A new wave of rising British talent is heading Stateside in March for a series of live music initiatives intended to help crack the world's biggest music market.

A new wave of rising British talent is heading Stateside in March for a series of live music initiatives intended to help crack the world's biggest music market.

The British industry is ratcheting up its presence at the annual SxSW festival/convention in Austin, Texas (March 10-19) to an all-time high, while the U.K. capital's cutting-edge live music scene will be showcased at an event the following week at New York's Bowery Ballroom.

The Rakes, Towers of London, Boy Kill Boy and Plan B are booked as the feature acts for the March 21 "Live from London" event in New York City. The U.K. Trade and Investment has backed the showcase and networking platform. "This event complements our broader strategy for development in the U.S. market and will complement a whole range of measures we will be announcing shortly," commented Alan Johnson, British secretary of state for trade and industry, today (Feb. 9) in a statement.

Other facets of the campaign include an in-store showcase and retail promotion at Union Square Virgin Megastore and a reception featuring a "masterclass" delivered by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.

Creative London is part of the publicly-funded London Development Agency. It has timed "Live from London" to coincide with industry traffic generated by SxSW. Creative London head Graham Hitchen says the event "will provide an ideal platform for the London music industry and will be an additional boost following on from the strong U.K. presence at SxSW 2006 the previous week."

Meanwhile, British acts KT Tunstall, the Editors, Brakes, the Feeling and Jim Noir were today (Feb. 9) confirmed as performers at the March 17 British Phonographic Industry-backed "U.K. at SxSW" showcase presented in association with U.K. national youth-oriented digital radio station BBC 6 Music during SxSW at Austin's Blender Bar.

The U.K. at SxSW group comprises the British Phonographic Industry, Assn. of Independent Music, live music agency British Underground, Music Managers Forum, broadcast royalties collection society Phonographic Performance Limited and UKTI. The British presence will be the "biggest international force that the event has seen to date," claims BPI international manager Matt Glover.

BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 will support programming for the SwSX showcase, details of which will be revealed in the coming days.

Music TV channel MTV2 will record documentary of "Live from London" to air alongside footage from SxSW this May.