Must See: Meltdown Festival, Southbank Centre, London SE1


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The Independent Culture

And a Meltdown with a mission. Between his height and his heart-melting vibrato, Antony Hegarty stands out in any pop crowd, so it figures that he's reeled in a flavour-rich, leftfield haul as this year's curator, including electro explorer Planningtorock, freak-folkies CocoRosie, dramati-pop veteran Marc Almond, disco divas Hercules and Love Affair (with Antony and the great John Grant), and avant-royalty Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed.

The higher calling is Antony's belief in "Future Feminism" as the answer to our eco-crises; events reflecting his passionately held convictions include the film Coral: ReKindling Venus and a women-only audience with the performance artist Marina Abramovic.

 It's an impasioned, imaginative bill, and if anyone doubts its stand-out status in Meltdown history, the first full shows from the Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser since 1998 will silence them, blissfully. Missions accomplished, surely.

(0844 875 0073; Wed to 12 Aug