The 21st Meltdown Festival kicked off in style last night with a show by this year's curator James Lavelle. Having admitted to feeling the pressure of the curators that had come before him (Bowie, Yoko Ono, Jarvis Cocker and Nick Cave to name just a few) Lavelle and his collaborator Mara Carlyle pulled together a host of guest performers to effectively put on a greatest hits show with a difference. Songs were rearranged, different vocalists were used, old and new friends made appearances, and the whole thing served to showcase what a great body of work Lavelle has produced over the years.
Before we get into the specifics, a quick word about the support act Philip Sheppard. He first worked with UNKLE on 'Glow' for Never, Never, Land and it's clear he and James have a great respect for each other. A solo cellist might not be your idea of a great act but he did amazing things, creating loop upon loop of cello tracks on music ranging from the mid 18th century, through 'Amazing Grace' to a cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' (with a great accompanying story about Jeff Buckley).
|UNKLE - James Lavelle & Leila Moss onstage 13/6/14|
UNKLE: REDUX setlist 13/6/14
- Worship ( spoken word by Michele Lamy)
- Hold My Hand (vocals by James Lavelle & Leila Moss)
- Mayday (vocals by Leila Moss)
- Bloodstain (feat. DJ Shadow)
- Lonely Soul (feat. DJ Shadow)
- Another Night Out (vocals by Mark Lanegan)
- Ex-Factor (vocals by Mara Carlyle)
- With You In My Head (vocals by Leila Moss)
- Burn My Shadow (vocals by Mark Lanegan)
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (vocals by Keaton Henson)
- Rabbit In Your Headlights (vocals by Keaton Henson)
- In A State (vocals by Leila Moss)
- Heaven (vocals by Mark Lanegan)
- The Answer (vocals by James Lavelle & Leila Moss)
Before the show we had time to visit Urban Archeology, the Mo' Wax exhibition celebrating Lavelle's record label - it was nice to see my name on the wall having supported the campaign to put the exhibition together!
Once the UNKLE show had finished we headed downstairs to the Clore Ballroom for the free aftershow - it was great to be able to have a dance, it's the one thing you miss by having a show at somewhere like the Festival Hall or the Barbican. We couldn't stay for the whole thing but Don Letts' reggae-tinged set was great.
|Don Letts on the wheels of steel|