Bernard and Edith

Bernard and Edith


This venue, St. Margaret’s Church, is truly unique. A solid gold statue of an eagle peers over the crowd, a huge painting by Greta’s (Edith’s) Dad stands at the back of the stage and a huge sculpture of a tortoise hangs perilously from the roof. Adding to the venue’s grandeur is Greta, who is buzzing around the crowd, speaking to everyone who comes through the doors and her enthusiasm is buoyant, innocent and vulnerable. However, as of yet there is no sign of Nick (Bernard) and Greta is trying to make up for that hole but you can’t help but realise it. Nick’s non-appearance is down to a heart operation, which has forced them into cancelling gigs earlier in the week and has put tonight in doubt. But here we are and in some ways it’s a miracle.

The first sign of Nick comes, when he walks on stage for a slight second, but then he is nowhere to be seen. The once lead singer of Kult Country takes over setting up duties and in doing so, lowers the keyboard and guitar to the ground and lays a cushion down, imaginably so Nick can perform sat down. In some ways it is sad that he will have to sit down, as I’m sure he would love to stand with Greta as normal but we are just happy that tonight’s going ahead.

The duo are coming on a bit later tonight, simply so Nick doesn’t have to exert himself by playing a huge number of songs, which would just tire him out. However, when they emerge Greta has changed clothes to sport a kimono-like outfit with a huge oriental dragon on it, in line with the band’s obsession with the East which is made clear in the album track simply named, ‘China’. Nick takes his position and tonight’s near miracle is just about to begin.

As they appear above us, the momentous occasion of tonight hits us, this is the culmination of years of hard work; it is the launch of their entrancing debut album Jem, which incidentally is the name of Greta’s dog – the band’s poster girl. Before they play their first song, they share a hug and it is symbolic of the duo’s closeness and what Nick has had to come through to be here in front of us tonight.

The album opener ‘Wurdz’ starts proceedings and it is pitch perfect. Greta comes to the front of the stage and tries to fill the stage for both her and Nick, and she does it well. She is clearly comfortable in this environment, as this packed church is just around the corner from her family home – and it really is packed with people standing on pillars to get a good view.

Bernard & Edith

Bernard & Edith

Then comes what is their potentially most poppy song ‘Heartache’. The opening drones are joined harmoniously by Greta’s beautifully deep vocal as she retells the story of being heartbroken and cut up. It has a huge climax but we are allowed no time for a rest as the oriental chimes of ‘Poppy’ then ring out. For many this song is how they first heard Bernard + Edith, so it is fitting that it is played on the night of their album launch, when they have reached a new point in their career.

‘Mr Crocodile’ then starts and Greta draws an alluring finger to herself, emanating the creepy older men who she is singing about. We then reach the final song, the closer of their album, ‘Girls Night Out.’ It’s a song about Money’s lead singer, Jamie Lee’s infamous nights out at transvestite night clubs and its constant repetition is entrancing. It’s the first time Nick picks up his guitar and it shows off his wide skill range. This is a perfect ending to a special night, it’s unassuming and fades out beautifully to bring a unique show in unique surroundings.

However, the last word has to go to Nick. His sheer effort to be able to play tonight his admirable and it shows how much this album and this project means to him. Hopefully tonight’s brilliant reception will help him to rest in the knowledge that he has made a great impression on us all tonight and represented musicians in a brilliant way. It is fitting that Nick has fought through tonight on the FA cup final weekend, as nearly 60 years ago, Manchester City goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann, continued to play in the FA cup final despite breaking his neck and Nick’s efforts on the very same weekend are incredibly coincidental. For their different goals and projects they both fought through pain and brought joy to everyone who saw their momentous efforts. Unlike Bert who sadly passed away recently, Nick Delap still has a hell of a lot to offer us and I already can’t wait for their next album launch, when they make their next step along what is bound to be a journey which will be long, successful and will bring joy to many.

Read our recent interview with Bernard + Edith here.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.