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International Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local London, UK Music Scene

London has one of the highest profile local music scenes in the world, due to its incredible history of generating world famous music acts. These legends include Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who and David Bowie. Additionally, the city has filled the international charts virtually every decade since the 60s. During the British Invasion of the 60s emerging artists included The Yardbirds, The Kinks, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, The Zombies, Status Quo and the Faces. The scene continued to develop in the seventies with T. Rex, Gary Glitter, Genesis, Richard Thompson and Roxy Music.

A new crop of bands dominated the London scene during the new wave era, such as Sex Pistols, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Psychedelic Furs, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Pet Shop Boys, Thomas Dolby, Paul Hardcastle, Madness, Spandau Ballet, Erasure, Ultravox, and Squeeze. Since then some of the big names from the area have been Adele, Coldplay, Soul II Soul, Blur, Suede and Basement Jaxx. The history of London music revolves around subcultures such as the mods versus the rockers in the sixties. The mods were the well dressed late night partiers and the rockers were more associated with biker culture. These two movements helped shape the music that is now called classic rock.

Since London is one of the most important music industry cities in the world, there are more opportunitites there to rise from a grass roots level. The London Music Awards is an example how the city celebrates its local talent. These awards are also prevented at three other events in North America: The Canadian Music Week International (CMW), North By Northwest Music Festival (NXNE) and the South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW). The awards are based on fan voting and cover 20 categories.

London has many legendary music venues that are visited by tourists from around the world. HMV Forum, which was formerly called The Town and Country, remains a memorable place where a lot of music history was written. The Borderline is still a haven for underground acts. Half Moon is a pub that has trasnformed over the years from folk to multiple styles. Plastic People is one of the most cutting edge venues for electronic music. Other notable venues in the region include The Dublin Castle, The Black Sheep, The Old Blue Last, Filthy McNasty's Whiskey Cafe, The Windmill and The George and Dragon.

Local culture needs to be appreciated more in order for an organic music business model to grow. London has a special charm because it has such a legendary music scene, but also because it's been written about in songs from artists all over the world. Some of the most famous songs in history about the city include "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits, "London Calling" by The Clash, "London Town" by Wings, "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty and "Last Train To London" by ELO.

One of the first steps to building an organic business music model is to free art from commerce. Even though the Beatles proved that art does in fact sell throughout the entire world, starting at square one involves rethinking of the entire music industry. If local music is to become a healthy industry it needs to start with a product that people want. Many local artists only create what they personally like. The key is not necessarily to turn every London songwriter into a broader thinker, but to inspire enough local songwriters to think on a broader level to create a chain reaction throughout the world.

Interview with London Singer/Songwriter James Cook

Visit the James Cook website here

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