About five minutes after that I wanted to retch up my spleen.
Oh I know the whole premise of the show was a huge Royal arse-kissing exercise with Gary Barlow puckering up his nice-boy-next-door lips and wiping off the residue with a napkin but I was gobsmacked at just how far the ex-Take That frontman was prepared to go in service to Her Majesty.
And can I just say right here, at the top of this mountain of invective, that I genuinely have no beef with The Royals. I am not anti-Royalist by any means though at the same time there is a noticeable absence of bunting from around my domicile this Bank Holiday weekend. I am a jockey who quite spectacularly rides the fence named "Couldn't Care Less Either Way".
I can only suppose from the title of the show that we were meant to see Gary as some kind of James Bond character, travelling the globe on a "mission impossible" to sample as much musical diversity as humanly possible armed only with a state-of-the-art laptop and a boom mic operator. In the last half hour that I saw Gary skipped his way across Africa, Jamaica, Australia and The Solomon Islands.
James Bond he wasn't. Suave and sophisticated he most certainly wasn't.
He was a stiff Englishman in a pair of shorts. And as patronizing as all hell.
But in a nice way. I need to stress the niceness of it actually. He was nice. He went out of his way to be nice. To be above and beyond nice. To stretch nicety to the point where a normal human being's mind would bow and bend and finally snap itself into the irredeemable realm of psychopathology.
He told a group of African musicians who had fashioned their own instruments from rubbish that their music was nice. He told an Aborgine classical guitar player that his music was really nice. Really, really nice. Hey, he was really pushing the boat on that one. The Aborigine guy had an English interpreter, prompting Gary to ask of the guy spoke English. Yes, Gary. He speaks the Queen's English better than you or I, the interpreter was there to convert his 1950's BBC tones into Mancunian slang the better to swing the meaning past your cloth-eared brain. After recording the quite superb guitar playing, Gary turned knowingly to the camera and said that he reckoned Mr Aborigine knew more English than he was cracking on... Gary nodded sagely and lowered his voice an octave to show that a great pearl of wisdom was about to drop out of his beared maw, "Just like the French."
Christ, if that is James Bond abroad then the British Secret Service is truly fucked. Musically we've been buggered for years.
And the end result? The masterpiece cobbled together by all this globetrotting?
They played it to the Queen with not only Gary present but also Andrew Lloyd Webber. I'm guessing his face was there to provide effective distraction from the music. The Queen sat tense and stiff like she was passing a gall stone. And that was before they'd even started playing the CD.
The song was bland. The song was forgettable.
It was... nice.
Gary had tried to capture the music of the world (or to be exact the Commonwealth) in the hope of coming up with something original and groundbreaking.
Instead all he produced was the background music to a bank advert or British Airways.
As the final notes faded out, I expected the voice of Sir Michael John Gambon to intone "HSBC - The World's Favourite Bank", just before the visuals cut to a stylized atlas highlighting all the cities of the world where you can get really appalling service from your bank.
The song said nothing about the Queen or the Jubilee or Britain or anything. The only thing that was Royal about it was one sample of Prince Harry slapping a tamborine about halfway through the song, and to be honest, I don't think Fairport Convention are going to be in a rush to sign him up.
What an enormous waste of money, energy, time and life. For you, for me and for The Queen.
Next time, Your Maj, might I suggest Engelbert Humperdinck?