Monday 17th – 28th August 2015, Southbank Centre
David Byrne, the Oscar, Golden Globe, Obie and Drama Desk award winning musician known for his eclectic collaborations and as a co-founder of the seminal new wave band Talking Heads will curate 2015’s Meltdown Festival at Southbank Centre.
David Byrne – Once In A Lifetime (Ride, Rise, Roar)
As well as the creative force behind Talking Heads, Byrne has a hugely successful solo career with eight albums to his credit and a reputation for constant reinvention. His collaborators span the spectrum of popular music and include Brian Eno, St Vincent, Morcheeba, Fatboy Slim, Paul Simon, Thievery Corporation, Arcade Fire and Anna Calvi. As well as a multi-instrumentalist and composer, Byrne is also a photographer, actor, artist and author—most recently penning his autobiographical explanation of musical form How Music Works. The festival marks a return for Byrne to the South Bank—his award-winning musical Here Lies Love had a successful limited run at the National Theatre’s Dorfman Theatre from September 2014 through to January 2015.
David Byrne, said:
“This is going to be exciting! I plan to invite performers I’ve seen – and I do get out – and others I’ve missed or have dreamed of seeing. It’s going to be a bit of fun puzzle-solving I imagine – seeing who’s interested, who is available and what venues at Southbank Centre are appropriate. I really hope to find things that take this beyond sit-down concerts as well – but of course I’m speaking way too early as I’m still working on my wish list.
“Hoping that I get to stay in the Room For London, on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof, for the whole time, but suspect that might expecting too much.”
Jeff Mill THE TRIP – James Lavelle Meltdown
Meltdown Festival, 1993 – present
Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival has been running since 1993 and each year invites a different cultural figure to act as director of the event and pick the performers of their choosing. Previous directors include: Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Patti Smith, Lee Scratch-Perry, Morrissey, Massive Attack, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, Scott Walker, John Peel, Ornette Coleman, Richard Thomson, Laurie Anderson, Yoko Ono, Ray Davies and Antony. Performers have included musicians, artists, filmmakers and comedians and have included Jeff Buckley, Nina Simone, Ivor Cutler, Radiohead, Grace Jones, Sir Michael Palin, Damon Albarn Sir Les Paterson, Nancy Sinatra and The Master Musicians of Jajouka. Meltdown has a reputation for staging one-off performances and collaborations by legendary artists. The New York Dolls reunited for Morrissey; Jeff Buckley played his final UK show at Elvis Costello’s Meltdown; Nick Cave, Grace Jones and Pete Doherty sang Disney songs with Jarvis Cocker; Patti Smith performed Horses in full for her Meltdown; Ray Davies re-staged the TV pop show Ready Steady Go!, and a rare live performance from Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser as part of Antony’s Meltdown.
Esteemed musician, the force behind Talking Heads and creator of the highly regarded record label Luaka Bop, David Byrne has published and exhibited visual art for decades, including photography, filmmaking and writing. Recognition of his various works include Obies, Drama Desk and Lortel awards for Here Lies Love, an Oscar for the soundtrack to The Last Emperor, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Talking Heads.