LONDON CALLING! The eyes of the world were once again on London last night, for the Olympics Closing Ceremony. Similar to the Opening Ceremony, London paid tribute to the best of British music, from One Direction to Fatboy Slim and The Who to The Spice Girls. The worlds biggest after show party was a musical mixed-bag, covering different eras and genres, but safe to say, it had something for everyone.
Suitably titled, A Symphony of British Music: Music For the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the evening kicked off with a vision of working London covered in newspapers – queue Emeli Sande ‘Read All About It‘, who performed the Professor green hit, surrounded by a selection of London’s architectural highlights. Up next were Madness and the Hackney Colliery Band with ‘Our House‘ – the perfect track to highlight cosmopolitan London and typical British-style street parties. The Massed Bands of the Household Division perform Blurs famous hit ‘Parklife’, as Blur were headlining the BT London Live Closing Ceremony Concert at Hyde Park. The Pet Shop Boys then performed ‘West End Girls’ shortly followed by the worlds biggest boy band, One Direction. Having been the first UK group to debut at no.1 with their debut album in the US, the boys performed their hit ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, while circling the stadium on the back of a truck.
Ray Davies, from The Kinks, arrived in a black cab to perform ‘Waterloo Sunset‘. While some may have been disillusioned from a manic start, Elbow to the rescue with their anthemic songs, ‘One Day Like This’ and ‘Open Arms’, which was accompanied by Urban Voices Collective and the London Symphony Orchestra. Another classic track, as Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ plays, while a pyramid is assembled to represent each Olympic event. Urban Voices Collective performed their cover of The Beatles ‘Here Comes The Sun’, as the Olympics paid tribute to the many voluteneers that made it all possible. The crowd erupts as the voice of Freddie Mercury echoes through the stadium, singing a snippet from Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. This leads in to a beautiful and moving tribute to John Lennon, as ‘Imagine’ is sung by choirs from Liverpool (Lennon’s birthplace), while 101 segments are assembled to form the face of John Lennon.
George Michael took center stage, as he performed his hit ‘Freedom 90’ , much to the excitement of the crowd, and also plugged his new single ‘White Light’. The Kaiser Cheifs made a grand entrance to the stadium on motorbikes, while performing The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’, shortly followed by a musical montage from David Bowie, highlighting British fashion. Continuing with British music icons, Annie Lennox arrived aboard the Ghost Galleon Ship, performing ‘Little Bird‘. Ed Sheeran, was then joined the stage with Nick Mason(Pink Floyd), Richard Jones (The Feeling) and Mike Rutherford (Genesis), for a collaboration of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’, a song most of the crowd recognized from just the first three chords.
The next section delves into the bizarre, as Russel Brand made his entrance aboard a psychedelic tour bus, as he sings ‘Pure Imagination’ from the film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ followed by ‘I am the Walrus’. You might think it can’t any any crazier … queue a giant inflatable octopus, where Fatboy Slim belted out his classics ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and ‘The Rockafeller Skank‘. Up next were the classic pop sounds of Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz, where they each performed their hits ‘Price Tag‘, ‘Written In The Stars‘ and ‘Dynamite‘, before coming together for the Bee Gees’ infectious disco hit, ‘You Should Be Dancing’. Zig-a-zig-ah time … yes the moment many were waiting for. The Spice Girls reunited for the special closing ceremony event, and made a grand entrance , each on their own black mini cab, performing their massive pop hits ‘Spice up your life’ and ‘Wannabe’.
Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye performed the classic Oasis track, ‘Wonderwall‘ , shortly followed by Monty Python comedian Eric Idle with the charming ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’. Muse then took centre stage, and rocked the Official Olympic Song ‘Survival’. Freddie Mercury appeared on screen and warmed up the crowd with his trademark call and repeat chants; a suitable introduction for Brian May and Roger Taylor, from the legendary band ‘Queen’. Jessie J made her return and belted out the classic ‘We Will Rock You’.
After the Olympic handover to Rio, Take That performed ‘Rule The World‘ – a suitable song for a host that gripped the nation the past few weeks! Big respect to Gary Barlow, who joined in proceedings, despite current personal events. After the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, there was only one way to end this truly ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Games’, and that was to have The Who officially close the ceremony with a bang. Rocking out with hits tracks such as ‘Baba O’Riley’, ‘See Me, Feel Me’, ‘Listening To You’ and ‘My Generation’.
London successfully brought the curtain down on the London 2012 Olympic Games. While the music selection may not have been to everyone’s tastes, it had to cater for the millions of people watching all around the world. Symphony of British Music: Music For the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is now available via iTunes.
“When our time came, Britain, we did it right – Seb Coe, London Organizing Committee Chief
Check out the beautiful Olympic montage, with Emelie Sande’s cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.