As a series of people, generally well past their sell by date, did some bits of songs that have been played at a series of charity music concerts for the last 20 years I couldn’t help but feel the closing ceremony of what has been an amazingly successful Olympiad could have been a bit better. Two weeks earlier Danny Boyle had gone against the grain when he produced a ceremony, of either opening or closing, that had a broad appeal. It managed to be artistic, meaningful, (controversially) political, entertaining and intrinsically British. Lots of people said stuff like “that was really good” and “I was suspecting something shitter”.
Of that list (artistic, meaningful, political, entertaining, British) perhaps British could accurately be applied to the closing ceremony. Save for a few highlights (One Direction, Emma Bunton, Elbow, Take That, Kate Moss) it was mainly kind of shit. The kind was: shit. It was shit shit. The kind of shit that normally takes in the place in Hyde Park because it’s Prince Charles’ 50th birthday. Oh we were honouring lots of British greats who deserve to be part of it. Were we? Can’t we let Annie Lennox songs from the 80s go? Isn’t it time that Madness songs were only played at events for people who specifically want to hear Madness songs? (I like Madness songs, just want it not to be the same all the time.)
Isn’t it time George Michael was remembered as that beautiful man with a a gift for pop music? He used to have a sense of his own worth – to the extent where he chose to not release music at the height of his powers such was his belief that he was being badly treated by his record label. He wrote a song about not being a puppet pretending to be a heterosexual sex symbol. Tonight he performed a new song that is released tomorrow. He chose the ceremony to promote a new song that wasn’t getting publicity elsewhere.
And as for Jessie fucking J. Doing Price Tag in the back of a Rolls-Royce …which seems, if ostentatious, at least some kind of British reference. Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW, the official automobile sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics. So she was singing about money not being important in the back in an icon of wealth that she was allowed to be in because the German company who sponsors the Olympics manufactures said icon.
And Queen (not the Queen)…yeah, they are really good songs but can we stop having Brian May do a guitar solo at things. Freddie’s dead kids. The presence of Freddie on a video screen doing his “ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyooooooooooooooooooo” crowd encouraging bit was a nice touch. But is there no-one alive with some charisma who could have done something?
It just went on and on and on and on and on and on. There was a necessary bit about the handover of the flag to the Rio committee and it would have been fine with the quick ceremonial bit and a brief carnival type dance thing. But it went on about four hours. The poor fucking athletes who had made the last couple of weeks so amazing had to stand around watching it all. Stood up (the people who had paid £1000 for tickets had the seats – fair dos).
It’s really very good, you should all go and see it.
I really can’t understand how I am not a high profile move cricket.