Meltdown Festival is a music festival with a difference. Starting on a Saturday and ending the following Sunday, it stretches luxuriously over 9 days. This means you never have to worry about acts clashing. You can see whoever takes your fancy. Because the festival is at London’s South Bank, there’s no camping or concerns about British weather or any need for wellies. Each year’s festivities is put together by a music icon, so you get to immerse yourself in their tastes and influences.
This year, Nile Rodgers, songwriter, producer, guitar legend and king of disco was the “curator” of the festival. Naturally, there was a lot of focus on guitar music. But Nile is a man of varied tastes, so his selections took in jazz, blues, indie and, of course, funk.
I was lucky enough to see Nile Rodgers speak about his career and his many fruitful musical collaborations. He even treated us to the earliest ever demo of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, having told us the most thrilling history of that particular song. Who knew Bowie originally wrote it as a folk rock song? And who would believe we would get to hear Bowie slowly appreciating how it could work as a funk rock song? Only Nile Rodgers could have been responsible for that sound and that radical change of direction.
Nile Rodgers brought his band along with him, and seeing Chic is always a treat. They are a super tight band, with vocal power and tonnes of soul. They didn’t disappoint, with the whole of the Royal Festival Hall on its feet, dancing for all it was worth.
Nile hosted some of his favourite musicians and I was able to catch shows by Johnny Marr and Songhoy Blues. Both have bands with strong guitar sounds, but could not be more different from each other. Desert blues and British Indie royalty. Again, only Nile Rodgers could bring those influences together.
This month’s photos are from Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown Festival 2019. I wonder who will be running the show next year?
Hope you enjoy the photos and my selections of my favourite things this post month.
Wear an apron when cooking. Don't wear a white shirt while eating. Laksa is a Malaysian/Singaporean institution: a colourful and spicy noodle soup. Here's Felicity Cloake on how to make the perfect Laksa: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/jul/24/how-to-cook-the-perfect-laksa-recipe
MiMi Aye's Red Prawn Curry (Pazun See-pyan) from her new Burmese cook book Mandalay!
Looking for an alternative to a Sunday roast? How about this Summery Lamb and aubergine stew with houmous served up with Mediterranean flatbreads?
Grilling aubergines brings out the best in them. Here are some recipe inspiration - with cute baharat parcels, a creamy dip and stunning salad.
Summertime cordial recipes: cucumber and lime, peach and basil, and strawberry and cardamom cordial:
Got a pint of milk you might not use? Already cooking with some chillis? The bacteria in the chilli stalks can be used to make your own yoghurt! https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/aug/10/homemade-yoghurt-recipe-chilli-stalks-waste-not-tom-hunt
Sushi rice has to be sticky, with a slight touch of sweetness. Here's how to make sushi rice with full instructions and videos: https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-make-sushi-rice
Potato and chick pea masala:
Grilled portobello mushrooms and red peppers, in this rocket and couscous salad, suitable for vegetarians: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/a33405/grilled-veggie-couscous-salad
Chicken, giant couscous and harissa broth. Use giant couscous, don't substitute. https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/healthy/chicken-giant-couscous-broth
Food writer Sejal Sukhadwala picks out London's best meat free restaurants. List with map and reviews. Absolutely agree with Vanilla Black and Mildreds.
Every Summer, legal geniuses Sean Jones QC and Dominic Regan go through the arduous process of tasting the Summer's new crop of wines. They suffer for their art! Here are their picks for this Summer. I definitely agree that the Aldi Cotes de Provence (with the bottle embossed with flowers) is a great value, great wine: https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/summer-wine-2019
As Chef Cyrus Todiwala prepares to open his new restaurant "Tandem" in Leicester, he took a few moments to talk to Seetal Savla about the restaurant trade, his faith and his rules for life: http://www.savlafaire.com/cyrus-todiwala-interview
Year Of The Rabbit
REM at the BBC
Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
Songhoy Blues – Music In Exile
Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.