The other day I met a friend for lunch in Sloane Square. After we’d finished eating we had an hour to spare before we both had to leave (her to a hair appointment me to collect my children) so we went to check out the Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery – this was exciting to me for two reasons.
- Although I have lived in southwest London for 12 years I have never actually been to the Saatchi Gallery.
- Me and the friend I was with have a bit of a history with the Rolling Stones… Years ago when I first moved to London we went to a Tommy Hilfiger launch party in the West End (my friend works in fashion and often used to take me to fancy fashion and PR events) and Mick Jagger was a guest at the party. We were both slightly drunk (my friend and I, not Mick and I) as the booze was free and free-flowing, and she dared me to pinch Mick Jagger’s bum – and I did! That’s one of my biggest claims to fame and the one that got me the audition for Pointless, but that’s another story…
Anyway 15 or so years later after finishing our lunch we decided to check out the Exhibitionism exhibition – and let’s just say that one hour was definitely not long enough. The exhibition is brilliant – it’s a complete and utter assault on the senses. It’s loud, it’s bright, it’s bold, powerful, stunning, confusing, interesting – and any other enthusiastic adjectives you can think of.
You start in a red room, which is all a bit overwhelming and you don’t really know what to look at or read first. This feeds into a blue news-reel room, again very interesting but also rather hectic. Then with your senses fully heightened it all calms down a bit.
Overall it’s a brilliantly interactive exhibition – you get to mix their music – walk through a reconstruction of the flat they shared in Chelsea when they were just starting out (most reminiscent of uni days) – plus there’s plenty of old video footage.
Other highlights include:
A mock up if their recording studio.
Diary excerpts and notes – my favourite quote being from Keith “No one sleeps when I’m awake” – as my friend says, he sounds just like me…
Amazing guitar collection – Keith even has a Gibson Les Paul like mine. (I never knew Keith and I would have so much in common!)
A walk through their tour costumes from the dogtooth suits of the early days to the McQueen, Versace and L Wren attire of the more recent concerts, with some stunning studded jumpsuits thrown in for good measure.
The finale, a 3D concert in a ‘backstage area’ that is actually rather impressive, and that’s coming from someone who saw Jurassic World at the IMAX.
I left wishing I had at least another hour to spend there as it really is a brilliant exhibition – and I’m not even a massive Stones fan. However a word of warning, I wouldn’t go with a headache or feeling in anyway under par as it is all extremely full on, a complete and utter assault on the senses.