'Giant jukebox' set to bring down curtain on Olympics

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The Olympic Stadium is being transformed into a giant jukebox of British pop and pizazz for the ceremony today that brings to an end the so-far spectacularly successful London Games.

The Spice Girls and The Who are among the acts celebrating two weeks of sporting competition with a finale that artistic director Kim Gavin calls "a mashed-up symphony" of British hits.

Gavin, who has directed rock tours and London's 2007 Princess Diana memorial concert said yesterday he wants the spectacular to be "the best after-show party that's ever been."

Although organizers have tried to keep the ceremony under wraps, many details have leaked out in the British media.

The Who, George Michael, Muse and Ed Sheeran have all said they will take part in a show that will include performances of 30 British hit singles from the past five decades whittled down by Gavin from a possible 1,000. The Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox and Fatboy Slim will also be on hand to get people dancing.

Gavin said yesterday the show would open with a tribute to the "cacophony" of London life, with a soundtrack ranging from the late Edward Elgar, composer of the "Pomp and Circumstance" march to The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset." Frontman Ray Davies is expected to perform the song.

Athletes from 204 nations will march in and become a standing audience - a "mosh pit," as Gavin dubbed them - for the main part of the show, "A Symphony of British Music."

Gavin and his team have less than a day between the end of track and field competition and today's ceremony. He said he had 17 hours to get a show that involves multiple sets, pyrotechnics and 3,500 performers "from a car park to here."

Organizers have said they want the ceremony to be a "cheeky" reflection of modern Britain.

"It's not anything desperately profound," London games chief Sebastian Coe said yesterday. "It's not the opening ceremony but I think it will be great. It's basically a tribute to British music over the last few decades. It's fun."

Gavin said he was inspired by ceremonies like Sydney's in 2000, which showcased the vibrancy of Australian culture.

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