Creative industries

Creative industries are one of the region’s great unsung success stories.  In fact, according to a recent report from the Work Foundation, the value of creative industries to the economy overall is now broadly comparable to the financial services sector – and Yorkshire and the Humber is no exception in nursing great new talent.

Leeds based band Vib Gyor (quirkily named after the colours of the rainbow in reverse) is just one of the creative enterprises that have been given a helping hand by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Formed in 2004, the five strong band released its debut single in 2004. Industry recognition and public acclaim swiftly followed as Vib Gyor went on to perform at Glastonbury and at Manchester’s In the City music convention later that year. The band has received regular airplay on US and UK stations – a rare feat for an unsigned band, which prompted one critic to comment: ‘This band is going to make a huge impact on the world of music. They are going to be massive.’

Sell out gigs have become standard as the band has toured the UK – so their next logical step was to hit the US, where they already have an established fan base.

Malcolm Ellis helps the band manage its business interests. He’d used UKTI’s services to help his own business, and wanted to know if the organisation could help the band, so he contacted Brian Aungiers, his West Yorkshire UKTI international trade adviser.

Spokesman for the band, drummer Jonny Hooker said: “This was a huge step for us – both creatively and financially. That is where Brian’s help and support has been absolutely invaluable. 

“He helped us put together a bid for Targeted Export Support Scheme funding and has also put us in touch with many useful contacts both in this country and the US.    His help has been incalculable.  We couldn’t have contemplated financing the tour without his help.”

The band set off on their three-week multi venue tour of the States in early July, and played to rapt audiences in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Brian Aungiers added: “I was delighted to be able to help the band on their way to their first international tour of the states. It’s true that the creative industries are not what first springs to mind when we think about exports. But from music to gaming and TV to fashion, these industries are adding great value to the regional and national economy.

“Vib Gyor is one of the most talented bands to emerge from the northern music scene in recent years. They are young, professional, committed and enthusiastic, as well as being incredibly talented.  I’m sure they’re destined for great things, and I wish them every success for the future.”

Freshly returned from the States the band is working on its debut album, due for release in early 2008.

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