The 26th edition of our annual music festival exploded onto Southbank Centre in a brilliant burst of disco light, hooking in its audience like an iconic guitar riff from the man himself. Even before the day faded into night on the festival’s opening day, the party was well underway out on the Riverside Terrace for our free Disco Wonderland performances.
But even that was nothing compared to what was going on inside, as Saturday undoubtedly belonged to Nile Rodgers and Chic who delivered an incredible performance in Royal Festival Hall.
How incredible? Well The Guardian enjoyed it so much they gave it the full five stars.
As well as a chance to Freak Out to the sounds of late 1970s disco, the crowd also got to enjoy some of the more recent tracks from Nile Rodgers’ incredible back catalogue as a producer, including this moment for Get Lucky.
Some lucky punters even managed to go with a bit more than great memories.
From there it was over to Queen Elizabeth Hall where the party went on until the early hours at a recreation of the legendary Studio 54 nightclub, complete with dancers on trapeze and even roller-skates.
Of course Nile Rodgers wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to join the party; even if he spent much of it moving around in an excited scrum of selfie-seekers.
On Meltdown’s second day it was great to see another happy crowd out on our Riverside Terrace for our special Mardi Gras themed free performances, which included the ever energetic Kinetika Bloco.
Sunday evening saw two different gigs taking place at Southbank Centre, as Israeli-French singer-songwriter Yael Naim had our Purcell Room in the palm of her hand.
Over in Royal Festival Hall, the Grammy-Award winning American musician Thundercat took his audience on a slightly more bombastic journey.
But you don’t need us to tell you how good he was, you can just take the word of Charlie here.
Class indeed. Thundercat definitely endeared himself to the London audience and helped keep the positive vibes of Meltdown flowing on from day two into day three.
Day three of Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown and we were up to a pulsating three gigs on one night. Nile Rodgers managed to make it to each of them too, personally introducing each of the night’s three headliners, starting with the impressive Anais in Purcell Room.
Nextdoor in Queen Elizabeth Hall, our fancy leather seats were going welcomingly unused as KOKOROKO had everyone in the venue up on their feet from the off, with a typically infectious performance.
And in Royal Festival Hall it was the turn of JUNGLE to take on the big stage, and it was a challenge they absolutely revelled in; delivering a pulsating performance from start to emphatic finish.
And it wasn't just the audience getting swept along with the energetic electronic sounds. The music reviewers were similarly taken.
Sadly Meltdown festival is now over for this year. But throughout the year Southbank Centre presents live contemporary music gigs and performances that blur genre boundaries and showcase the best new sounds from across the globe.