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Article: What happened to the British-German music link?

By voyage reporter Nick Davies

Ich heiße Superfantastisch!

As the 'Naughty-Noughties' come to a close and endless articles are written contemplating the best bands of the decade, a question arises: what has happened to the British-German music link?

Stepping stone for The Beatles

Back in the days when Rock'n Roll formed, Germany was a hot-spot for British acts to tour; most notoriously perhaps The Beatles in Hamburg, 1960. Skip a decade or so and bands like Joy Division looked towards Germany for inspiration, discovering their synthesised processed beats. It was in the 1970s that Germany's electro sound scene took off. Kraftwerk, one of the most recognised German bands of all time, fronted this movement with their bizarre robotic style.

Champagne and salmon

Today, the link between Britain and German music still exists. Franz Ferdinand, a band formed in Glasgow, have success in both countries. Lead singer Nick McCarthy grew up in Munich and proudly sings the lyrics "Ich heiße Superfantastisch! Ich trinke Schampus mit Lachsfisch!", translating as "My name is superfantastic! I drink champagne with salmon!", on their first album.

The attraction of Germany

So what attracts acts to Germany? One primary reason is simply to break from stereotypical views and stand out. This was certainly the case with The Beatles, who toured Germany at a time when there was a strong anti-German feel in Britain after the war. A more recent reason for acts travelling to Germany is the vibrant art and music scene in Berlin. German music, although not always recognised, has played a huge part in forming the music that we listen to today.