Good times… Leave those cares behind… Because Nile Rodgers is the curator of this year’s Meltdown and will present a mix of soul, funk and disco at free and ticketed events over 9 days of events. Among music legends, Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. He amplifies his legacy as a multiple GRAMMY-winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist by constantly traversing new musical terrain and successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music. As the co-founder of CHIC and the newly elected Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like “Le Freak,” (the biggest selling single in the history of Atlantic Records!) and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times”. Nile Rodgers transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s garnered him inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2017) and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2016).
Most recently, he was appointed as the first ever Chief Creative Advisor for the legendary Abbey Road Studios to cap off a year that has included “festival best” performances at both Glastonbury and Coachella that resulted in the BBC nominating the band for the BBC Music Awards as “Best Live Performance Of 2017” and the LA Times stating “Nile Rodgers influence stretches all over Coachella, beaming the sound of a better future”.
His work in the CHIC Organization and his productions for artists like David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Madonna have sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide while his innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure, and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music. Nile Rodgers & CHIC recently released their first new studio album, “It’s About Time” in over 26 years to critical acclaim and a Top 10 position in the UK album charts.
NILE RODGERS’ MELTDOWN FESTIVAL 2019 LISTINGS
Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown: 3-11 August 2019
Southbank Centre, South Bank, SE1,
Tickets available: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/meltdown / 0203 879 9555
Saturday 3 August, 3pm – 1am, Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace, Free
Southbank Centre’s 26th Meltdown festival opens with a free day-long disco to honour this year’s legendary curator, Nile Rodgers, featuring a mass disco anthem singalong led by London’s Some Voices choir, and DJs spinning dance hits until 1am on the banks of the River Thames.
NILE RODGERS & CHIC
Saturday 3 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £45 – £90
Kicking off his festival in inimitable style, the musical legend Nile Rodgers is joined by the incomparable disco hit-makers CHIC, to perform a very special show exclusively for Meltdown in the Royal Festival Hall.
A NIGHT OF STUDIO 54
Saturday 3 August, 10.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, £50
For one night only the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer is transformed into the notorious New York nightclub STUDIO 54 – “The hippest place on the planet” according to Rodgers – as Southbank Centre recreates the seminal Manhattan venue on the banks of the River Thames. Audiences immerse themselves in a legend of disco culture complete with state-of-the-art soundsystem, roller-skating go-go dancers and original STUDIO 54 DJs, including the legendary producer behind Madonna, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and more, ‘Jellybean’ Benitez, and iconic resident weekday DJ Nicky Siano.
MELTDOWN MARDI GRAS
Sunday 4 August, 12pm – 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace, Free
Flooding the Southbank Centre with funk and soul, Sunday afternoon is carnival time, as Meltdown Mardi Gras comes to town, with a battalion of brass, a riverside parade, disco lindy hopping and a breakdance battle with the public crowning the winner.
Sunday 4 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £30 – £35
Funk, R&B and punk all feed the surreal genius of LA-based bassist and singer Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat, who plays the Royal Festival Hall in a 2019 European exclusive. Supported by nebulous New York jazz ensemble Onyx Collective.
Sunday 4 August, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, for ages 14+, £15
In her only live performance of 2019 announced to date, Franco-Israeli singer-songwriter, producer, pianist and guitarist Yael Naim, who sings in both English and Hebrew, brings her pop-folk sound to Purcell Room. Naim rose to fame after her hit single ‘New Soul’ was used by Apple in an advertising campaign – the song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Monday 5 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, for ages 14+, £30 – £35
Production and multi-instrumentalist duo Josh “J” Lloyd-Watson and Tom “T” McFarland, AKA Jungle, bring the aspirational and unmistakable sound of young London, escapism and modern soul to Royal Festival Hall for one feelgood night. Jungle’s latest album, For Ever, seeks to create post-apocalyptic break up songs that are more intimate and expansive than their previous records but still recognisably upbeat.
Monday 5 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £25
Hotly-tipped London-based Afrobeat 8-piece, fresh from their eponymous first EP released March 2019, return to Southbank Centre after playing the Clore Ballroom in 2016. Led by trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, the group play music they love, music they grew up with and music their parents got funky to, inspired by Fela Kuti, Ebo Taylor, Tony Allen and the sounds of West Africa.
Monday 5 August, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, for ages 14+, £15
London-based singer and musician Anaïs is one to watch. She brings her epic 90s vibe, impressive vocal skills and pop soul attitude to Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room in a not-to-be-missed chance to catch her on such an intimate stage.
Tuesday 6 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £35 – £75
Brazil’s multi award-winning, record-breaking, biggest ever female pop star, the leading artist of a new generation of Latin American music, plays the Royal Festival Hall in her 2019 UK festival exclusive.
DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS
Tuesday 6 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15
Super slick modern Motown, from a band of highly skilled Indiana-based twenty-somethings. Helmed by Durand Jones and vocalist-cum-drummer Aaron Frazer, the Indications conjure up Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions with wry, contemporary lyrics.
KYLE DIXON & MICHAEL STEIN PERFORMING THE MUSIC OF STRANGER THINGS
Wednesday 7 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £27.50 – £35
A live performance of the award-winning soundtrack to the cult TV hit Stranger Things, by the composers themselves, Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of Austin band S U R V I V E, accompanied by a supernatural neon light show. Support comes from Richard Norris, London-based musician and producer creating ambient,deep listening and experimental releases on the Group Mind label.
