Fabulous story from Nigel ref developments at the Guildhall. Congratulations to Nigel, Audrie and Phil who have put some serious time into all this. Nigel’s report follows
News of developments at the Access all Areas – The Portsmouth Music Experience exhibition on the first floor at Portsmouth Guildhall. We now have a website at www.portsmouthmusicexperience.org.uk showing the different displays at the exhibition that celebrates and documents Portsmouth’s rich music heritage. The exhibition is being visited and enjoyed by greater numbers from children through to pensioners in their 90s, many leaving very favourable comments in the visitors book – the word most commonly written is ‘memories.’ The popular Tommy exhibition, recalling memories of some of the film extras who appeared in the Who’s ‘rock opera,’ produced by Ken Russell and filmed in Portsmouth during 1974, is now a permanent feature in the recently reordered Guildhall Gallery. The adjacent 1960s Gallery now displays a beautifully restored 1965 Lambretta TV175, complete with Union Jack side panels. The scooter, on loan from 1960s Mod and ex-Portsmouth Art College student Brian Masterton, is a copy of his original 1965 Lambretta that he still regularly rides. Brian kindly restored the scooter just for the exhibition and it stands by a 9’ target roundel painted on the gallery floor. The roundel, adopted as a Mod emblem in the 1960s and first seen on British ‘planes in the First World War, was painted appropriately by a trust member whose father was in the Royal Flying Corps during that ‘war to end all wars.’ It may be the largest painted target roundel in Hampshire?
The AaA’s bijou Cinema 16 was completed last October in time to be used as a venue during Portsmouth’s annual Making Waves film festival and films with local themes are shown during exhibition opening hours. Cinema 16 is also attracting interest from film makers who would like to use it for previews. The PME is also developing interesting links with the University of Portsmouth who have recently been filming in the exhibition galleries for a 20 minute documentary about the Portsmouth music scene that will also be shown on the Big Screen in the Guildhall Square.
The most recent addition to AaA is a recording studio and control room created within redundant office space by PME Trust members. With an extremely minimal budget to work with, Ebay was useful and recycled materials came from a variety of sources. The new facility is able to record 16 tracks to digital media and 8 tracks to analogue reel to reel tape, the studio will be used by the Portsmouth Music Experience Trust for recording, voice-overs and music education purposes. Musicians will use their own equipment in the studio, though there is the promise of a limited amount of instruments and amplification equipment from a local music supplier. The recording studio will also complement the informal community music tuition sessions organised by the Portsmouth Cultural Trust and the proposed PCT Music Academy. The recording studio’s control room will also be home to the new AaA Music Radio station, soon to begin broadcasting online with an eclectic group of local presenters playing music from the last 50 years and interesting interviews with people from the local and national music scenes.
On April 15th a new summer exhibition will open at the PME, Rock Shots – 50 years of music photography in Portsmouth, featuring images of local and national musicians taken over the last five decades by eight local photographers. It promises to be an interesting exhibition.
The photographs of local musicians since the 1950s that are displayed on the Walls of Fame have recently been added to and now reach the 1980s and 1990s. A new monitor screen set in the wall displays a video called ’62 Portsmouth bands in 62 minutes,’ each band getting a minutes exposure, filmed in the 1980s/90s by Viv Gregson and donated to the exhibition by him. There is also a new section at the end of the Walls of Fame devoted to the major clubs and venues that have operated in Portsmouth and Southsea over the years.
On the evening of 30th April, in a joint venture with the band Scarlett Town, PME Trust members will be holding an open evening to give people the opportunity to visit the exhibition and view the new developments. People wishing to contact AaA can do so at our new email address firstname.lastname@example.org.