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. 

The much-loved comedian and actor looks back at his remarkable career
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”
Listen to the documentary-maker discuss his career on screen with comedian Adam Buxton
Listen to the comedian discuss her new book in this special podcast
Introducing the brilliant YA writers and authors appearing at Southbank Centre
Listen to Malorie Blackman discuss her latest novel Crossfire
Richard Ayoade reflects on his award-winning films and comedy in conversation with Adam Buxton
The psychotherapist and author discusses her latest book in this interview
Take a look at the six books in the running for this year’s prestigious award
Enjoy some of the distinctive documentary maker’s most memorable moments
Get a recap of the author’s award-winning series
The poet on the importance of Picasso’s work and the challenge of responding to it
Get to know more about the two writers and former nurses
See who’s joining us at this year’s festival and Poetry International
Take the chance to hear from authors, writers and publishers in a series of intimate short talks
Poet Richard Price and The National Poetry Library’s Chris McCabe on responding to Picasso’s Guernica
Introducing an award-winning author with an increasingly global following
Take a look at the packed line-up coming to Southbank Centre later this year
Introducing the author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Listen to the thirteenth episode of our podcast series, in which we turn our attention to poetry and spoken word
Find out which poets have made this year’s shortlist
Big name star after big name star; take a look at the cast of the new television series
Get up to speed on the author’s two LA Quartet series.
The founder of Out-Spoken discusses his journey through poetry in this in-depth interview
Find out more about the much-hyped debut novelist
How the authors’ respective latest novels explore the boundaries from artificial intelligence
Discover the six authors and books in contention for this year’s prize
Weather taken a turn for the worse? Curl up and enjoy these eggstra special reads
Listen to the best-selling author of The Hate U Give discuss her second novel
For World Book Day, take a look at these books celebrating characters and stories often reduced to the margins
The author introduces her new novel Lost Children Archive
Hear from the Octavia Poetry Collective, and get an exclusive listen to the US writer's first UK appearance
Take a look at the inspirational writers and poets appearing here with us in summer 2019
The ninth episode of our regular podcast looks at the lack of diversity in children’s literature
Listen to readings and discussion from poets Richard Scott, Zaffar Kunial and winner Hannah Sullivan
Listen to a special podcast, recorded live at 2018’s London Literature Festival
The 10 poets in the running for the prize read their work
Listen to Sue Perkins discuss her book East of Croydon
Listen to Salman Rushdie, Marilynne Robinson, Sarah Churchwell and Terrance Hayes on modern America
Relive special moments from this year’s festival with these podcasts
Catch up on the Oscar-winning actress discussing her autobiography In Pieces at London Literature Festival
Writer and activist Soraya Chemaly considers six myths about anger and gender
Listen to The Who frontman discussing his new memoir in this special podcast
Listen to Anna Burns discuss her Man Booker award-winning novel, Milkman
Read a short interview with the television presenter and comedian
Enjoy a very condensed version of Homer’s epic poem
Read an extract from Churchwell’s new book, Behold, America
The author discusses her debut book Ponti and taking The Odyssey away from the male gaze
How an increase in prizes is helping bring through more diverse voices
The six authors read live from their shortlisted novels in this special podcast recording
Take our interactive quiz to find out who you’d be in Homer’s epic poem
The author on nature, writing, nostalgia, the 1930s and visions of England then and now
Chosen by the National Poetry Library especially for the occasion
From living in exile to appearing in films, the author’s remarkable story
What, or indeed who, is behind the popularity of Chinese sci-fi?
Enjoy eight stand-out musical collaborations featuring The Who frontman
Discover the actors bringing the classic epic poem to life

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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