Indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs have been accused of plagiarism from an unlikely source – Sturmey Archer, the company famous for its internal gear hubs for bicycles.
But it’s not the sound of the gear hub that the Leeds band have been accused of stealing – it’s the Sturmey Archer logo.
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Artwork for the Chiefs’ new album, Education, Education, Education & War is an almost exact copy of packaging from an 110 year old Sturmey Archer gear set. According to Sturmey-Archer Europe NV, the band did not request permission to use the artwork and have ignored contact from the manufacturer.
Sturmey Archer general manager Alan Clark said: “I have worked for the company for more than 40 years and I have never known anything quite as blatant as this. We are used to this sort of thing from backstreet suppliers but did not expect it from such a big band. They did not even contact us up front and they have not responded to questions posed since we were alerted by customers.”
“A customer has suggested that the band should be re-named Kaiser Thiefs* – which might not be grammatically correct but does reflect how we now feel.”
Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson is currently a coach on BBC singing reality talent show The Voice.
* Not to be confused with the UK’s only Kaiser Chiefs tribute band, the Kaiser Thiefs