As the Paralympics enter their final week, the whole London 2012 team can be congratulated for many things: excellent venues, great game makers (the army of volunteers), fabulous venues and amazing atmospheres. One thing that they might not be applauded for by many was the amazing variety of music that both games have utilised.
Having been lucky enough to attend both the Football and Boxing in the Olympics and the Athletics in the Paralympics, I was blown away by how great the use of incidental music was. Watching on the TV, you saw snippets of tracks being used between natural pauses in all sorts of games. In Hockey for example, artists such as New Order, Blur, Kasabian, The Sex Pistols and The Clash were played whenever goals were scored. Even walking to and from the venues, music was everywhere. Be it from piped public address systems or (in the case of the Olympic park itself) a plethora of live musicians performing their own original music to eager crowds.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics were a smorgasbord of British talent from the past 50 years with live performances from The Who, Paul McCartney, Kasabian, Spice Girls, Beady Eye (Liam Gallagher), Mike Oldfield and even The London Symphony Orchestra. It was an excellent mix of the new and old with something for everyone, and given the high speed of the show if you didn’t like one track chances were it was quickly replaced by one you did. There was real mixture of genres with Rock, Alternative, Grime, Classical and Dance music all seamlessly rolling into one. The comedic element of Eric Idle performing “Always Look on the Bright Side Of Life” in the Closing Ceremony fit excellently into what had been quite a fun two weeks. Even the choice of using Vangelis “Chariots Of Fire” for the medal ceremonies added an uniquely British touch to the proceedings.