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. 

Meet the man behind East London jazz champions Total Refreshment Centre
The young jazz starlett talks inspiration and gratitude
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 
Poet Richard Price and The National Poetry Library’s Chris McCabe on responding to Picasso’s Guernica
The artists behind Stranger Things remarkable score, look ahead to their Meltdown gig in this interview
Hear from Jean-Paul Gaultier ahead of his Fashion Freak Show
Read a short interview with the choreographer of ZooNation’s Tales of the Turntable
Find out how the artist creates the intricate sculptures on display in HENI Project Space
The Royal Ballet’s principal dancer Natalia Osipova discusses her performance in The Mother
The amazing story behind one of the most iconic disco anthems
Watch the Finnish artists discuss their dance-filled show in this video
The artist discusses her exhibition in Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space
The founder of Out-Spoken discusses his journey through poetry in this in-depth interview
The viola player speaks about the future of the ensemble
Read a special interview with the choreographer ahead of her return to London
Read an interview between the artist and Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff
Watch a short introduction to the exhibition from Jeff L. Rosenheim
The author introduces her new novel Lost Children Archive
The curator of diane arbus: in the beginning and The Met’s Collections Specialist discuss Arbus’ early photographs
The quartet’s violist looks ahead to their Southbank Centre performance
The artist introduces her work ahead of its installation at Royal Festival Hall
Watch the Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor discuss this hugely popular work
Ahead of his Hayward Gallery exhibition, the artist discusses his work with Ralph Rugoff
Watch the Philharmonia Orchestra's Principal Second Violin meet his famous fellow countryman
The artist discusses art, archives and tabloid news
The singer and writer introduces the Jewish composer
The aerospace engineer turned artist introduces his piece Untitled (1971) in this short video
The performer talks to us about the family show, and relishing his own role in it
The violinist talks composers and coping with touring in this interview
The best-selling writer and essayist discusses finding her place in feminism, intersectionality and grappling with pop culture
Hear the sculptor talk about his distinctive work in this short video
Artist Scottee talks to us about his new show Fat Blokes
The artist discusses her site-specific installation in Hayward Gallery’s HENI Project Space
Read a short interview with the television presenter and comedian
The author discusses her debut book Ponti and taking The Odyssey away from the male gaze
The author on nature, writing, nostalgia, the 1930s and visions of England then and now
The Academy award-winning art director on his incredible new project
The comedian and playwright tells us why more artists should take risks, in this interview
Watch the remarkable short film from BAFTA-winning director, Kieran Evans, here
Dom Thomas explains how Whyte Horses are quite literally a dream realised, in this video
Find out about the history of the Argentine music and its links with Cuba and opera
Find out what he’ll be cooking in his summer Southbank Centre pop-up in this interview.
Read our rapid-fire interview with the two-time Booker Prize-winning author
The artist discusses her childhood in South Korea with exhibition curator Stephanie Rosenthal
The author of How To Love Brutalism explores our Queen Elizabeth Hall
Discover his hopes for the future of dance and his relationship with Southbank Centre in this Q&A
Read our short but sweet interview with the young British composer Charlotte Bray
Read an enlightening interview with the celebrated South Korean composer
Tackling questions of power, sexuality and violence, Philip Venables’ music always makes an impact
Ahead of her appearance at WOW - Women of the World, read our interview with the acclaimed activist and author.
Watch Ralph Rugoff, Director of Hayward Gallery, introduce the gallery’s incredible Gursky retrospective
Discover the celebrated clown Slava Polunin in this in-depth interview
Read an interview with the artist and sculptor on his current Hayward Gallery roof commission
The clown behind Slava’s Snowshow answers our quick questions
A fascinating interview with the man who went from child soldier to award-winning actor
Get to know Nordic Noir in our short interview with the Finnish crime writer
Watch the author talk you through his bookshelves in this first episode of our new video series
An in-depth interview with the celebrated French composer Philippe Schoeller
Our Director of Music's pick of the upcoming concert series
The drum & bass stalwart is back with his third artist album and his second autobiography
Watch an exclusive interview with the Turner Prize-winning sculptor
The self-proclaimed Masterchef losers preview their Southbank Centre supper club
The celebrated writer and performer discusses the roots of his new work, Prurience
The author, advertising consultant and expert on Generation M shares her thoughts.
Why does this Benedictine monk think religion has a place in schools?
Hear about the creative decisions behind in vain, and its political significance, from the composer
The award-winning pianist speaks to us ahead of his debut Southbank Centre performance
Hear the two artists discuss different approaches to Reich’s composition
The composer and solo percussionist take a look at Reich's joyous composition, Tehillim
Discover the most unusual performance the composer and musician has been part of
Composer and musician Mica Levi shares the musical influences behind her score to Under the Skin
Amrita Riat offers an overview of the British Asian artists here at Alchemy
