MIA, Royal Festival Hall, London — flashpoints

“I know it’s a long shot but I live for long shots,” MIA wrote a few months ago when imploring Radiohead over Twitter to play at the Meltdown festival, which she curated this year. But the long shot didn’t come off.

Nor did an audacious attempt to get Elastica to reform for the 10-day series of events at the Southbank Centre. Their singer Justine Frischmann was “tempted” but with one of the Britpop band’s members having renounced rock and roll to become a Christian missionary the odds proved too great.

As a consequence the final Meltdown line-up was light on big names or surprises. But it had a refreshing sense of agitpop energy, galvanised by Young Fathers’ electrifying opening show. MIA was the closing act. “Although Royal Festival Hall is a seated venue, you’re encouraged to get up and dance at this gig,” the Southbank Centre advised, casting caution…

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