Brits Invade Germany

Seventy five U.K. acts were due to play the April 20-28 British Music Week, probably the biggest coordinated live music export promotion ever mounted in Germany.

Now in its second year, the British Phonographic Industry initiative has expanded beyond Berlin – where it started it 2006 – and now takes in venues in Munich, Cologne and Hamburg.

"The broad spread of activities and the sheer number of artists taking part in British Music Week this year shows the strength of British music right now and the incredibly cooperative relationship we have with our partners in Germany," said project founder Steve Redmond, who recently quit as BPI director of communications and development but has continued overseeing the event.

Cologne-based Peter Rieger Concerts, Hamburg’s FKP Scorpio and Berlin-based Trinity Concerts are among the major German promoters helping to organise the shows.

The Munich shows are split between the Backstage and Atomic Café clubs.

Among the best-known acts appearing are former Suede frontman Brett Anderson, who will play solo shows in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich; hotly tipped hip-hop star Lady Sovereign; Razorlight, which also played British Music Week 2006; Scottish rockers Idlewild; street laureate Just Jack, and the retro girl-pop of The Pipettes.

The Pigeon Detectives, one of the latest sensations on the U.K. indie scene, have just been added to the list.

The BPI originally set up the initiative, which is to focus the German market’s attention on U.K. music, with help from Berlin’s Karrera Klub, major local broadcaster Radio Eins, leading music retailer Dussman, whose Kulturkaufhaus in Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse is the city’s most influential record shop, and Tip, which is the city’s top reviews and listings magazine.

Print media support came from pop mags including Intro and Uncle Sallys.

The Berlin-only lineup included Razorlight, Kubb, King Creosote, and Belle & Sebastian.

This year, Saturn – Germany’s largest music retailer – will be supporting the week through a combination of point-of-sale campaigns for British artist albums and in-store appearances from some of the participating bands, including Razorlight and The Pipettes.