At some point in 2012, before the Olympics begin, you get the call from one of Seb Coe’s devoted sycophants asking you to do a number at the Grand Old Closing Ceremony because “err, yah, we think you’d be rally great, rally in-fitting with the Team GB vision, you know?” You answer somewhere on the scale between measured acceptance of the gig or gushing words of thanks while spluttering out a “yes!”, depending on the amount of time you’ve spent in the British music industry and whether or not you’re considered a national treasure yet. Where you land on this scale also corresponds with the amount of time you spend agonising over the next, natural question after agreeing to perform: what in Hoy’s name do I wear to a ceremony watched by about 26 million people?
If you’re Ray Davies, well there’s no issue. You cut your teeth in the sixties, man. You slip on your skinny tailored suit, leave your shirt tucked out, and strut onto the stage oozing cool despite being 68 years old and sporting horrendously dyed ginger-ish hair. Everyone respects you because we all (sort of) love Waterloo Sunset and we acknowledge that a bad haircut doesn’t hide the fact that you’ve lived the rock n roll life of Riley.
If you’re Annie Lennox, then you experience a similar lack of worry, but you execute it in a different way. You’ve had an astounding career and you’re fairly distinguished in the arts world, so instead of trying to reflect that in your ensemble, you throw caution to the wind and sport the bawdy frills of a belle époque wench. And, oh, to hell with it, you may as well drape yourself off the edge of a pirate ship once you get into the stadium. It’s only about ten, maybe twenty times in your life (if you’re still doing world tours) that you can let go like this in front of multi millions of spectators.
If you’re the Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson, you’ve got a bit of thinking to do. You know you’ll be covering The Who and entering on a scooter. So maybe channel the Mod theme? Hmm. Difficult one. But then something brilliant happens! Over the course of The Games, ‘The Modfather’ that is Bradley Wiggo is elevated to status of Team GB Divine Prophet! Everyone will be so excited by the Mod references while you’re singing Pinball Wizard that no-one’s going to be properly looking at what you’re wearing! Sniggering, you commit fashion sacrilege and prepare an outfit of double denim. How naughty.
If you’re Kate Moss, then you’ll look fabulous regardless of… hang on, Kate Moss isn’t a musician? Ah, yeah, she just goes out with them and pouts to their songs while swishing her tousled golden hair. If we’re fair, in the past she probably did sing on a few Babyshambles tracks with that sultry Croydon whisper of hers. Who cares, anyway – she still carries clothes as if she were in her early twenties.
If you’re Jessie J, then it is absolutely essential that you uphold your oxymoronic superstar-down-to-earth-diva status. Your cross-atlantic equivalent, Rihanna, achieves this by not wearing many clothes. Opt for a nude-coloured leotard, add some black flowery embellishments and massive heels. Then change into another nude-coloured leotard, but this time, make it glittery. And one –legged. Perfect! Your diva aura is protected because no one understands why you felt that two outfits were necessary, and the nearly-naked effect of both of them ensures you’re still considered, like, well fit, but it’s also, like, symbolic that you’re true to yourself. Because you’re a grounded Landan gel with nothing to hide, geddit?
If you’re Ed Sheeran, then, oh God, you panic. You huff and you puff and you deliberate in agony because you want people to love YOU as well as your ginger hair. You want them to see that you’re a normal guy with a big heart. But you always wear the same thing! Your fans need refreshing! Come on, Ed, be creative, like you are with your music! So you think really, really, really hard and choose a hoodie and trainers.
If you’re one of The Spice Girls, then huzzah! You drop your baby and head to the dressing up cupboard, or as Scary likes to call it, The Spice Rack. You pick out your favourite mini dress or jump suit from the Simon Fuller glory days and wear it, without self-consciousness, because although you might look a bit like you’re at a Halloween party, this is the one night where you can bring back that zig-ah-zig-ahhh to the masses. You wear that sassy little number, you shake that booty, because it’s the only way you can give us one hundred per cent, full throttle Girl Power!
This makes you, Spice Girls, the best dressed musicians of the evening. Why? – Because what we wanted from The Closing Ceremony was a right royal party, and your clothes added to the unequivocal effect of making us want to do just that.