It’s (Really Not That) Grim Up North
Honestly, it’s not. It’s actually really rather lovely you know. The people are friendly, the drinks are cheaper and, in Liverpool especially, you can walk everywhere you’d ever need. Imagine that! No more tube! What an outrageous Shangri La! My current ‘commute’ is a 20 minute walk up along the River Mersey through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not a delay to be experienced, not a B.O. to be sniffed, not a card clash to be frustrated by.
This is me inviting you to come to our office in Liverpool for a brew and allow me to show off our wonderful city to you. Get out of the proverbial rat race for a day and come see what life is like on the ‘other’ side of the Watford Gap. It’s only two hours on the train and I promise you will enjoy it. I should know, I’m not even a scouser. I came here 12 years ago for university from the equally wonderful city of Sheffield and haven’t looked back since.
Sentric is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and it’s been quite the journey over the latter third of my life. From signing our first artist (my flatmate at the time who I convinced to be our music publishing copyright guinea pig by buying him a flapjack and a can of Lilt) to now administering close to 500,000 copyrights worldwide, growing a company within the music industry simply requires a lot of time to be spent in London. And I’m cool with that. I spend at least a week a month down in our capital meeting advertising agencies, production houses, TV broadcasters, gaming companies and pretty much anyone else who needs music for their projects.
It’s been that way for as long as I can remember, but there’s been a notable change in the past couple of years which I’m very much a fan of; people are asking to come up to meet us rather than finishing the email; “just let me know the next time you’re in London and we’ll squeeze a coffee in”.
In the past few years we’ve entertained the heads of music at BBC, Sky TV & BT Sports to name just a few amongst notable others and all have left after having an utterly fantastic time and rearranging subsequent journeys for more shenanigans. This city is gratifyingly vibrant and I’d be wasting my digital breath if I told you how significant it was and, more importantly, still is to the music scene in the UK.
In the past few years we’ve grown and currently have offices in London, Amsterdam, New York & Hamburg (with eyes on Scandinavia and Australia in 2017), but our headquarters (and, at the risk of sounding contrived, our heart) will always be in Liverpool. It’s in our culture, our ethos and our approach to relationships and networking.
The need and want to get out of London won’t come to a surprise to many reading this article and conversely you won’t find me quoting Alan Partridge’s “Go to London! I guarantee you’ll either be mugged or not appreciated” to the many who make the reverse journey and move from up north to zone 5 or wherever they can afford rent. London is quite simply ace and every city has its foibles, but that said; it’s definitely interesting to note that recent hires at Sentric have seen skilled people with years of music industry experience up sticks and relocate to Merseyside.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ll happily come and squeeze a coffee in with you the next time I am in London, which’ll no doubt be just around the corner, but just this once have a think about coming up to visit me in Liverpool. You’ll get a day out of the office to clear your head and, of course, you’ll end up saving money on your music budget by working with us at Sentric. And if you can’t justify it after that, there's really nothing else I can say.
Simon Pursehouse is Director of Music Services