Friday, 28 August 2009

We loved it (yeah, yeah, yeah!)

Where else can you can play a Beatles' hit with your feet on a giant grand piano? Or dive down with the fishes in a Yellow Submarine? Experience the swirling psychedelia of Sgt Pepper-land? Or 'fly in from Miami beach BOAC' to hear the screaming of the New York fans as Beatlemania hits the States? Go further back in time and you're in the Cavern Club where the Fab Four first played as relief act for the jazz bands. Or still further, when the four were five and played 'a thousand hours of rehearsals' (according to John Lennon) in a German bier-keller.
The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock (and Pier Head), Liverpool, just got bigger and better. Ten years ago it was pretty much the recreated Cavern Club, the memorabilia and (of course) the music. Now there's the obligatory interactive exhibition - the Discovery Zone - as well as the Fab4D cinema presentation (warning: you will get wet!) an audio guide and a special White Feather exhibition by Julian and Cynthia Lennon. In short, there's something for everyone and it's pushchair-friendly, even on one of the busiest days in August.
The displays are all eye-catchingly bright enough to keep a toddler entertained, serious enough to satisfy an older sibling, and yet sufficiently detailed for at least one parent old enough (just) to actually remember the Beatles in their prime. And although the main Beatles Story site is good, the highlight for Sally was certainly the Fab4D presentation at the Pier Head. I'd like to be able to say that Charlie liked it, too. But in spite of being sprayed with water, jolted in our seats by the 'ride' and even given a whiff of Strawberry Fields, he stayed asleep throughout. It was probably being rhythm section to his sister's piano playing earlier in the Discovery Zone that did it.
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