I’ve just turned on BBC and watched the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony. Wowsers.
Straight after, the London 2012 Party on The Mall is now on.
It being hosted by the BBC, they’ve chosen some of the most mundane, safe British acts to ‘showcase’ British talent; The Feeling, Will Young, Scouting for Girls, Il Divo, Katherine Jenkins (whose screeching goes right through me), James Morrison and Heather Small will no doubt be wheeled out soon.
London is one of the cultural capitals of the world and we’re going to have the world’s eyes on us when we host the Olympics in four years. We’re not going to have the budget the Chinese have spent on their amazing opening and closing ceremonies but are we going to play it safe just so we look nice and respectable? Who actually organises the acts for these things, the same people who book the acts for The Royal Variety Performance? Nice, middle of the road acts that Grannies and middle class suburbanites approve of?
Where are the edgier British acts? Wiley, Estelle, and Dizzee Rascal have spent time high in the charts recently, where are they? Probably too ‘urban‘. What about Girls Aloud (too sexy), Amy Winehouse (too risky), even Radiohead or The Klaxons (too experimental).
Sending Leona Lewis (who yes has a great voice but is blandness personified) over to Beijing sums it up really. Nice symmetry that she’s from Hackney (the hosting borough for London 2012) but does she really represent British creativity and talent? She doesn’t write her own material, performs paint by numbers ballads and came from a televised talent competition which typifies how talent is cultivated in Britain right now. Athens closed with Bjork. Nuff said.
Come 2012, I hope that London is able to show the world that we’re not all nice, safe, manufactured and dull.
The Olympics has already destroyed the warehouses in Stratford where many creatives lived and worked, Hackney galleries are going down and the regeneration going on in the area is forcing poorer people out of the area to make way for fancy apartments and soulless shopping centres.
I hope not but I feel we’re losing the edgy diversity that brings artists and creative’s from around the world to London in the name of a three week event that might end up embarrassing us.
For now, lets cringe to Scouting for Girls doing ‘London’s Calling’ and The Feeling performing Bowies ‘Heroes’…..