Band business boost

Members of Sheffield-based indie band The Heebie Jeebies
Members of Sheffield-based indie band The Heebie Jeebies
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SHEFFIELD indie band the Heebie Jeebies are being tipped for the top - after calling in business brains from a city-based enterprise support organisation.

The band felt they had the look, determination and killer tunes - but not the industry experience needed to help them land a recording contract.

So they drew up a detailed business plan and sought help from the Entrepreneur Exchange, which has helped more than 100 fledgling companies over the last 12 months.

The aim of the exchange is to team new businesses with experienced entrepreneurs who act as business mentors, helping them overcome difficulties and giving support.

The Heebie Jeebies were put in touch with a long-established music professional who was able to pass on advice and music industry contacts.

The man chosen to help out was Nigel Humberstone, whose own Sheffield-based band In The Nursery has been recording and performing for more than two decades.

Nigel gave the band one-to-one mentoring and advice on ways of carrying out some cost-effective marketing.

And within weeks of meeting Nigel, the band set up their first headline tour with 30 dates in the UK this spring.

They had also raised their profile by getting in contact with music industry websites, an entertainment magazine and modelled for an up-and-coming fashion photographer who provided them with promotional images.

Nigel said: “Having worked actively within the music business, and witnessing the many changes of recent years, I knew I could pass on invaluable ‘real life’ support and advice that will benefit the Heebie Jeebies’ career in the music industry.”

Drummer Thom Barnett said: “Our meeting with Nigel was very beneficial. He reassured me I needed to be more patient in waiting for the band to start making a profit.

“We’re still looking for a recording company but I’m confident we will find one soon. We have released a single and we’re halfway through our first album.”

Jim Lawson from the Exchange said: “It’s always very satisfying to help a business become established through our mentoring programme, drawing on the experience of 250 volunteer entrepreneurs.