Orbital perform Ian Dury's 'Spasticus Autisticus' at the Paralympic Games opening ceremony

UK singers Birdy and Beverley Knight also appear at London's Olympic Stadium

Orbital perform Ian Dury's 'Spasticus Autisticus' at the Paralympic Games opening ceremony

Photo: PA

A live performance of Ian Dury's 1981 track 'Spasticus Autisticus' featured in the Paralympic Games opening ceremony last night (August 29).

The song – which was written by the late Dury for the International Year of Disabled Persons – was performed by dance duo Orbital and the Graeae Theatre Company and featured a sample of Professor Stephen Hawking's voice.

The ceremony, which was opened by Hawking, kicked off with a simulation of the big bang followed by a remix of Rihanna's 'Umbrella', which played whilst acrobats danced to the track, brandishing umbrellas.

Music by Florence and the Machine, Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Kaiser Chiefs and Friendly Fires soundtracked the procession of athletes around the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London, whilst Team GB came on to David Bowie's 'Heroes'.

The Paralympic flag was then taken around the stadium by the British men's under 22's wheelchair basketball team to the strains of 'I Vow To Thee My Country' before the Paralympic anthem was played as the flag was raised.

In addition to the Dury track and a piano and vocal performance by teenage British singer Birdy, who sang 'Bird Gerhl' by Antony Hegarty, Beverley Knight sang 'I Am What I Am' as made famous by Gloria Gaynor, whilst Elin Manahan Thomas performed the classical 'Eternal Source of Light Divine' by Handel and Denise Leigh sang the operatic, specially commissioned 'Spirit in Motion'.

Coldplay will play the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on September 9 at London's Olympic Stadium as part of an event named the 'Festival Of Flame'.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin said of the show: "Being asked to play at the closing celebrations for the Paralympic athletes in London is such a great honour for us. Kim Gavin and Misty Buckley are working hard to put on a spectacular Paralympic Games Closing Ceremony for the athletes and spectators in the stadium, and everyone watching around the world, and we are so happy to be involved."

Read More On This Artist

More News
Cult Brooklyn venue Glasslands set for closure
Lorde reveals 'crazy experiences' behind her 'Hunger Games' soundtrack
Red Hot Chili Peppers hoping to release 'super danceable' new album in the next 12 months
Honeyblood reveal 'Choker' video ahead of NME New Breed Tour appearance – watch
Zane Lowe defends BBC's plan to provide alternative soundtrack to 'Drive'
Pulled Apart By Horses announce 'Medium Rare' EP
Mike Skinner working on new project with London rapper Oscar World Peace
Singing nun who won Italy's 'The Voice' covers Madonna's 'Like A...
Foo Fighters say no to Isle Of Wight Festival headline slot
Paul McCartney shares long-lost John Bonham collaboration
Sylvan Esso announce biggest London headline gig to date
O2 Priority Tickets for Nina Nesbitt, George Ezra and The Charlatans available tomorrow
Ariana Grande reportedly cancels trip to Spain due to Ebola fear
Brian May exhibits his collection of Victorian 3D photos at London's Tate
Noel Gallagher to appear onstage with Johnny Marr at London gig
US judge refuses Led Zeppelin request to have 'Stairway To Heaven' plagiarism case...
Saxophone player Raphael Ravenscroft – man behind the 'Baker Street' solo – dies
Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read says 'Ukip Calypso' track is not 'racist' but...
Graham Coxon's bikes sell for £24,000 at charity auction
The Charlatans preview new music at intimate London gig
Orbital announce split, Paul Hartnoll to release solo album as 8:58
Paul McCartney says Kanye West and Jay Z was the best gig he's attended

More News


Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
Know Your NME

NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM