John Farnham, Paul Kelly, Ben Lee, Grinspoon are among the Australian artists tapped to perform during the two-and-a-half-hour closing ceremony for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, to be held March 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The quadrennial multi-sport competition kicked off March 15 in the Victorian capital’s 83,000-seat capacity stadium.
Organizers have kept details of the performances under wraps. Sources say a 40-piece gospel choir will accompany Lee on a rendition of the indie artist’s “We’re All In This Together,” taken from his Five Fingers/Inertia album “Awake Is the New Sleep”. The single will be released April 8.
The opening ceremony — which featured performances from Delta Goodrem, the Church and the Cat Empire — drew a local viewing audience of 3.48 million, according to Nine Network. It ranks among the top six most-watched sporting events in a country with a population of slightly more than 20 million.
During the spectacle, the Church performed their 1988 hit “Under The Milky Way” with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Speaking to Billboard.biz, guitarist Marty Willson-Piper described the sequence — with ballerinas and motorbikes — as “left of center art.”
As a result of the exposure, consumer interest in the Cat Empire heightened both locally and abroad, says its manager Correne Wilkie.
Wilkie tells Billboard.biz that visitors to the ensemble’s Web site soared during the telecast.
The band’s double-platinum (150,000 units) certified 2005 album “Two Shoes” (Virgin/EMI Music Australia) returned to this week’s Australian Recording Industry Assn. albums chart at No. 79.
Sony BMG will on March 26 release a CD of the closing ceremony. The music major will also issue an official DVD March 22 to commemorate the opening ceremony. A DVD of the closing ceremony and a highlights DVD will follow.