UNKLE’s James Lavelle Curates This Year’s Meltdown

Image by Will Bankhead.

Image by Will Bankhead.

Tickets go on sale on Thursday for the annual Meltdown festival in London’s Southbank Centre, this year curated by Mo’ Wax founder James Lavelle. The festival lasts 10 days from 13-22 June with musical highlights that reflect Lavelle’s career connections and add up to a dark, heady and sophisticated cornucopia.

Lavelle’s own group UNKLE kick things off with a one-off concert in the Royal Festival Hall. Chrissie Hynde is then set to perform her first live show in five years with songs from her debut solo record, Stockholm. Neneh Cherry also debuts music from her new album, Blank Project.

Other landmark events include Goldie, celebrating 20 years since the release of his drum and bass masterpiece Timeless, performing it live with the Heritage Orchestra. Meanwhile, gravel-gargling vocalist Mark Lanegan plays his only 2014 European date and dirty disco king DJ Harvey spins a rare set at the Spiegeltent.

Alongside the concerts there are special cinema screenings. Micahu’s Mica Levi performs her eerie soundtrack to Under The Skin live with Orchestrate. And the animation Waltz With Bashir will be shown with Max Richter’s score played live by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by André de Ridder.

James Lavelle said, “Over the past few months and during many sleepless nights I have been dreaming of a giant psychedelic jigsaw puzzle and trying to arrange all the pieces to create something eclectic, multicultural, unique and contemporary that joins the dots between artists who have strived to push the boundaries of the art of music”.

The Southbank Centre is using almost every inch of its space with concerts in the show-piece halls and live sets spreading out across the foyers and lobbies. There are also special sessions, workshops and talks specially aimed at bringing young people into the event.

Other performances include Glass Animals in the Production Arch, a rare live show from musician, poet and artist Keaton Henson, South African musician Petite Noir, Edwyn Collins and friends, plus a celebration of John Coltrane’s 1965 classic A Love Supreme from Paul Bradshaw’s Straight No Chaser. Artist Jeremy Deller will combine with the Williams Fairey Band, reprising their Acid Brass project. And New York post-punk groovers ESG return to London for a one-off show.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 1 April at 10am for Southbank Centre Members and Thursday 3 April at 10am to the public.

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