Olympic Closing Ceremony

The 2012 London Olympics came to a spectacular close in a The three-hour-long ceremony, billed as a Symphony Of British Music  features 4,000 performers.

It began at 9pm and The centre piece of the three-hour spectacular was A Symphony of British Music, in which the London Symphony Orchestra was joined by some of the biggest pop acts from the past 50 years including Pet Shop Boys,  Muse, Madness,  Elbow, Ray Davies,  Emili Sande,  Jessie J,  Darcey Bussell, One Direction, George Michael who performed two songs including Freedom, Kaiser Chiefs who  played Pinball Wizard, Kate Moss Lily Cole and Naomi Campbell who arrived to the sounds of David Bowie’s song “Fashion”. Annie Lennox performed Little Bird. Ed Shereen, Mike Rutherford, Nick Mason performed “Wish You Were Here”., Russell Brand sang “The Walrus”, Fatboy Slim performed “Right here, Right Now”, Jessie J, Taio Cruz & Tinie Tempah also sang. The Spice Girls then arrived by taxi and performed Wannabe and Spice up Your Life, Beady Eye performed Wonderwall, Eric Idle performed “Always look Look on the Bright Side” before his performance was hijacked by Flying Nuns and the Dhol Foundation 😀 this was followed by Muse, Brian May then performed a blistering guitar solo and was joined on stage by Roger Taylor and Jessie J (I still much prefer Freddie Mercury). A new 2012 remix of the classic Kate Bush song Running Up That Hill, was also performed Del Boy and Rodney Trotter, had their Reliant Regal van  blown up in a sequence in which they pretend to be Batman and Robin and The brass band of The Coldstream Guards also performed,  Pele also appeared during the Closing Ceremony. Take that performed “Rule the World” and The Who brought the proceedings to a suitably rocking climax with “Baba’o’Riley” and “My Generation”.

Although from what I’ve been reading, the Who took some persuading before they agreed to turn up, and David Bowie actually turned down the offer to sign off Sunday night’s Olympic Games closing ceremony with a performance of Heroes, along with The Rolling Stones, Kate Bush and The Sex Pistols who also refused to appear in what was intended to be a history of British music. Although the songs “Heroes” and “Running up that Hill” were both used with permission, during the event

Lord Sebastian Coe, has also been given a role by PM as the ‘legacy ambassador’ and is tasked with continuing Britain’s sporting prowess. HM Queen Elizabeth II, who made a memorable entrance during the opening ceremony, will also be present at the Closing Ceremony, during which Mayor of London Boris Johnson will hand the Olympic flag off to his Rio counterpart ready for the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the opening ceremony is likely to be a spectaclarly colourful Carnival.

There will also be speeches by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge and London organizing committee chief Lord Sebastian Coe, and the extinguishing of the Olympic flame.The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in the Stadium along with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and other members of the Royal Family to watch the flag handover ceremony. Britain had its biggest medal haul since 1908, and will finish third in the medals table. While the United States was poised to edge China in both the gold medal and total medal standings, recapturing the gold-medal title it lost four years ago.

Happy Birthday Mark Knopfler & Tanita Tikaram


Mark Knopfler, the British singer-songwriter and guitarist with British rock band, Dire Straits, was born 12th August 1949. Formed in 1977 by Brothers Mark (lead vocals and lead guitar)and David Knopfler (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), and friends John Illsley (bass guitar and backing vocals, and Pick Withers (drums and percussion), they recorded a five-song demo tape which included their future hit single, “Sultans of Swing”, as well as “Water of Love”, “Down to the Waterline”, “Wild West End” and David Knopfler’s “Sacred Loving”.

The group’s first album, was intitled Dire Straits the album had little promotion when initially released in the United Kingdom However, the album came to the attention of A&R representative Karin Berg, working at Warner Bros. Records in New York City. She felt that it was the kind of music audiences were hungry for, That same year, Dire Straits began a tour as opening band for the Talking Heads after the re-released “Sultans of Swing” which scaled the charts to number four in the United States and number eight in the United Kingdom. The song was one of Dire Straits’ biggest hits and became a fixture in the band’s live performances. ”

Recording sessions for the group’s second album, Communiqué, took place in December 1978, Released in June 1979 Communiqué Featured the single “Lady Writer”, the second album continued in a similar vein as the first and displayed the expanding scope of Knopfler’s lyricism on the opening track, “Once Upon a Time in the West”. In 1980, Dire Straits werenominated for two Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Sultans Of Swing.

In July 1980 the band started recording tracks for their third album. Making Movies which featured longer songs with more complex arrangements, a style which would continue for the rest of the band’s career. The album featured many of Mark Knopfler’s most personal compositions. The most successful chart single was “Romeo and Juliet” and was released in October 1980.