Wednesday 7 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £18
Leading London-based producer, composer and musician Alfa Mist brings hip-hop jazz vibes and his highly acclaimed strand of neo-soul to Meltdown, in the beautifully brutalist Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Wednesday 7 August, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, for ages 14+, £15
The Nigeria-born, East London-based singer-songwriter, musician and producer with a co-sign from the late Prince, and collaborations with Gorillaz and Massive Attack under his belt, brings his personal, confessional and soulful R&B to Purcell Room for one intimate evening. His music examines adulthood and identity, self-worth and depression, and the responsibilities of parenthood through a fearlessly vulnerable singing technique.
Thursday 8 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, for ages 14+, £35 – £45
The legendary musician, songwriter, singer and, most notably, guitarist, famed for his work with The Smiths, The Cribs and Morrissey, brings hits both old and new to Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown for a very special evening in Royal Festival Hall. His third solo album, Call the Comet, was written in response to the state of the times, with many of its songs looking to alternative societies and utopian futures.
NEW FRONTIERS IN MUSIC: NILE RODGERS AND MERCK MERCURIADIS IN CONVERSATION
Thursday 8 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, for ages 14+, £15
In an enviable opportunity to hear from two music industry heavyweights, Nile Rodgers is joined in conversation by his manager and business partner, Merck Mercuriadis, former manager of globally successful artists such as Beyoncé, Elton John and Guns N’ Roses, and founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the only fund listed on the London Stock Exchange that invests and offers shares in the songs and associated intellectual property rights of songwriters. The event, New Frontiers in Music, will be recorded live for a very special edition of the Sodajerker On Songwriting podcast, hosted by Liverpool-based songwriting team Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor, and featuring some of the most successful songwriters in the world.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
Friday 9 August, 3pm – 1am, Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace, Free
Rodger’s commitment to supporting emerging talent is showcased in And The Beat Goes On (9 Aug): an afternoon of free performance from the best young musicians across the UK, including rising stars at the world-famous BRIT School (whose alumni include Amy Winehouse, Adele and Loyle Carner), topped with a showstopping headliner.
FRIDAY TONIC: PETER CAT RECORDING CO.
Friday 9 August, 6pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, Free
In a Meltdown special edition of Southbank Centre’s regular free gig Friday slot, Peter Cat Recording Co. perform their genreless blend of gypsy jazz, psychedelic cabaret, ballroom waltzes and epic space disco in Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer.
KERO KERO BONITO
Friday 9 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, for ages 14+, £17.50
Synthpop clashes with Japanese rap and indie rock influences for this Queen Elizabeth Hall debut from experimental London trio Kero Kero Bonito. Singer Sarah and producers Gus and Jamie explore rock, experimental and electronic music and challenge conformity in pop, with warped guitar solos, shining melodies and unnervingly tender lyrics.
Friday 9 August, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, for ages 14+, £15
Love, joy and self-acceptance emerges from trauma in Nakhane’s enchanting and emotionally charged music, revealing a truly unique voice in modern pop. The South African-born, London-based trailblazer comes to Meltdown for his only 2019 London show announced to date.
Friday 9 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £50 – £75
As Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and one of the most important songwriters of the last 40 years, great songs and songwriting are at the heart of Rodgers’ Meltdown festival. He asked one of his favourite songwriters, producers and artists – David A. Stewart – to put together an all star band and vocalists to perform Eurythmics Songbook – the greatest songs by one of his favourite bands – an international institution – in a worldwide exclusive.
C’EST CHIC VOGUE BALL
Saturday 10 August, 4pm – 1am, Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace, Free
Meltdown celebrates CHIC’s place in the original underground LGBTQ ballroom culture, as the soundtrack for a generation to dance, vogue and pose. In this festival exclusive, groups – known as ‘Houses’ – from London and beyond ‘walk’ – i.e., compete – on the runway in a host of extravagant categories for trophies, prizes, and ultimate glory.
Saturday 10 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £25 – £35
The British born, LA-based singer, songwriter, DJ and producer radically changed the music industry with the release of her progressive, extrasensory pop in 2012. Now a mutable and visionary artist at the top of her craft, she joins the Meltdown line-up with a unique and unmissable live show in the Royal Festival Hall.
Friday 9 & Saturday 10 August, 10.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom, £50
A specially-created 50,000-watt vinyl-only soundsystem designed by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records) and David and Stephen Dewaele (Soulwax, 2manydjs). Having played just a few select events across the world, the trio will be behind the decks for two nights at Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom – a space that has welcomed dancers for more than six decades and has a capacity of just 500 – for an intimate club listening experience like no other.
MINISTRY OF MELTDOWN
Sunday 11 August, 12pm – 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Riverside Terrace, Free
The final day goes back to Rodgers’ roots and showcases one of his first loves – jazz. Ministry of Meltdown celebrates the explosion of activity and innovation in the genre from South London featuring some of the most exciting names on the scene playing out the festival on the Riverside Stage until 1am.
Sunday 11 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £25 – £35
Blistering Malian desert rock with tight, attacking riffs, jangling funk guitar, dance-floor brass and moves to kill, Songhoy Blues rock the Royal Festival Hall for the closing night of Meltdown 2019.
Sunday 11 August, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, for ages 14+, £15
Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed full album, Street Worms, this Swedish six-part make their Southbank Centre debut, bringing their punk rock sound from Stockholm to London for a night of unadulterated raw energy.
Sunday 11 August, 7.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, For Ages 14+, £15
Creators of one of the most original releases of the year, Tryin’, transatlantic trio Radiant Children join the Meltdown line-up with their blend of R&B, soul, funk and jazz, infectious melodies and captivating lyrics. Like this year’s curator, Radiant Children take a wide angle view of music, counting among their influences the hip-hop infused croon of Anderson .Paak and the rebellious, electric-blues attitude of Charles Bradley.
Main photo: Jill Furmanovsky
Dave Stewart: Robert Sebree