Oh blimey I’ve been watching the opening ceremony to the Commonwealth Games tonight. It’s well into its programme (Rod the mod’s been on twice now) and it has certainly livened up. But am I alone in thinking it was a very clunky start? Jeez. I said in my review of the WC opening event that I thought Danny Boyle had killed it for every artistic director of major events for the next 20 years. And Glasgow’s opening hour sure proved me right. John Barrowman singing a medley of barmy Scottish ditties and kissing some bloke (as you do) and a few hundred dancers (not enough) portraying Scottish life stereotypically, as if it was a London 2102 Lite pastiche. I asked my wife how long before the first bagpipes were heard; she said 5 minutes, I said 1 minute, I think it took 15 seconds. Then there was the whisky song, tartan galore, a big haggis, the Loch Ness monster, Scottish terriers and a film clip of Andy Stewart singing something like ‘Donald where’s yer troosers?’ Look it could well have been ironic and tongue-in-cheek but you never knew where the ‘just joking’ line was. And then they introduced the acts… Rod (OK), Susan Boyle (grim) whilst they emptied the playing arena so it looked like nobody had turned up to listen. Bizarre. I was actually aching for the Proclaimers to walk on and do ’500 miles’ just to get the action flowing when they did an acapella version to two people dancing ballet to it. It was quite lovely I thought but the event needed a burst of real energy and it never really came.
As I said above it got going a bit once the athletes piled in, but what were the Scottish team wearing? OMG it looked like something designed by that Scottish picnic basket of a designer on ’60 second make-over’. Shocking. I shalln’t mention the head honcho chappie having trouble taking the top off the Queen’s official message torch; it was one of those nights.
But hey all the athletes were having a great time and the crowd warmed up enormously once the Scottish team were unveiled. This is the ‘friendly games’ after all – even the English team got a decent cheer – so I’ll be gracious and say it started crappily but ended joyously and I’m looking forward to a great Games. But sack the Director.