I was not sure what to expect on the wet February afternoon walking to the London museum. As soon as I saw the London Calling sign (with graffiti which I feel was a punk statement of its own), I knew I was getting close. The moment I walked in, the lyrics to ‘And I Live By The River’ hit me – the same song the exhibition was named after. The exhibit was free but accepted donations (this is how I feel most exhibits should operate).
The first thing I saw as I walked in was the white Fender Precision bass broken in New York 1979 by Paul Simonon. I was in awe – I was standing in front of the bass featured on the album cover ‘London Calling’! The glass case, unfortunately (or fortunately for the exhibit) stopped me reaching out and touching it. I then turned around and saw the handwritten lyrics and clothing worn by the band in addition to the well-worn flight cases which were just exceptional to see. The preservation of the items was incredible – it looks like the band had only just written the lyrics and were packing to go back out on stage once more.
For any Clash fan, this exhibit is a must-go! It’s not a large exhibit by all means, but it packs a lot in such a small space. Although I’m not a huge Clash fan, attending this really made me appreciate not only the album but the band too. Let’s hope this exhibit leads to more shows focusing on albums from the Sex Pistols, Ramones, and many many more!