With their Ether 08 festival still in full swing, Southbank Centre didn't take even a moment to rest this past weekend when they announced the line-up details for this year's Meltdown. Curated by Massive Attack, the 15th instalment of Meltdown will pack an incredible amount of talks, films and gigs into the eight short days from 14 - 22 June. Fans of the bassbin Bristolians will have an excellent opportunity to explore the band's influences and sources of inspiration as they bring their favourite acts to the Southbank Centre's stages.
On Saturday 14 and Sunday 22 June, Massive Attack themselves will bookend the festival with gigs in Royal Festival Hall, whilst simultaneously on the 14th veteran psychedelic rockers Gong play Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sunday 15 June sees the first UK show since 1980 for Japan's Yellow Magic Orchestra in Royal Festival Hall, as reggae legend and long time Massive Attack contributor Horace Andy leads the Reggae Acoustic Songbook in Queen Elizabeth Hall. Based on what we've learned from eavesdropping on prospective ticket buyers, the Heritage Orchestra's performance of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack is shaping up to be a popular choice for Tuesday 17 June.
As long time lovers of twisted dub and political punk fury, we're most thrilled about Mark Stewart and The Maffia performing along with Adrian Sherwood on Wednesday 18 June. With his origins in late 70s post-punk outfit The Pop Group, Stewart went on to record several albums with his Maffia, who are perhaps better known as the musicians of hip hop's Sugarhill Gang. Perfectly paired with renegade reggae producer Sherwood, this is an unmissable night of industrialised dub paranoia. As if it weren't enough to have Stewart and Sherwood together, the headliners on the bill are Stiff Little Fingers performing their classic punk album Inflammable Material in its entirety. We never thought we'd have a chance to sing along to "Barbed Wire Love" in Royal Festival Hall, but we've already started smoking an extra pack a day so that we sound just right come June.
Tickets went on sale yesterday for members, but the general public will be able to get their hands on them from 9 a.m. today. High demand slowed the Southbank Centre's website yesterday, so if you experience trouble booking online, you may wish to try the old-fashioned method of simply ringing them up.
Massive Attack's Meltdown, 14 - 22 June 2008, Southbank Centre. Full programme of events here.
Composite image of Massive Attack courtesy of Southbank Centre.