As a cynical 46 year-old, increasingly grumpy, stereotypical middle-aged man, who every year since turning 40 has increasingly thought the
country was going to hell in a hand-cart, it is no exaggeration to say that the Olympics opening ceremony, its soundtrack and the
whole Olympics event has restored my faith in this country and my pride in being British. I watched and listened to the opening ceremony
and its stirring soundtrack with increasing emotion as long-forgotten feelings of national identity and pride resurfaced in response to
the sheer genius of this soundtrack and the accompanying visual spectacle. It helped that I am a long-time Danny Boyle and Underworld fan,
but even I had not expected such an incredibly powerful and rich cacophony of sights and sounds that captured the essence of being British
and showed this country to be a world-leader in so many respects, not least in creative vision and output. Listening to the soundtrack CD
for the first time, all those emotions stirred again as Underworld's dazzling "And I Will Kiss" powered by the passion and beat of the
Pandemonium Drummers builds and builds, before giving way to the brilliant Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (great to see him so involved).
I had forgotten just how fantastic Vangelis's Chariots of Fire theme was (despite being a massive Vangelis fan) and have not tired of
hearing it over the past couple of weeks. Throw in Emeli Sande, Artic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers, Pet Shop Boys & David Bowie and you
get a fantastic, eclectic cross-section of leading-edge British music at its best. Thanks Danny & your team, thanks Underworld, thanks to all
the musicians and volunteers involved in the opening ceremony & the Olympics in general, thanks to the inspirational athletes taking
part. You reminded me what a great nation this country really is and that I am not quite ready to become a totally grumpy old-man just yet.