The South Bank Centre presents - Morrissey'S MELTDOWN
11 27 June 2004
South Bank Centre, London
- Artists and Events Confirmed so far -
With much of the line-up now confirmed for MORRISSEY'S MELTDOWN at London's South Bank Centre from 11 27 June 2004, eclectic highlights include: 70's glam-punk-rock from THE New York Dolls ; Northern wit and observation from Alan Bennett ; dazzling, diva glamour with LYPSINKA ; sexy, sassy pop from Nancy Sinatra ; caustic caricature from ENNIO MARCHETTO ; and contemporary classical music with GÓRECKI'S Symphony No. 3 ( Symphony of Sorrowful Songs ) , performed by the LONDON SINFONIETTA .
This year, following in the footsteps of David Bowie , Scott Walker, Nick Cave and John Peel, the South Bank Centre's twelfth MELTDOWN is curated by MORRISSEY , one of music's most enigmatic and influential figures. As Artistic Director he has conceived a programme that reflects his idiosyncratic tastes, acknowledging some of the music and words that have excited him over the years.
MORRISSEY performs three concerts himself, opening the festival on 11 June, as well as performing on 25 and 26 June, each night featuring very special guests, including; THE LIBERTINES , ORDINARY BOYS , COCKNEY REJECTS and LINDER (dates for each to be announced soon).
The three surviving members of the Director's adored NEW YORK DOLLS reward one of their greatest fans by accepting his invitation to reform for a special reunion on 18 June, with support from JAMES MAKER of Manchester band RAYMONDE , with NOKO 440 . Getting festival-goers in the mood for this historic event, two nights earlier, THE FILMS OF BOB GRUEN features never-before-screened The New York Dolls Documentary , as well as Lipstick Killers , originally used as an introduction for the notorious 1974 St Valentine's Day show, plus Live at Max's '76 , featuring rock's most infamous transsexual performer, Jayne County , as well as Blondie and Patti Smith .
According to legend, MORRISSEY once declared himself able to retire happy because he'd taken tea with ALAN BENNETT . The legendary dramatist and performer returns the compliment by reading from his work, sharing anecdotes and taking questions on 17 June. There's more theatrical wit on 13 June in a special one-off Meltdown event titled WE ARE ALL IN THE GUTTER - AN EVENING WITH MR WILDE . Director and author NEIL BARTLETT assembles a distinctive line-up of performers to read an especially devised collage of words drawn from the darker and stranger byways of the Oscar Wilde canon. Readers (subject to their availability) include WILL SELF , JOHN QUENTIN and ROBERTA TAYLOR .
Similarly wry humour, as well as plenty of intimate introspection, comes from veteran troubadour LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III on 15 June, with support from the powerful Irish songwriter DAMIEN DEMPSEY , currently earning great acclaim for his devastating political songs .
The Meltdown Director is also on hand on 12 June to introduce the legendary Sparks , whose imaginative drive throughout a career spanning three decades has seen them turn every pop convention on its head. For a one-off Meltdown-only show, the brothers perform their phenomenally successful 1974 album Kimono My House and 2004's critically acclaimed Lil' Beethoven , both in their entirety.
Amongst the women MORRISSEY is gathering for his party is another of Britain 's favourite ex-pats, the iconic Jane Birkin . Forever famous for Je t'aime, moi non plus , she presents Arabesque , her reinterpretation of the songs chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg created for her, here within a North African musical setting. In an inspired pairing, punky reggae is also on the bill that night, when ARI UP , vocalist of arguably the most significant female punk rock band of the late 70's, plays the music of The Slits . Another who was literally kicking doors open for women in rock and pop a decade earlier, NANCY SINATRA , is also a highlight of the festival on 20 June, with the promise of a new song, Let Me Kiss You , penned for her by the Meltdown Director himself.
Icons of popular culture are mercilessly parodied by Italian master clown and caricaturist ENNIO MARCHETTO from 1719 June. Everyone from Celine Dion to Eminem, Pavarotti to Dolly Parton make appearances in his wickedly funny shows featuring a whirlwind of amazing paper costumes and split-second changes. On 23 and 24 June, U.S. glamour goddess LYPSINKA , the hilarious creation of John Epperson, confounds audiences by capturing the very essence of the dames and divas whose voices she seems to channel. Sashaying with near-military precision through a soundtrack drawing on films, musical and concert recordings, LYPSINKA! THE BOX SET (presented by MORRISSEY ), is a funny, fascinating and unsettling tour de force .
Also as part of MORRISSEY'S MELTDOWN , hundreds of 9-18 year-olds will create programmes, play music and record material on-site at the Royal Festival Hall as part of CPR FM, a community radio station that, in addition to offering participants practical experience of working in radio, directly responds to and interacts with the festival. The station broadcasts on 101.4FM for twelve hours daily (21 - 27 June) within a 7 mile radius of the South Bank Centre.
Bringing the festival to a close is
HENRYK GÓRECKI'S Symphony No. 3 (
Symphony of Sorrowful Songs ), featuring soprano
YVONNE KENNY , plus
ARVO PÄRT'S Tabula Rasa , performed by
cutting-edge contemporary music ensemble, the LONDON SINFONIETTA
, Associate Artists at the South Bank Centre.
MORRISSEY'S MELTDOWN Listings Details:
Friday 11 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall Tickets tba
(+ Friday 25 June + Saturday 26 June)
each night featuring special guests including The Libertines , ORDINARY BOYS , COCKNEY REJECTS and LINDER (dates for each to be announced soon).
Saturday 12 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £25
SPARKS perform 'Kimono My House' and 'Lil' Beethoven' (Introduced by MORRISSEY )
Sunday 13 June at 8.00pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £15 - £17.50
WE ARE ALL IN THE GUTTER. AN EVENING WITH MR WILDE
Devised and directed by NEIL BARTLETT .
Tuesday 15 June at 7.45pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £20
Support: DAMIEN DEMSPEY
Wednesday 16 June at 7.45pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £8
THE FILMS OF BOB GRUEN
Thursday 17 June at 7.30pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £9 (Conc £6.50)
Thursday 17 June at 7.30pm , Purcell Room. Tickets £15
Directed and designed by ENNIO MARCHETTO and SOSTHEN HENNEKAM
(+ Friday 18 June + Saturday 19 June)
Friday 18 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £22.50 - £25
Support: JAMES MAKER with NOKO 440
Friday 18 June at 7.45pm , Purcell Room. Tickets £15
Saturday 19 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £25
JANE BIRKIN Arabesque
ARI UP plays the music of THE SLITS
plus JAMES MAKER with NOKO 440
Saturday 19 June at 7.45pm , Purcell Room. Tickets £15
Sunday 20 June at 7.45pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £25
Wednesday 23 June at 8.00pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £20
LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET (presented by MORRISSEY )
Thursday 24 June at 8.00pm , Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tickets £17.50 - £20
LYPSINKA! THE BOXED SET (presented by MORRISSEY )
Friday 25 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets tba
Saturday 26 June at 8.00pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets tba
Sunday 27 June at 7.45pm , Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £12 - £21
GÓRECKI'S SYMPHONY No. 3 ( SYMPHONY OF SORROWFUL SONGS ) feat . YVONNE KENNY
Plus ARVO PÄRT's TABULA RASA performed by the LONDON SINFONIETTA
Tickets: 08703 808 300 www.rfh.org.uk/meltdown