Robin, I see what you mean but I’m not sure I agree with the idea of the US’s attitude towards Britain being a problem. Have you considered that the authors (and audiences) of these news stories about Violent Britain are likely to be much different to the audiences of pop music? The main record audience generation (16-25?) are much more globally aware than even the previous generation. This links in nicely with the ideas on Steal This Blog! about Independence Day celebrations. While this generation, my fellow fill-in bloggers, may not be celebrating freedom from Britain or anything patriotic, there’s a distinct possibility that their parents or their grandparents may be. In that short space of time a fantastic shift has taken place in which much less attention is paid to cultural differences. The older generations may not like a British record to sound un-British, but the younger generation may just want the best records around. Admittedly, the name UK Garage may not be the best to try and break the barriers of nationality but when Big Beat can become Electronica why can’t UK Garage adopt Breakbeat Soul or Bass Funk or some other ludicrous title?

On the other hand, the attitude which you refer to could be a problem. Much is made of UK Garage being “a London thing” or “black music” but really I don’t think beyond a certain press fascination this is relevant. If there’s one chance for UK Garage it’s that it’s been accepted into the mainstream so quickly. The blend of R&B, hip hop, house and countless other forms of music has meant that it’s easy for the music to be polished up for the pop charts. Craig David hardly has an attitude that would put the US off, does he? While I think the cliquey obsession with the underground might be a problem for artists like Wookie or MJ Cole, artists like Sweet Female Attitude (unlikely) or even Victoria Adams (much more likely) shouldn’t have too much of a problem escaping the image, seeing as they have little or nothing to do with the underground anyway.

In the end we can only enjoy the music and hope for the best.