Monday, 13 August 2012


A Closing Ceremony of Epic Musical Proportions

So after 17 days of more highs than lows for team GB it was time to sign off in style and if anyone doubted how mad as a box of frogs Britain was that point was surely made clear in the lavish opening ceremony.

The closing ceremony gave Britain a chance to show that British music and culture is and has always been in fine fettle and for a large part this was displayed. Although following some kind of narrative prior to all the major stars entering the British flag motif styled stage showing the return to a bustling London scene from a sporting setting courtesy of the rhythmic ensemble Stomp who were raucous and brilliant.

The music proceeded to move through the decades taking in the Beatles, Rolling Stones and David Bowie, Madness- inspired, through to today with George Michael and Pet Shop Boys who were good but as glamorous and camp as ever, Blur, One Direction? and Take That which was an obvious inclusion as the creative director masterminded ‘The Circus’ although it was nice to see Mr Barlow getting on with his day job despite his recent tragedy.

Too many highlights to pick from with Bowie singing Fashion in the background whilst supermodels were carted around – brilliant. You couldn’t help but be moved by a deaf rendition of Imagine complete with sculpture of John Lennon.

The much heralded return of the Spice Girls wasn’t actually too bad arriving in London cabs – somehow their songs actually sounded good and their performance was not without its laughs with Victoria hanging on for dear life – the poor dear!

At times in the show I turned to members of the older generation who looked a little puzzled as to who some of the new acts were but this was a show that had something for everyone.

The problem was it was sometimes the non-linear style that disrupted the spectacle.
Was there any point in having award ceremonies between the acts, best to do that at the end or at the beginning surely.
Was there any requirement for below average Leeds band to do an gawd-awful cover of The Who’s pinball wizard - when they were quite capable of doing it themselves, Who even cares about Kaisers now?

One Direction was as predictable as they come with their squeaky voices and didn’t really make sense in the whole scheme of things-just provided another example of Syco's hold on the industry.

I spotted early on a drum kit with Beady Eye and wondered why they were performing surely brother Noel’s band are the most popular and then came a half hearted version of Wonderwall which despite being shoddy united the spectators in song – no denying what an anthem it is but Liam G didn’t really look like he was bothered – it’s the Olympics closing ceremony for goodness sake – enjoy yourself!

Sounds of the Sex pistols was great complete with bouncing punks – shame they didn’t play God Save the Queen – would love to have seen her majesty’s face – oh wait she wasn’t even there!
 Probably still skydiving with James Bond.

Russell Brand might not be everyone’s favourite but he contributed well to his Beatles section even throwing in a Mobot - everyone loves one of them.

Fatboy Slim and the octopus showed what a DJ supremo and total Legend the man is.

Whatever people may say Jessie J wasn’t really so great, yes she can relate to an audience and one can understand why price tag does the trick with its message of love and unity blah blah but just makes you wish another Jessie (Ware) was there and then dueting with Queen throwing air guitar shapes – shameful- just became karaoke.

Tiao Cruz was safe but Tinie Tempah looked a little star-struck.

There were rumours that members of Pink Floyd were going to collaborate with Ed Sheeran and I hope that this wasn’t the case but there he was attempting to sing ‘Wish You Were Here’ the best part of the song was the Prism and the burning man – Genius

Positioning rock superstars Muse before Queen was brilliant and showed how indebted they were to Queen for their style.
What about that guitar solo from Guitar Virtuoso Brian May that was quite something.

Eric Idle(that’s Monty Python for the young ones) – was brilliant with his ‘Always Look on Bright Side of Life’ combined with Bollywood dancers and didn’t even take over the comedic value of Rowan Atkinson at the opening ceremony.

Brazil showed us what to expect with a colourful mix of samba and song expect something spectacular in 2016 from them.

Standout performer was Emilie Sande who with her raw talent really showed what she was capable of and of course The Who were pretty good as the final act.

There was undeniably a fantastic array of talent on display and this was obviously Britain’s opportunity to show off the quality of their music and that they know how to put on a show with a bit of a dance from Boris- you've gotta love him. The problem was it was overlong and whilst there were some star performers there were some obvious inclusions and some who didn’t really care too much for the occasion they just wanted the harmless self-promotion that the ceremony gave them.

On a sombre note having been cynical about the Olympics prior to the events thinking probably like others that it was a complete waste of money and time. I will miss the games.I found myself captivated by the many triumphs and tears and it was easy to forget all the negatives and focus on what makes Britain great.

What did you think, Was it the best Olympics ever? Did Britain do itself proud?

With 65 medals (29 Gold) a Bolt and a Mobot the Olympics really delivered and Team GB did us proud so roll on Rio!

Check out some of the photos of the show below:-



  1. I found the Olympics entertaining in parts, but mainly over-hyped and blown out of all proportion compared to the far more important issues in the world at the moment. A perfect tool to galvanise patriotism and distraction, and hence loyalty to the ruling powers.

    The opening and closing ceremonies were the most interesting parts of the whole thing for me.

    The music last night was an interesting mix, I think it was about 50/50 for who I was pleased to see and wasn't. Madness, Pet Shop Boys, Muse, Queen, The Who - good bands. It was also good to see the tributes for David Bowie (Not a fan of his music but I know he's had an impact on bands I do like) Sex Pistols of course and was delighted they put in Imagine by John Lennon.

    That brings me on to Jessie J. I had no idea price tag actually had a good message in it. The presentation and vibe of the song is dumbed down and cocky for me which masks the lyrics. The song is protesting against the very things that it promotes in other ways. Did she write it? Does she believe in what she's singing? It didn't look like that to me last night, and why they couldn't get someone more suitable to be on the stage with Brian May is beyond me.

    I'd never heard of One Direction, and they made me want to be sick - as did Russell Brand, he represents a lot of what's wrong with society today.

    Kaiser Chiefs are terrible, so conformist and unoriginal. Is that the closest mainstream bands can get to good rock music these days? Oh dear.

    That That and the Spice Girls no thank you, I can't stand any boy or girl bands but I acknowledge they are aimed more at a female audience. I thought George Michael was embarrassingly bad but hilarious.

    Tinie Tempah - again embodies what's wrong with society. Materialism, weak morals and arrogance.

    I'm surprised Liam's band were allowed to play Wonderwall, did they have permission from Noel? I do find Wonderwall very boring these days, as I do most Oasis songs.

    So I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. The Manics were asked but they already had a gig in South Korea unfortunately. I'm not sure if they'd have wanted to be associated with such a corporatised patriotic event (James wouldn't I imagine) But then they do say they want to get their message out to as many people as possible so maybe they would have. I supposed Belle and Sebastian asked even though I think they are the finest band to ever come out of Scotland.

    So that's what I thought, good article.

  2. Mainly negative I know, I'm in a ranty mood tonight lol.