Arctic Monkeys, Paul McCartney and Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble all performed at the climax of the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Arctic Monkeys played ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ and a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ – in front an estimated global audience of a billion people.
Paul McCartney closed the four hour long event with a version of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’.
After quoting a line from The Beatles’ 1969 song ‘The End’ – “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” – he started up on the piano, leading the Olympic Stadium in a mass singalong. He even went up to the front of the stage and asked “the fellas” and then “the women, the girls” in the crowd to sing parts of the chorus separately.
Frank Turner performed as a prologue to the ceremony proper. Appearing with an extended version of his band the Sleeping Souls, that also included Jim Lockey, Ben Marwood and Emily Barker, Turner performed atop one of the Olympic Stadium’s grass-covered hills.
Of his performance, Turner said: “Being asked to play the Opening Ceremony was something I never imagined was going to happen in my wildest most feverish dreams; but the fact that Danny Boyle asked me personally, as a fan, convinced me to do it. It’s a pretty terrifying prospect, but I’m secretly pretty happy to be part of it, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
A surprise musical guest came in the shape of Two Door Cinema Club frontman Alex Trimble, who sang ‘Caliban’s Dream’ – a song written specially for the ceremony by Underworld’s Rick Smith – as young athletes carried the Olympic Flame around the stadium before they lit the Olympic Cauldron to Pink Floyd’s ‘Eclipse’.
Dizzee Rascal performed ‘Bonkers’ at the Olympic opening ceremony. He’s a local hero, since he grew up in Bow, right near where the Olympic site now stands.
Other, non-musical guests of honour at the ceremony included boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The biggest talking point of the night – though it only made sense to people watching on TV – was the site of the Queen taking a helicopter ride with Daniel Craig and appearing to sky-dive into the Olympic stadium.
The soundtrack to the opening ceremony is now available to buy, digitally. Titled ‘Isles Of Wonder: Music For The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games’, the album was released at the end of the event. A physical release will follow on August 6.
The soundtrack to the show included such unexpectedly leftfield choices as Fuck Buttons’ ‘Surf Solar’, David Holmes’ ‘I Heard Wonders’ and Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’.
There were also British rock/pop classics too, such as Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’, The Clash’s ‘London Calling’, and New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’. None of the songs were played in full – mostly the crowd heard just a short burst of each one.
One surprising omission from the soundtrack was Muse’s specially commissioned Olympics song, ‘Survival’. However two of their songs were used on the soundtrack – ‘Map Of The Problematique’ at the very start, and ‘Uprising’ near the end.
British rowing hero Steve Redgrave carries the Olympic Torch into the arena.
Opening ceremony supremo Danny Boyle, who has received plaudits for his work organising such as distinctive show. It was designed very much according to his own personal tastes – he’s a big fan of Frank Turner, for example, and personally invited him to perform.
To check out the full soundtrack of the night, and stream it as a spotify playlist, head here.