Well Kylie duly appeared in something very skimpy, apart from the head-dress which was HUGE. And she sang her stuff including CGYOOMH just for me (TYK). Then to close the show we had Dougie MacLean. Who? He must be big in Scotland and he sang something folksy but surely, surely it was crying out for the Proclaimers to close it on 500 Miles. Ah that was probably a bit of self-irony too far. So the final scene was the ‘whole cast’ singing Auld Lang Syne. There must have been at least 7 people on the largest stage and landing strip I’ve ever seen. Sigh. Anyway enough of my mocking, it was a great event and showcase for Glasgow, like the TdF was for Yorkshire. It’s been a good summer for highlighting what our great country has to offer beyond London I think.
Look I thought the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, which seemed to receive universal praise, was a bit celtic inscrutable; i just couldn’t tell where the irony and self-deprecation stopped and the Scottish whimsy took over. But at least it was a hoot. I’ve been watching the closing ceremony for over an hour now and it’s been as much fun as a colonoscopy. Lots of tents (there’s that irony bit – got it, but no midges? because there sure were the only frigging time we camped in Scotland – and rain) and Lulu singing Shout (groan) and Deacon Blue singing something awful then some diddly dee singers then 40 minutes of crap speeches and a tourist advert for Australia’s Gold Coast, ya big gallah. It has been as much fun as a big jobbie in the Commonwealth Games pool. I’ll give it 10 more minutes and if Kylie isn’t on singing Can’t Get You Out of My Head in something very slinky and skimpy, I’m off down Sauchiehall St and heading south to C4.
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.