Year after year, the South Bank Centre's pioneering Meltdown Festival seems to push more and more boundaries with its choice of curators and subsequently-chosen performers. Since 1993, musical luminaries such as Elvis Costello, John Peel, Nick Cave, Massive Attack and, last year, Ray Davies have all grasped the creative torch and supplied loyal aficionados and casual punters with a stellar and, at times, bewildering choice of acts to choose from.
This year's Meltdown is no exception and with flamboyant, operatic and musically-ebullient Antony Hegarty manning the helm.
As recently announced, Antony will interview Boy George, who duetted with Antony on 'You Are My Sister' on Antony and the Johnsons' Mercury Award-winning album 'I Am A Bird Now'. George will also perform an unplugged set of new and classic material in the intimate setting of the Purcell Room on 8th August.
Elsewhere there are two nights from ex-Cocteau Twins and Massive Attack collaborator Elizabeth Fraser, a live show plus separate screening for the never-far-from-challenging Diamanda Galás, a show and separate conversation with folk-troubadour Buffy Sainte-Marie and a rare UK appearance for a previous Meltdown curator and avant-garde composer, Laurie Anderson.
Fraser has just one solo release to speak of, 2009's limited edition 'Moses', but has numerous Cocteau Twins recordings under her belt, all featuring her signature angelic no-language vocal-harmonies that never fail to cause shivers. Her shows will take place on 6th and 7th August at the venue's Royal Festival Hall.
Diamanda Galás either excites or terrifies (or both), such is her vocal range. She can trill like a bird or growl from the pit of her belly with such ferocity, she could melt concrete. Her vast catalogue of works reads and sounds like a taboo checklist and conjures up provocative imagery and acts. She will present her 'The Hour Will Come' show on 1st August, followed by a screening and talk in the Purcell Room on 3rd August.
As well as the incredible women on the bill, Marc Almond will present his acclaimed (and best) album project, 'Torment and Toreros', in its entirety on 9th August (with a guest appearance from Hegarty), while other attractions include American avant-garde composer William Basinski performing the landmark quadruple-set, 'Disintegration Loops' on 12th August and French Hegarty collaborators, CocoRosie, appearing on 4th August.
We have a range of tickets available now.