The wonderful Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons fame (above) is curating this year’s Meltdown, a line-up of 12 days of music, debate and performance. It’s certainly an eclectic list – as Antony puts it, “mainly ecstatic female voices with a few queens thrown in” and features amongst others, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Liz Frazer, Joey Arias and Hercules and Love Affair.
Grazia was lucky enough to attend one of the opening concerts, a performance by Diamanda Galas – Antony describes her as ‘the Maria Callas of art music’. Grazia likens it to an aural battering, but in a good way – ferocious mesmerizing vocals over her exuberant piano playing. Often sounding like she is singing in two voices at the same time – a husky baritone and a piercing soprano – she had the cool rather gothic crowd, led by an exuberant Pam Hogg, up on their feet chanting for more. Very Exorcist, it has to be said.
Tickets are still available for some upcoming shows – New York performance artist Laurie Anderson, Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins on stage for the first time in many years, Joey Arias performing his own man Billie Holiday Strange Fruit tribute, and a disco night to end all disco nights with Antony joining Hercules and Love Affair on stage. Grazia is beside itself at the prospect of hearing them sing Blind live…
– Marc Morgan