The presenter talks about her book OPEN: A Toolkit for How Magic Messed Up Life Can Be
The legendary activist talks about women, race and class in the post-Trump era
Listen to the Nigerian novelist speaking live at Southbank Centre's Women of the World 2017
Hear a panel discuss what challenges lie ahead for British women, post-Brexit
We asked the co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party how she sees the future for women
Award-winning journalist and black feminist Reni writes about class, race, gender and social justice
Will Brexit be good for women, or do they risk losing hard-won rights?
We asked Fatima about the challenges women face, and their hopes for the future
We caught up with actor Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel
Hear from Melanie Eusebe, founder of the Black British Business Award and executive producer of WOW
Enjoy the second part of exclusive interview with the Italian pianist at home in Milan
Hear comedian, actor and writer Cariad Lloyd's thoughts on life and death
See what poet Anthony Anaxagorou thinks about death, poetry and what comes next
Delve into the life, loves and music of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, and those of his favourite pupil and son-in-law, Josef Suk
Listen to conductor Marin Alsop speak about working with Southbank Centre and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Hear conductor Paavo Järvi talk about his upcoming concert, London audiences and his love of Japanese food
Hear Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky speak about his upcoming Royal Festival Hall recital and what he likes about London
Who are the women who represent us in Parliament? What does it take to get elected, and then to hold onto a place in the House?
Watch an exclusive interview with the Italian pianist in his Milan home
Hear disability justice activist Lydia X. Z. Brown discuss how justice for women can become justice for everyone
Find out how one photographer maintains long-term relationships with clients
Milanese keyboard wizard Ottavio Dantone on the parallels between music and football
We caught up with Tasmin Little before her performance of Walton's Violin Concerto
Slavoj Žižek, Yanis Varoufakis and Julian Assange discuss Europe’s future
Malala Yousafza talks about the systemic nature of gender inequality
Hip-hop artist Akala discusses men and sexual and racial taboos
Dame Vivienne Westwood talks with Shami Chakrabarti about human rights
Pipilotti Rist talks about her exhibition Eyeball Massage
J. K. Rowling launches The Casual Vacancy, her first novel for adults
Barbara Hannigan, renowned Canadian soprano, talks about why she loves the 1930's opera 'Lulu'
Emer O'Toole talks about how all hell broke loose when she put down her razor
Watch Earl Slick - Diary of a Sideman
Hear Wolfgang Tillmans discussing his work
An exclusive interview with violinist Leonidas Kavakos
Ernesto Neto talks about his immersive, sensory installations
Celebrated Indian film composer A R Rahman talks about his work
Watch actress and filmmaker Salma Hayek Pinault present a keynote speech at WOW festival
The panel discuss why we need a men's festival
Caitlin Moran chats with Jude Kelly about the highs and lows of life and laughter
Naomi Wolf spoke about the journey she's been on as an academic, a public figure, and a writer
Tony Benn talks to activist and writer John Rees about the formation of the Labour Party
Jeremy Deller talks about how much joy there is in his exhibition and what influences his work
A behind the scenes look at Ernesto Neto Studio in Rio de Janeiro
The amazing travelling art show that happens every 5 years
Sir Tim Berners-Lee appeared in conversation with Professor Richard Susskind OBE
Sabrina Mahfouz, poet and playwright, on how she found a feminist in a strip club
Edna Adan gives a keynote on why she built her country’s first maternity hospital
Misogyny is the hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women. Is misandry even more rampant?
Peaches talks to music journalist Jude Rogers about social and political activism
A discussion on male friendship, competition, 'bromance' and growing up together
Composer Dominic Muldowney discusses Bertolt Brecht in this audio podcast
Tony Benn discusses the founding of the Labour Party
An audio podcast on the legend that is Duke Ellington
What was it that made Salome such a scandal?
The children from Imagine Children's Festival interviewed Wayne Hemingway about housing
David Shrigley talks about working in different mediums and his show being 'all killer, no filler'
For Imagine Children's Festival 2013 the kids are taking over!
Ben Winters from The Open University gives a talk about Erich Korngold
Christian Blackshaw talks in depth about his love for Schumann and Schubert
Southbank Centre hosts the UK’s largest gathering of the world’s poets
Claire discussed her views on work, life, disability and sexuality
The children at Imagine Festival interview writer Frank Cottrell Boyce
Join John Pilger in conversation with Robin Denselow
Sir Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the Web
Find out about European composers in America
Who was the composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold?
Hear about the influence of Picasso's Guernica
What's it like to be young, British and Asian in 2016?
Find out more about Schoenberg and avant-garde composers
Radiohead's Colin Greenwood discusses the future of classical music
Doreen Lawrence and Charlotte Church in conversation
Why are the inequalities in the way mentally ill people are treated?
Hear the story of a suicidal man and the good samaritan who saved him
Discussion between Arundhati Roy and Shami Chakrabarti
Rob Delaney talks about mental health, addiction and recovery
We speak to Brian Dow, the Director of External Affairs for Rethink Mental Illness
Being a Man festival speaker, Tim Samuels answers our questions


Meltdown stories

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