James Lavelle's Meltdown

Musical and artistic innovator James Lavelle curate the 21st Meltdown in 2014, following in the footsteps of some of music’s biggest names, including David Bowie, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith and Jarvis Cocker.

Combining creative entrepreneurship with a radical artistic approach, James’ genre-defying portfolio spans music, art, fashion, design and film, and as part of his groundbreaking work with UNKLE, boasts acclaimed musical collaborations with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Nick Cave and Thom Yorke.

Collaboration, innovation and a spirit of non-conformism are central to his approach. James worked with young people to curate the programme, meaning that this very special Meltdown in line with his commitment to mobilising the next generation to become the inventors of their own culture.

Mo’Wax inspires a new generation

Both Meltdown and James Lavelle’s iconic label Mo’Wax turned 21 in 2014,  and as part of the festival, Mo’Wax21: Urban Archaeology, an interactive exhibition devised with Southbank Centre as part of the festival, celebrated the creative output of the label James launched as a teenager.

Doug Foster's installation No Beginning, No End in the Clore Ballroom, featured five cyclical artworks and UNKLE's The Heretics' Gate soundtrack. 

Chris McCabe on his anthology of poems from endangered languages
The popular children’s author discusses his new book
The internationally bestselling author on the fascinating story of Lale Sokolov
“Had I curated it in the wake of Brexit, Trump and Farage, there’s a chance it would have been a different book”
The BAFTA-winning composer looks ahead to his new festival
The psychotherapist and author discusses her latest book in this interview
The composer and orchestrator talks about bringing his father’s work to life
Nicholas Hlobo introduces his work and discusses his use of materials in this short video
Tarini Malik and John Fleetwood discuss Thabiso Sekgala’s photographic legacy
We spoke to the Syrian-American singer ahead of her Southbank Centre gig
What’s it like to be a DIY queer feminist punk band in 2019?
Nile Rodgers talks about his Meltdown festival in this exclusive video
The poet on the importance of Picasso’s work and the challenge of responding to it
The legendary singer and guitarist talks Chic, Nile Rodgers and Royal Festival Hall
Watch Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson talk about performing at the festival
Watch the American musician and producer in this video
The pair discuss their portrait of Al-Kadhi’s drag persona in this short video
Two artists from Kiss My Genders discuss figuration, abstraction, family and identity in this joint interview
Ann Liebeck on how Havana and cabaret thrived on the eve of the Cuban revolution
The artist introduces his HENI Project Space exhibition in this short video 

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Meltdown stories

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American garage punk band Radkey performing at James Lavelle's Meltdown, Southbank Centre 2014
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The Guerrilla Girls use facts, humour and fake fur to expose discrimination