Paralympics: Pomp, ceremony... and possibly well-played, Coldplay


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The Independent Culture

After the Olympic opening ceremony superbly managed to showcase the wide and eclectic history of British music, featuring everything from "Chariots of Fire" to Dizzee Rascal, the standard for any future music-related goings on during London 2012 was set very high.

Then it all went a bit wrong at the closing ceremony with George Michael singing a song nobody had ever heard of, Jessie J refusing to get off the stage and Russell Brand miming to "I am the Walrus", it wasn't surprising that it failed to thrill audiences in quite the same way.

So what musical delights will the Paralympics bring? Those who applauded Danny Boyle's leftfield hiring of Underworld to be the music directors for the opening ceremony might be disappointed to hear that a band as blah as Coldplay is the main act for the closing ceremony, which will take place on 9 September. Not only that but one of their hits, "Viva La Vida", will be played simultaneously at outdoor venues across the UK in a Bandstand Marathon before the ceremony. Although organisers have described the ceremony as a "unique portrait of the UK's diverse musical tastes", many have responded that Coldplay's particular brand of inoffensive rock hardly fits that description.

Rather more cheeringly, however, is the news that that some of the Bandstand performances will include a 91-year-old singer in Inverness, Jewish music in Regent's Park, London, a 100-piece ukulele band in Stourbridge, West Midlands, a sign-language choir in Chester and an Elvis impersonator in Barry, South Wales, which is all a bit more encouraging.

And with Rihanna rumoured to join Coldplay on stage for their song "Princess of China", perhaps it won't be quite the snoozefest that many have predicted.