The South Bank Centre's annual contemporary music and performance festival, Meltdown, becomes another year older this year and looks like it will follow in the footsteps of previous successes with announcement of its 2010 curator and director. It will be none other than the legendary guitarist, singer-songwriter and champion of bluesy-folk lullabies for the past 40 years or so, Richard Thompson.
No pressure Richard, but the past few years have seen Meltdown really starting to step up to the proverbial musical plate with hugely popular curations from Jarvis Cocker in 2007 (featuring Iggy Pop, Jesus and Mary Chain, Roky Erickson, John Barry and the scary Sunn O)))), Massive Attack in 2008 (awesome line-up included Grace Jones, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Elbow, Massive, Fleet Foxes, Gong, Vangelis and Pivot) and Ornette Coleman last year (with Moby, Yoko Ono, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, The Roots and Yo La Tengo).
This year's line-up will be announced shortly, but I imagine there will be a smattering of new-roots, Americana, blues and some big-name guests throughout the event. Thompson is known for his wide taste range, yet he is also known as a huge influence on the likes of Elvis Costello (a previous director), David Byrne and many more budding guitarists of their time. His own back catalogue includes a few key albums such as several Fairport Convention albums ('Liege and Lief' being a good starting point), solo works (sometimes with wife Linda) such as 'Henry The Human Fly', 'I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight' and 'Shoot Out The Lights', plus collaborations with John Martyn, Nick Drake and Fred Frith.
As soon as we have some line-up announcements, you'll be the first to know! Tickets generally fly out for the individual gigs, so be warned!