London 2012: Spice Girls, The Who, George Michael and more perform symphony of British music

00:12 13 August 2012

The Spice Girls perform during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Spice Girls perform during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The Spice Girls, the London Symphony Orchestra, George Michael and One Direction were just some of the diverse artists who performed at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

Music was a combination of recorded versions of songs, while some artists performed their own work and there were alternative versions of other songs sung by choirs or British bands.

The tribute to British music started with Emeli Sande singing Read All About It, before the London gospel choir Urban Voices performed Because by the Beatles and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and the London Symphony Orchestra played Elgar’s Salut d’Amour.

Madness played Our House while Blur’s Park Life was played by the Household Division Ceremonial State Band. Pet Shop Boys played their hit West End Girls while One Direction performed What Makes You Beautiful.

A recorded version of A Day in the Life by The Beatles was played before The Kinks frontman Ray Davies sang his song Waterloo Sunset and Emeli Sande performed a reprise of Read All About It.

During the parade of athletes the London Symphony Orchestra played David Arnold’s Parade of Athletes and Elbow perfomed Open Arms and One Day Like This accompanied by the orchestra and Urban Voices.

A recorded version of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill was played, and then Urban Voices and drummers from the Dhol Foundation played George Harrison’s Here Comes the Sun.

A section called A Symphony of British Music, also the name of the closing ceremony, featured music from a host of artists.

It opened with a recording of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody before John Lennon’s Imagine was performed by the London Philharmonic Youth Choir and Liverpool Signing Choir, accompanied by a video of Lennon singing which was remastered by his wife Yoko Ono for the closing ceremony.

George Michael sang Freedom ‘90 and White Light before The Who’s Pinball Wizard was performed by the Kaiser Chiefs.

A compilation of David Bowie’s hits were played, including Space Oddity, Changes, Ziggy Stardust, The Jean Genie, Rebel Rebel, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Let’s Dance and Fashion.

Annie Lennox, brought in on a black ship, sang Little Bird, and Ed Sheeran, accompanied Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason, Richard Jones of The Feeling and Mike Genesis from Genesis sang Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.

Russell Brand performed Pure Imagination from Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, before performing to a recording of I Am the Walrus by The Beatles accompanied by Bond.

Fatboy Slim performed Right Here, Right Now and Rockafeller Skank.

Jessie J sang Price Tag, Tinnie Tempah sang Written in the Stars and Taio Cruz sang Dynamite before the three artists came together to perform You Should be Dancing by the Bee Gees.

The Spice Girls reunited to sing Spice Up Your Life and Wannabe, while Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye sang Wonderwall by Oasis.

The Electric Light Orchestra performed Mr Blue Sky, and then Eric Idle sang Always Look on the Bright Side of Life in tribute to Monty Python.

Muse sang Survival, the official song of the London 2012 Games, before Brian May and Roger Taylor performed Queen’s Brighton Rock and We Will Rock You, accompanied by Jessie J on the latter.

During a section titled Spirit of the Flame Take That sang Rule the World then London Symphony Orchestra and Metro Voices singing group performed Spirit of the Flame.

The finale featured The Who singing Baba O’Riley, See Me, Feel Me, Listening to You and My Generation.


Latest News Stories

Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Yesterday, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Yesterday, 12:49
Cllr Richard Watts

More than 1,000 of Islington’s unemployed have found jobs in the last year, thanks to a council-led scheme.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder