave Road,
Coventry,
CV2 4ED

Images: CMM

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains is the first international retrospective of one of the world’s most iconic and influential bands. Presented by the V&A, Pink Floyd and Iconic Entertainment Studios.

The V&A is staging an unprecedented, innovative and multi-sensory journey through Pink Floyd's extraordinary worlds, chronicling the music, design and staging of the iconic British band, from their debut in the 60s through to the present day. The immersive theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band - from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day - illustrating their groundbreaking use of special effects, sonic experimentation, powerful imagery and social commentary. 

Aubrey Powell curates alongside Paula Stainton for Pink Floyd and, for the V&A, a team lead by Senior Curator Victoria Broackes. The curators have worked in close consultation with Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason on the content of the exhibition, which will feature over 350 artefacts spanning the band's five decades, alongside material from the V&A’s outstanding collections of art, design, architecture and performance.

Tickets on sale now, advance booking is necessary.

Find out more about the exhibition at their website or at #TheirMortalRemains

The Victoria and Albert Museum,
Cromwell Road,
London, 
SW7 2RL.

Images: V&A

John Lennon: The New York Years 1971-80

John Lennon: The New York Years 1971-80

A new exhibiton at the Beatles Story explores John Lennon's time in New York City, where he spent the last years of his life. This exhibition runs until the end of 2018.

The photos on display by neighbour, friend and famous rock photographer Bob Gruen document John's life with Yoko, the early years of Sean Lennon and his alcohol fuelled binges. The display offers a candid, behind the scenes, look at John Lennon's final years in NYC.

The images are on display at the Beatles Story in Liverpool for the next three years and also accompanies the showing of John Lennon's last piano. The piano, which was previously based in the US, was used by Lennon to write solo songs sich as 'Walls and Bridges' and 'Double Fantasy'. He even used it to compose 'Fame' with David Bowie, and 'Whatever Gets You Thru the Night' with Elton John. The paino has also been used by other musical legends including Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Don McLean and Aerosmith.

Guests of the Beatles Story can view the exhibition and the piano with a standard ticket.

Find out more about the photos here, and the piano here.

The Beatles Story
Britannia Vaults,
Albert Dock,
Liverpool, L3 4AD

Images: Beatles Story, Bob Gruen

Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism

Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism

Following its successful stint at the Saatchi Gallery in London, the first major exhibition to feature the life and times of the Rolling Stones goes on tour and will hit New York City, Chicago and Sydney over the coming years.

Rolling Stones: Exhibitionism is the only officially endorsed exhibition of the Stones. Following the sold out successes at the Gallery in the heart of Chelsea - the former London stomping ground of the band and at Industria in the West Village, New York City, the exhibition will travel to Chicago in April 2017. The event is currently scheduled to travel to Sydney, Australia in 2018.

The exhibition is an interactive tour through the Rolling Stones vast artistic oeuvre, including original stage designs, dressing room and backstage paraphernalia; rare guitars and instruments, iconic costumes, rare audio tracks and unseen video clips; personal diaries and correspondence; original poster and album cover artwork, and unique cinematic presentations.

Read our review of the London leg of Exhibitionism over on our blog.

Find out more at the website.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Chicago leg (and you can sign up for the Sydney waiting list online too!)

Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave,
Chicago,
IL 60611, USA

David Bowie Is - on tour

David Bowie Is - on tour

David Bowie's V&A extravaganza, 'Is' continues its world tour in Bologna, Italy, with further dates scheduled for Japan in 2017.

The exhibition is adapted to local markets.  For example, curators at the Melbourne leg explored his links to the Australian continent - the video for 'Let's Dance', Bowie's biggest selling record focused on the plight of Indigenous Australians and included images referencing slavery, a lost generation and the British nuclear testing in the 1950s.

Over 300,000 attended the show on its record breaking run at the V&A Museum in London and it has since gone on tour to museums in Canada, Brazil, Germany, the USA, France, and Australia.

  • Art Gallery Ontario, Toronto, Canada, from 25 September to 19 November 2013
  • Museu da Imagem e do Som, Sao Paulo, Brasil, from 31 January to 20 April 2014
  • Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany, from 20 May to 24 August 2014
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA, from 23 September 2014 to 4 January 2015
  • Cité de la Musique, Paris, France from 2 March to 31 May 2015
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne, Australia from 16 July to 1 November 2015
  • Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands from 15 December 2015 to 13 March 2016
  • Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo), Bologna, Italy from 14th July to 13 November 2016
  • Warehouse TERRADA G1 Building, Tokyo, Japan from 8 January to 9 April 2017
  • Museu del Disseny de Barcelona (Barcelona Design Museum) from 25 May 2017
  • New York, USA - dates TBC.