Festival: meltdown

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This year's leftbank festie on the South Bank is kicked off by its curator Nick Cave (right), playing what is a rare show these days with the Bad Seeds. From there Meltdown 99 is a collection of every weird emotion you'd associate with Mr Cave. Highlights include two shows by longtime collaborator Blixa Bargeld (22 June & 1 July); the Estonian composer Arvo Part on 26 June, backed with a set by Dirty Three; and all-round genius songwriter Lee Hazelwood does a live show in London for the first time in some 20 years. Cave almost hits the mainstream with Sir Les Patterson's Australia Night (24 June), featuring Kylie Minogue, while Nina Simone offers some class on 1 July. It all rounds off on 2 July with Hal Willner's Harry Smith Project, a tribute to the man who did much to anthologise folk music. Cave leads the proceedings with Jarvis Cocker among the others involved. Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) from 17 Jun

Tim Perry

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