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Festival: Meltdown Music Fest

Some festivals this summer will chime with similar line-ups: Skrillex and Chase & Status tearing up the dance tents and The Stone Roses bringing their indie-rock guitar noodling to various assembled throngs.

Others will shape their schedules by genre (jazz, for example) or by theme. This Southbank Centre event is another story altogether.

Each year, it’s shaped by one person who curates it along the lines of their own personal tastes; DJ legend the late John Peel, indie hip-shaker Jarvis Cocker, trip-hop innovators Massive Attack have all taken responsibility in the past. This year it’s the turn of Antony Hegarty, from the operatic, touchingly angelic pop troupe Antony And The Johnsons.

As Hegarty has eclectic tastes, this diverse 11-day festival takes on a truly unique flavour, featuring music skewed with performance art.

Eighties talisman Marc Almond, who’s shifted no fewer than 30 million albums across the world during his career, lines up with the likes of politically charged singer/ performer Diamanda Galas.

Electronic music producer and performer Laurie Anderson brings her new show Dirtday! to town, and Lou Reed performs with his band, promising to feature anything and everything from Velvet Underground’s back catalogue to his Metallica collaboration, Lulu.

Hegarty himself will be taking to the stage, as well. So if you want to see, and hear, something different to the other fests out there, look no further. 

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
August 1-12 | Doors at various times |  £20+
Tube | Waterloo

Festival: Boomtown Fair

Self-styled as the UK’s ‘maddest city’, this countryside fest upends the usual out-of-the-city festival convention, becoming a pop-up town in rural Hampshire.

Asian Dub Foundation, Capdown and Reel Big Fish will play the main stage, or ‘the town centre’ as it’s called, with a secret headliner yet to be unveiled.

There’s also a Lion’s Den stage, the Bassline Circus and the Bad Apple Bar, which resembles a high-street pub in a field. A one-of-a-kind experience.

Matterley Bowl, Winchester, Hampshire, SO24 0H. August 9-12. £116  
Station | Winchester


Gig: Xavier Rudd

Multi-instrumentalist Rudd brings his impressive rootsy, surf-songs-with-a-conscience vibe to town. His kaleidoscopic musicianship throws down the gauntlet to acoustic- guitar- strumming singer/ songwriters happy with only the one instrument. He’s here in support of his seventh record, Spirit Bird.

Koko, Wed, Aug 8. 7pm £20
1a Camden High Street, NW1 7JE
Tube | Mornington Crescent

Club: Shake It presents ... Layo and Bushwacka

The duo bring one of their infamous back-to-back sets to this bash, hitting the decks from sunset to sunrise in room one.

It’s not as if they need any support, but room two hosts none other than Spain’s minimalist maestro Paco Osuna, with Leading Astray keeping the party going out on the terrace, too.

Egg, Fri, Aug 3. 11pm-7am £10+
200 York Way, N7 9AP
Tube | King’s Cross



Club: Stanton Sessions

We Fear Silence and Stanton Warriors present this old- and new-school garage rave. Scene stalwart Brackles and legend Hostage head up the beats, with garage dons MJ Cole and Wookie on hand as retro-flavoured special guests.

The Stanton Warriors themselves take centre stage to complete the line-up. Should be a good ‘un. 

Cable, Sat, Aug 4. 10pm-6am £11+
33 Bermondsey Street Tunnel, SE1 3JW
Tube | London Bridge

Gig: Wilton’s Music Hall: Global Beats

Five days of music from around the world celebrating London’s cultural diversity. Moroccan Simo Lagnawi kicks things off, with Guinea’s Mosi Conde the following evening, then Peru’s Kanti Qena, Nigeria’s Baba Adesose Wallace, Brazil’s Pe De Jurema and Planetman And His Friends closing it out with a truly global show.

Wilton’s Music Hall, July 30-Aug 4. 7pm, free
1 Graces Alley, E1 8JB
Tube | Tower Gateway

Gig: Converse Represent Festival

The baseball trainers that emos wear bring a star -studded line up to this 11-day series of gigs in Oxford Street’s dingy-but-iconic 100 Club (the one Paul McCartney helped save) to celebrate music and cultural diversity.

Blur are the surprise headliners, along with Plan B, Paul Weller, Sbtrkt, Best Coast, Santigold and lots, lots more.

100 Club, July 30-Aug 10. 7.30pm, free
100 Oxford Circus, W1D 1LL 
Tube | Tottenham Court Road


Club: Horsepower

This new weekly night aims to snatch the cool crown back from the East End hipsters, delivering some of the best deep house, dubstep and techno around.

Dixon Brothers are the new residents, with Noise Kitten bringing the indie, rock and northern soul to the venue’s southern gallery. Check it out.

Proud Camden. Fri, Aug 3. 9pm-2am £8
Stables Market, NW1 8AH
Tube | Chalk Farm


Photos: Getty

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