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The (un)exposure of current British Bands to the US mainstream

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The (un)exposure of current British Bands to the US mainstream

Old 10-05-06, 12:44 PM
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The (un)exposure of current British Bands to the US mainstream

Being a subscriber to the weekly New Musical Express, a fan of British music, and living in the US has become an interesting and sometimes hindering experience to say the least.

Simply, I find it incredulous that certain UK bands:

1) only play a few dates in the US and consider it a tour. NYC/San Francisco/Boston/Chicago/LA/Philadelphia (at the most). Unfortunately for me, DC is and has become a second tier city.

2) few to very little exposure on the radio - besides satellite radio (Sirius carries BBC Radio One; XM - UPop) KCRW is the only station I know of that makes an effort to broadcast the current brit-music scene. Corporate playlists hinder or turns a blind eye, adventurous mainstream radio exposure is dead IMO. The internet has become the sole conduit for information and downloading of songs.

3) Some bands have publicily stated in the past, US exposure is 'not their agenda': (London) Suede

So what do other US Brit-music fans think,
- how do you hear about new bands, word of mouth, internet, magazines, B&M stores?
- are there any radio/internet stations/shows that you listen to.
- should promoters book and include up and coming bands to other cities other than the aforementioned cities?
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Old 10-05-06, 01:09 PM
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I consider myself very lucky if I get to see any of my favorite bands live. I've seen Travis, Oasis, Stereophonics, Belle and Sebastian, and Gomez. I never got to see Blur. I've resigned myself to the fact I'll probably never see Paul Weller or the Manics. However, if I wanted I could see tired relics like the Stones or U2 every damn year or so. It sucks. It sucks hard.

When I was 20 I got to see the Psychedelic Furs and The (English) Beat on consecutive weekends, in Lexington KY. Now bands like that would only play the coasts, and perhaps Chicago.

Last edited by wendersfan; 10-05-06 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:11 PM
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hasn't this always been the case? Also, it's got to be the same thing in reverse: how often do they play, say, the Shins in the UK?
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Old 10-05-06, 01:12 PM
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I think the lack of touring is simply down to where they can afford to play. The Divine Comedy is one of my favorite bands, and I was lucky enough to see two shows here; one was when Hannon supported Ben Folds solo, and then a four piece band tour as headliner. The Folds gig was sold out (several hundred seat hall) and I don't think more than ten people there had even heard of TDC judging from the reaction; at the band gig, there were maybe 30-40 people there, and this was in Detroit, hardly a small city, for a band with five or six albums at that point. Without broad radio/TV exposure, bands just won't play over here beyond cities where they're assured a reasonable audience. And, some of them don't have US label deals, so that kills any chance of coming over, obviously.

I end up hearing about most of the Brit groups I get into via the Internet and magazines (Mojo mainly). I don't listen to the radio anymore.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
hasn't this always been the case? Also, it's got to be the same thing in reverse: how often do they play, say, the Shins in the UK?
1. No. See my above post. When I was at UK in the early-mid 80s we brought lots of bands like the ones I mentioned, plus Squeeze, Pretenders, etc., to a small southern city. Plus, bands like Echo and the Bunnyman toured the states a lot back then.

2. Historically, smaller independent US bands are often bigger in the UK than the US. Pixies were big in the UK, for example.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan

2. Historically, smaller independent US bands are often bigger in the UK than the US. Pixies were big in the UK, for example.
even newer bands like The Killers, Scissor Sisters were embraced by the UK media/fans before the US exposure.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:43 PM
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but even this week's minitour of one of my favourite bands (the lone stalwarts of the Britpop scene) The Bluetones are playing the typical US tour route - NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Toronto - I didn't even think their latest album had an US-distributor- who knew they had hardcore US/Canadian fanbase to swing through these cities?!?
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Old 10-05-06, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles
even newer bands like The Killers, Scissor Sisters were embraced by the UK media/fans before the US exposure.
..bands that ape Britpop.

What about your more typically American genres with similar visibility like alt country? Underground hip-hop? Etc.
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Old 10-05-06, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
1. No. See my above post. When I was at UK in the early-mid 80s we brought lots of bands like the ones I mentioned, plus Squeeze, Pretenders, etc., to a small southern city. Plus, bands like Echo and the Bunnyman toured the states a lot back then.
This was all part of "British Invasion 2" that took place in the early-mid eighties. Britpop just isn't as popular these days as it was in the days of Duran Duran. Also, Squeeze and the Pretenders offered music that was very American sounding.

2. Historically, smaller independent US bands are often bigger in the UK than the US. Pixies were big in the UK, for example.
This is true in some cases, not in others. It all depends on the taste of the local audience.
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