Dire Straits’ fourth studio album Love Over Gold, an album of songs filled with lengthy, experimental passages, was well received when it was released in September 1982, going gold in America and spending four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom, its main chart hit, “Private Investigations”, gave Dire Straits their first top 5 hit single in the United Kingdom, where it reached the number 2 position despite its almost seven-minute length, and became another of the band’s most popular live songs. along with “Industrial Disease”, a song that looks at the decline of the British manufacturing industry in the early 1980s. In 1983, a four-song EP titled ExtendedancEPlay was released while Love Over Gold was still in the album charts. It featured the hit single “Twisting By the Pool”. Dire Straits also embarked on a world tour. wgich resulted in The double album Alchemy Live, a recording of two live concerts of the group at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July 1983, was released in March 1984.

Dire Straits returned to the recording studios at the end of 1984 to record their biggest selling album to date, Brothers in Arms, which has so far sold over 30 million copies and contains the songs “Money for Nothing”, “Walk of Life”, “So Far Away”, “Your Latest Trick” and “Brothers in Arms”. Released in May 1985, Brothers In Arms entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts, It went on to become the best-selling album of 1985 in the UK, “Money for Nothing” was also the first video ever to be played on MTV in Britain and featured guest vocals by Sting, who is credited with co-writing the song with Mark Knopfler, although in fact, it was just the inclusion of the melody line from “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”.Brothers in Arms was among the first albums recorded on digital equipment due to Knopfler pushing for improved sound quality The album’s title track is reported to be the world’s first CD single. The album is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first compact disc to sell a million copies, and has been credited with helping to popularise the CD forma

Their sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest to beat music within the context of rock and roll. Despite the prominence of punk rock during the band’s early years, the band’s stripped-down sound contrasted with punk, demonstrating a more “rootsy” influence that emerged out of pub rock. Many of Dire Straits’ compositions were melancholic and they have gone on to became one of the world’s most commercially successful bands, with worldwide album sales of over 120 million. making them One of the world’s best selling music artists, and their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, has won many accolades. In November 2009, Dire Straits were honoured by the new PRS for Music Heritage Award. A special blue plaque was erected at Farrer House, Church Street, Deptford in south London, where the original group, Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley and Pick Withers once shared a council flat and performed their first ever gig in 1977. PRS for Music has set up the Heritage Award to recognise the unusual “performance birthplaces” of famous bands and artists. Dire Straits have also won numerous music awards during their career, including four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards—winning Best British Group twice, and two MTV Video Music Awards. The band’ most popular songs include “Sultans of Swing”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Tunnel of Love”, “Private Investigations” .Dire Straits’ career spanned 18 years. There were several changes in personnel over that period, leaving Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as the only two original bandmates who had remained throughout the band’s career. Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 when Mark Knopfler launched his career full time as a solo artist.


British pop/folk singer-songwriter,Tanita Tikaram was born 12 August 1969, She is best known for the hits “Twist in My Sobriety” and “Good Tradition” from her 1988 debut album, Ancient Heart. Tikaram started singing in nightclubs while she was still a teenager. Her debut album, Ancient Heart, was released in September 1988 when she was 19-years-old.The album peaked at Number 3 in the United Kingdom, where it was certified Double Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. It also became an international hit and led to a world concert tour. The singles “Good Tradition” and “Twist In My Sobriety” were Top 10 hits in Europe. Tikaram’s second album, The Sweet Keeper, was released in 1990. While it also peaked at Number 3 in the UK, it was lesssuccessful than her debut, earning just a Gold disc. No singles from the album were Top 40 hits. Everybody’s Angel followed in 1991, with Jennifer Warnes providing vocals on two tracks, including the lead single “Only The Ones We Love” The album was less successful than her previous releases, peaking at Number 19 in the UK.

1992 saw the release of Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness. In 1995, she released Lovers in the City. In 1998 she released The Cappuccino Songs, which was produced by Marco Sabiu. Again, commercial success eluded her, despite one of the singles off the album, “I Don’t Wanna Lose At Love”, being remixed by the Asian Dub Foundation. She then retired from the music scene for several years. In 2005, Tikaram released the album, Sentimental, which features two collaborations with Nick Lowe. Tikaram began recording her eighth studio album in 2010 and also played some “acoustic sessions” live dates in Europe from September to November 2011, her first tour in 10 years. Tikaram’s eighth studio album, Can’t Go Back, is expected to be released on 04 September 2012. The first single, “Dust On My Shoes”, was released digitally on 11 May 2012.


Happy Birthday Pete Sampras

Greek American tennis player and former world number 1.Peter “Pete” Sampras was born August 12, 1971 During his 14-year tour career, he won 14 Grand Slam singles titles and became recognized as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.Sampras debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and played his last top-level tournament in 2002 when he won the US Open, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was the year-end world no. 1 for six consecutive years (1993–1998), a record for the Open Era. His seven Wimbledon singles championships is an Open Era record shared with Roger Federer, while Sampras’ five US Open singles titles is an Open Era record shared with both Federer and former World No. 1 player Jimmy Connors. Sampras is the last American male to win Wimbledon (2000) and the ATP World Tour Finals (1999)