Meltdown festival to pay tribute folk singer Kate McGarrigle

Rufus and Martha Wainwright to sing in a tribute concert for their mother as part of festival curated by Richard Thompson

This year's Meltdown festival in London will feature a tribute to the late Kate McGarrigle, lead by the folk singer's musical offspring Rufus and Martha Wainwright. The annual music event is being curated by cult singer-songwriter Richard Thompson, and will also feature performances from artists including Paulo Nutini, Elvis Costello and Islamic punk bands Kominas and Al-Thawra. There will also be a joint performance by Thompson and Loudon Wainwright lll, the former husband of McGarrigle.

Staying with the traditions of the festival's experimental history, Meltdown will begin with an 80-minute concert by the International Society of Bassists and continue over 11 days with political performances, Appalachian songwriters and Cajun dancehall group Beausoleil.

The event will also feature a number of shows from Thompson, including 1,000 Years of Popular Song, which sees him covering songs by musicians as eclectic as Nelly Furtado and Gilbert and Sullivan.

Thompson, 60, best known as a founding member of pioneering 60s folk group Fairport Convention, said he was hopeful that curating Meltdown will allow him to display the versatility of his taste and abilities as a musician.

He said earlier is year: "I am very excited. The wide-ranging programme reflects many of my interests and influences across many musical, visual and literary styles, and should provide some unique moments, unusual collaborations and juxtapositions."

Previous curators have included Massive Attack, Morrissey and jazz musician Ornette Coleman. Meltdown begins on 11 June. The Observer is the official media sponsor of the festival.


Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

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