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Final acts for Grace Jones’ Meltdown revealed

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Final acts for Grace Jones’ Meltdown revealed

Greentea Peng, Dry Cleaning, Eska, Alewya, Josey Rebelle, cktrl with the London Contemporary Orchestra join the festival line-up…

The Southbank Centre and Grace Jones have today revealed the third and final names of artists who are performing during this year’s Meltdown festival, running from Friday 10th to Sunday 19th June 2022.

In addition to the new acts, the eclectic free public programme, which brings together a huge number of performers and activities inspired by Grace Jones’ career, has also been announced.

The latest addition to the Royal Festival Hall line-up, neo-soul star Greentea Peng will perform as part of Grace Jones’ Meltdown on Thursday, 16th June. Her vibrant 2021 debut MAN MADE captured imaginations with its hypnotic blend of psychedelia and free-and-easy R&B.

Greentea Peng’s Meltdown performance will be characterised by her potent spirit of communion and creativity, influenced by the likes of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.

Opening for Grace Jones on the final night of the festival, Sunday 19th June, Eska will deliver a show of her rich and restless soundscapes. Alongside her lauded Mercury Award-nominated album ESKA, her eclectic career has included collaborations with artists such as Zero 7, Tony Allen, Matthew Herbert, Bobby McFerrin, UNKLE, designer Rick Owens and, of course, Grace Jones.

On  Monday 13th June, post-punk group Dry Cleaning will shred the Queen Elizabeth Hall with their no-nonsense riffs winding over poetic monologues which have made the band such a hot-tipped talent.

In the Purcell Room on Saturday 18th June, genre-hopping Lewisham local cktrl — standing for ‘can’t keep to reality’ — will perform a very special show with Southbank Centre regulars the London Contemporary Orchestra, renowned for their enthralling events with boundary-breaking artists such as Laurel Halo, Coby Sey and Hinako Omori.

Completing Honey Dijon’s line-up for Meltdown’s electric opening night party on Friday 10th June in the Queen Elizabeth Foyer, Josey Rebelle will step up to the decks alongside a live set from the multidisciplinary producer, singer and Lil Simz collaborator Alewya, running long into the early hours.

The new names join recent additions to Grace Jones’ Meltdown including alt-synth star Sky Ferreira, her first show in the UK since 2014, ‘Africa’s premier diva’ and recent Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo, sublime songsmith John Grant and a unique performance between members of Hot Chip and Congolese supergroup Kasai Allstars, as well as breakthrough acts including Desire Marea, Big Joanie and Skinny Pelembe. Grace Jones herself also added a new show, now opening her festival with ‘Grace Jones: Up Close and Orchestral’, featuring a live orchestra.

Taking place on the Southbank Centre’s sun-drenched terrace, overlooking the River Thames, the Meltdown public programme is inspired by Grace Jones’ enormous creative canon, featuring a wealth of immersive activities, music and more, all for free.

As every festival should, we kickstart Meltdown on the terrace, Friday 10th June with Nightclubbing produced in collaboration with No Signal, the radio station celebrating Black British culture and communities. Featuring an incredible line-up of back-to-back DJ’s, each will select tunes in celebration of Grace’s impact as an icon.

Inspired by the iconic 1973 photograph of Grace Jones roller-skating on Compo Beach, and the capital’s huge love for the activity, Roll Up To The Bumper on Saturday 11th June will feature workshops so visitors can roll through and hone their skills while grooving along to a day-long programme of music and DJ sets, spanning disco and soul to modern grime. Island Life Reggae Soundclash, meanwhile, will see two soundsystem titans go toe-to-toe in celebration of Grace Jones’ homeland, Jamaica, on Sunday 12th June.

A reference to one of Grace Jones’ most celebrated hits, Slay To The Rhythm on Friday 17th June will see a show-stopping gospel choir perform covers of Grace Jones’ smash songs throughout the day. They will also invite members of the public to practice their harmonies and be part of a mighty choir on the Southbank Centre terrace, filling the air with Grace Jones’ music.

Instantly recognisable, and totally unmissable, Grace Jones’ Meltdown would not be complete without a homage to her unparalleled sartorial splendour. On Saturday 18th June, A Night of A Thousand Graces will be a collaboration with Africa Fashion Week London, featuring show-stopping looks and catwalk wonders while the Rock the Runway categories invite the audience to take to the floor and dazzle the guest judges. There may even be prizes for those who understand the assignment.

Finally, rounding off the festival on Sunday 19th June with a spinning send off is Do or Die …or Disco with Marawa’s Majorettes. This international award-winning performance troupe will be drawing curtains on the festival’s free outdoor programme teaching us the ways of the ever svelte disco diva. Limber up and loosen your hips to make the most of our outdoor daytime disco, featuring hula hoop workshops, routines to learn, and performances to get stuck into.

Running throughout the duration of Meltdown, Travis Alabanza leads us devoutly in saying Grace with site design audio installation We Say Grace. This new poetry commission will be broadcast across the site at various points throughout the festival in reverence to the luminous Meltdown curator, her cultural canon and her genius.

Mark Ball, Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director:

“Alongside the fantastic artists already announced for Grace Jones’ Meltdown, we’re delighted that Grace has now put the finishing touches to her extraordinary line up. From post-punk to psychedelia to R&B, Meltdown brings a truly eclectic line up of talent who are both inspired by Grace Jones and are a testament to her musical curiosity and inventiveness. There really is something for everyone, reaffirming the Southbank Centre as an open and inclusive space where people from all backgrounds can come together and enjoy Grace’s incredible curation.”

Tickets: southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/meltdown

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