|Concert by Unkle|
James Lavelle curated Meltdown in 2014, with Unkle playing June 13. Other acts included DJ Shadow and The London Contemporary Orchestra.
Unkle Redux Set List
Hold My Hand
Mayday (with Liela Moss)
Lonely Soul (with DJ Shadow)
Another Night Out
Ex-Factor (Lauryn Hill cover)
With You In My Head (with Liela Moss)
Burn My Shadow (with Mark Lanegan)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Ewan MacColl cover) (with Keaton Henson)
Rabbit in Your Headlights (with Keaton Henson)
In a State
Heaven (with Mark Lanegan)
Unkle Redux was billed as a “specially created, audiovisual show” featuring a whole host of guests ranging from Mark Lanegan, Liela Moss, Keaton Henson and ESKA to the “The London Contemporary Orchestra, Goldsmiths Vocal Ensemble and of course everybody’s favorite turntablist, DJ Shadow…
And very good it was too… I think because Unkle are something of an unknown entity in themselves we were unsure what to expect: would it be a set consisting of the slower and more orchestrated tunes from their 5 studio albums, or a more dance orientated set of tunes in the vein of one of Mr. Lavelles DJ sets?
It’s difficult to know how much Mr. Lavelle contributes in terms of playing/ writing/ singing/ designing etc. to the Unkle project as a whole, and for this show he was only on stage for the first and last tunes of the evening..
Perhaps unsurprisingly we got all aspects of his character: the lush strings of In a State, the haunted lyrics of Rabbit in the Headlights (sung by a very tortured soul by the name of Keaton Henson) and the huge noises of Follow Me Down and whatever the last track was called, and vast, stunning visuals accompanying each tune.
And to finish it off we had three hours of dancing in the foyer to the record collections of Don Letts and Paul Daley of Leftfield..
And I haven’t even mentioned the opening act. Philip Sheppard is a cellist who used a loop station and his undeniable skills to the most mesmerising effect.
The only criticism I have (more an observation really) is that there was almost no interaction with the audience. We sat there like sensible grown ups in our seats, the song stopped, we clapped, the next guest artist came out, the huge number of people of stage shuffled about a bit and then the band started… At the Siouxsie gig last year, everyone was standing up and dancing right from the off…
Anyway, a minor quibble at what was all in all a most enjoyable evening…
Review from The Standard:
Known as an ideas man rather than a musician, he stayed off stage here apart from the first and last songs, when his nondescript singing was drowned out by Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit and a choir. Non-musical touches included a gripping selection of big-screen visuals and apparently scent diffusers, though I didn’t smell anything.
People cheered loudest for tracks from Psyence Fiction, the first UNKLE album in 1998 and quite the blockbuster in its time, with DJ Shadow heavily involved and guest vocals from Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft and Beastie Boy Mike D.
A new generation replaced them here, ESKA giving a soulful new take on Lonely Soul and a hunched and haunting Keaton Henson taking on Rabbit in Your Headlights with great success.
The overblown feel, aided by many strings and the hall organ, offered plenty to watch, though restrained covers from Henson and musical director Mara Carlyle were the startling highlights. The rest of Meltdown looks tempting — no one ever questioned Lavelle’s impeccable taste.