Representatives from 21 UK music companies will next week be joined by Britain’s new Trade & Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, on a ‘trade mission’ to the US. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not – I used to live in Alistair Darling’s constituency and he always struck me as a very sinister looking guy, a bit like a Bond villain, though perhaps less so now without the beard. Still, the Americans seem to love evil Brits, so perhaps sending a Bond villain over to promote the UK independent music sector is a clever move.
Anyway, this is the latest mission thingy from the UK’s Association Of Independent Music and UK Trade & Investments. Among the companies taking part in the mission are IE Music, Mnemonics Music and Heavyweight Management. As well as support from Dr Evil, the mission is also backed by the American Association Of Independent Music.
Commenting on the mission, Darling told CMU: “The British music scene is flourishing with artists like Coldplay, James Blunt, KT Tunstall and Franz Ferdinand helping to spearhead a reemergence of British musical talent Stateside. This mission will further help British music be exported abroad. I want smart British ideas to be picked up early and nurtured so that they benefit the UK as a whole. In a fast changing global economy and even faster changing music scene we have to support UK companies that have a competitive edge. I am delighted to see so many companies on this mission that are trying something new. The creative economy is now worth over ï¿½11 billion to UK plc supporting 2 million jobs. It produces a higher proportion of the UK’s total wealth – 8% of GDP – than anywhere else in the world.”