The Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics was a great opportunity for us all to take the time to appreciate some of the talented artists and performers that we have enjoyed over the decades…
Olympic-Style British Music
The theme for the Closing ceremony started with Big Ben chimes and was: A Symphony of British Music. Just like the Opening, the Closing ceremony was a history lesson within itself and I found myself skipping happily down memory lane with some of the songs, dances and artists or performers who I haven’t seen in years. It’s amazing how well good British Music and artists have lasted over the decades.
The 1970 – 80s saw Kate Bush who last performed in 1979 (except charity events apparently!). During the Closing ceremony, her song, Running Up that Hill was used during the building of the Olympic pyramid. Over 300 boxes were used to symbolise the different number of events held throughout the games. Despite being nearly 30 years old, the song sounded amazing; haunting, bassy, emotive and yet beautifully familiar. It was very well received – which was the plan because it’s no co-incidence that the 2012 Remix is now on sale online, entitled: Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God). Great title!
Performing througout the 80s up to today is ‘our’ George Michael. He’s been going strong since the ‘Wham’ days. However, at the Closing ceremony, he sang ‘Freedom’, which sounded and looked great but why on Earth wasn’t he advised to sing ‘Faith’?!! Everybody gets ‘Faith’; everyone! … There’s something for everyone in that song; a strong beat, rhythm, meaningful lyrics and a catchy tune. But, (sigh) unfortunately there was no Faith at the Closing ceremony, what a disappointment. Nevertheless, despite the reports of his various illnesses, he looked good, sounded great and can still move a bit too. George Michael can sing, I like him… didn’t like his 2nd song at all, but I like the great contribution that he’s made to British Music.
The 90s were dominated by The Spice Girls. They used Black Cabs as stage props to be ferried around in , minis (not the cars, their skirts), the infamous catsuit on ‘Scary’ – who still looks a bit scary – and the dubious singing as well (except from Mel C). Their ‘Girl Power’ theme with the five different alter-egos really worked throughout that era. It helped women and girls to appreciate they have the ability to express themselves openly, fight for what they want and enjoy themselves whilst doing it, too. It was a ‘package’ that worked well at that time, but happily things change, too. It was soooo good to see them perform again and it’s even better to see they are aware of the fact that if they stop when the going is good, the audience will always want more!
Today sees artists more like Jessie J who are skilled enough to cross the rock/pop, R&B barriers and can sing beautifully too. her performances could have been perfect if she had ‘dressed’ as well as she sings, too. Our amazing British talents; artists that can perform outstandingly well, they look and sound like ‘real’ people, too. I enjoyed watching the Closing ceremony. It’s interesting that we can live amongst greatness, or even just talent and still have a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ mentality. For decades we have looked at America and at the greats over there; Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Eminem, even though we have our own. including Freddie Mercury and Queen, John Lennon, Elton John, Take That, even Oasis, One Direction and one of my personal favourites, Annie Lennox as well. The Olympic experience has caused the world to look at some of the aspects of ‘Britishness’ and has forced us to take another look at some of our home-grown talents too… I enjoyed it.