Agent, ITB
LUCY DICKINS
Agent, ITB
If anyone ever imagined that being the daughter of the boss makes a job easier, Lucy Dickins can put you right. As an 18-year-old music fan keen to get a foothold in the music business, she found Dad wasn't handing out any special favours - she had to make the tea like anyone else when she did her first work experience stint at father Barry's company ITB in the early 1990s. It was enough to pique her interest though, and after gaining a broader grounding in the industry through a small label she joined ITB to learn the agent's trade as an assistant in 1998. As a regular gig-goer, her biggest asset proved to be spotting and befriending new talent, which was how she came to represent local London acts like Jamie T. She helped him put on his regular panic prevention club nights, for which they booked 16-year-old Laura Marling - another promising talent that Lucy was soon nurturing. Lucy was later introduced to friends of hers who would eventually become Mumford & Sons. Other Panic Prevention alumni such as Jack Penate and Adele would follow, and Lucy played a prominent role in managing those acts' sometimes dizzying rise, as well as spotting the potential in acts from diverse ends of the musical spectrum such as James Blake, Devendra Banhart and Hot Chip. "I think a good artist knows where they want to go,' she says. "But a good agent knows the best route to get there - and also where it's best for that artist not to go.' Lucy prides herself on being proactive, and being far more than a mere gig-booker. "I enjoy getting involved in planning meetings,' she says, "generating ideas to help break and evolve an artist. At Jamie T's Panic Prevention nights I was on the door, and for Jack Penate I was throwing whistles into the crowd at Shepherds Bush Empire. I'll get my hands dirty - I don't give a sh*t. They're my clients, but they're my friends and I'll do anything for them." For Lucy, one of the biggest pleasures of the job is joining an artist on their career journey. "It's about watching an act grow. It's really exciting when you sell out loads of 90-capacity venues, then get to the next and the next level. It makes you so proud to see an act achieve all that." An emotion that Dad, or rather the boss, would surely second.