The London 2012 Olympics end with pride
I felt so proud watching the closing ceremony yesterday, even though it was a rather chaotic mix of pop culture and lacked the unique, surreal and dramatic narrative of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. To be fair, the Telegraph online reported that director Kim Gavin hardly had any time to rehearse with the schedule of the games, so kept it somewhat simpler. There were some fantastic moments, I absolutely loved the scaled version of the London waterfront monuments that lit up to reveal Damien Hirst’s version of the Union Jack.
I’m sure it was as nostalgic for many as it was for me and it truly showcased the immense influence the UK has had culturally, fashion wise and musically on the world; a familiar benchmark that was able to unite the nations there. A highlight of the ceremony was the Pet Shop boys singing “West End Girls” while wearing avant-garde headpieces by designer Gareth Pugh. Also the performance by Annie Lennox, Fatboy Slim DJing in a huge inflatable octopus, the parading of British supermodels (sadly missing Erin O’Connor), a moving sculpture of John Lennon’s head during a video of him singing “Imagine”, Monty Python’s Eric Idle leading the crowd in a rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and yes, even the Spice Girls singing on lit up black cabs!
Although, I felt the absence of legends David Bowie and The Rolling Stones made it feel a bit incomplete. There were passing comments by commentators that the closing ceremony was a bit cheesy and akin to a big charity concert at times. I thought it was fun, unpretentious and was the quintessential mix-tape of British music history. Since music, like fashion, is so interconnected with the culture of its time, it was able to bring you back to that period in your life when these songs were first popular and able to sum up the political and social climates of any given period in a condensed way. The only thing I could have passed on was the Jessie J overload as she sang “We Will Rock You” with members of Queen, in what was her second performance of the night. All in all, hats off to Danny Boyle for his fresh approach to the opening ceremony and Kim Gavin’s nostalgic and fun music compilation for the closing one; they brought back a truly Cool and eclectic Britannia. Precisely the reason why I moved to London when I was 19 with big dreams of being a part of it!!