Confession time ….. I’m a bit too young for early Pink Floyd music. Then they made a decision not to release singles which meant they didn’t earworm into my life via the wireless. Then there is the gender thing. Pink Floyd was what the boys bought. The covers, they are iconic but prior to walking into Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains I had never knowingly listened to an entire Pink Floyd album.
You are handed a pair of Sennheiser headphones as you walk into Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains and they immediately plunge you into a different world. As you wander round music and interviews start playing automatically, its all very clever. You enter via a giant recreation of the Bedford van in which the band started their touring career. Instruments are on display, you hear the band talking about how they played around with the new fangled synthesisers to make amazing soundscapes.
Then there are all those iconic album covers. ‘Wish You Were Here’ came with postcards of the diver and flaming man, I remember my brother had them pinned to his notice board. Pink Floyd worked closely with Hipgnosis design company on many of their album covers we hear them describe the making of the images. Before digital trickery, the diver was actually somebody doing a handstand and then holding the position for long enough for the ripples to die away, that’s quite some breath holding! The flaming man really was on fire, he wore a fire proof suit and was surrounded by fire extinguisher wielding crew just out of shot.
Pink Floyd were famous for their stage shows as well as the iconic album covers, vast inflatables filled the stage. As you enter one room are greeted by a 3D recreation of Battersea Power Station complete with a pig floating above it just like the ‘Animals’ cover. At over nine metres high it is the highest exhibit to have ever been included in a temporary exhibition at the V&A. Right next door to it is a another 9 meter creation, this time of the teacher from ‘The Wall’. Keep on going and you come across a recreation of the ‘Division Bell’ cover – interesting fact alert – the building you can see behind the giant heads is Ely Cathedral.
In the final room all four walls are given over to a projection of the bands final live performance together. The music pounds out from all sides making you feel that you are there watching them live. For me the stand out moment of Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains was standing in a dark room watching a rotating hologram of the prism on the cover of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ rotating whilst listening to the album play, it was magical and I could have stood there for hours. Since I have returned home I have been listening to Pink Floyd on the Sonos and do you know what, its not just music for boys.
PINK FLOYD: THEIR MORTAL REMAINS
13 May 2017 – 1 October 2017
Victorian and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Admission: £20 (Monday – Friday), £24 (Saturday and Sunday) concessions available
Booking tickets is highly advisable – click here
Members of the V&A go free, annual membership starts at £64
Open: Daily 10am – 5.45pm (until 10pm on Friday)