The end of this week (January 11,12,13) will see three performances at the V&A to celebrate the history of the electric guitar and its impact on music and culture. The unique rock and roll experience will combine spectacular video projections and documentary footage with live music, performed by a seven-piece band. Seven Decades, co-created by Phillip Hylander and Michael John Ross, weaves together live music, documentary, and rare vintage guitars to tell the epic story of how a simple musical invention had a revolutionary impact on the world.
The 90-minute performances, specially written for the V&A, will chart the evolution of rock and roll from the 1950s to the present day, covering genres ranging from Rockabilly, Country and Rock and Roll, to Heavy Metal, Punk and Disco. It will feature legendary music from James Burton and Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine. The band, led by guitarist and co-creator Michael John Ross (described by Guitarist Magazine as ‘one of the UK’s most seasoned session guitarists’), will play vintage instruments from the period to highlight the enduring influence that the Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul, and Fender Stratocaster have had on modern music and culture.
Seven Decades have previously created music experiences for historic music venues such as Wilton’s Music Hall and the Clapham Grand Theatre. Seven Decades is produced by legendary music manager and producer Bill Curbishley (The Who, Judas Priest, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant) and Grammy and Emmy award winning TV producer Rocky Oldham.
Phil Hylander, co-creator said: ‘We are honoured and excited to be working with the V&A on our next production of Seven Decades. It’s a very natural creative partnership as both of us are trying to animate cultural histories in new ways. Our starting point is performance and theirs is exhibition, but we are navigating to the same place. ‘
Summing up the show Bill Curbishley, producer, said: “It is a musical educational experience, which reminded me that without the Electric Guitar there would have been no Rock and Roll.”
Geoffrey Marsh, Director of the Department of Theatre and Performance, V&A, said:
“We are delighted to be presenting this special version of Seven Decades at the V&A – it chimes perfectly with our interest in exploring the boundaries between live performance, exhibition, lecture and film. This fascinating subject also overlaps with the V&A’s world-class collections highlighting rock and pop, performance and design culture.”
Tickets are £30, and are available to buy from the V&A website.
Dates as follows:
Friday 11th January at 19:00
*V&A Members priority booking for special event with Q&A featuring Bill Curbishley and special guests https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/Lbg3a2bn/seven-decades-with-q-a
Saturday 12th January at 19:00
Sunday 13th January at 19:00
About the V&A
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 5000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform. The V&A holds the national collection of material for live performance in the UK.