Film director Ritchie signs pub band to new label

British director Guy Ritchie arrives for the world premiere of "Sherlock Holmes" in Leicester Square in London December 14, 2009. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - British film director Guy Ritchie has launched a record label named after his London pub The Punchbowl.

Punchbowl Recordings, a subsidiary of label giant Universal Music, has already made its first signing -- the pub’s in-house Irish group called The Punchbowl Band, comprising Willy Barr, Brendan McAuley, Steve Mulhern and Daniel Gott.

The group has already performed on the soundtrack of Ritchie’s latest movie, the Hollywood blockbuster adaptation of Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

“It’s exciting to venture into the world of the music industry,” Ritchie said in a statement issued by Universal.

“It’s a tough place, but I’ve witnessed this band connect with people first hand. They have every chance of being embraced by a wider audience and I genuinely wish them the very best of luck with their debut album.”

Pop producer Daniel Glatman heard the band while dining at the pub, and suggested the idea of releasing their music through a new label to Ritchie, formerly married to Madonna.

The debut album “Journey” will, be released on March 1.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato