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Origin Belgium
Genres Pop, New wave
Years active 1981–1985
Labels Putovsky, Blue Feather, Blanco y Negro, LTM
Past members Simon Rigot
Manuel Poutte
Pol Fourmois
Drita Kotaji

Bernthøler is an Pop/Avant Garde band formed in Brussels, Belgium, and was active between 1981 and 1985.[1] They were favourites of British radio DJ John Peel.


Originally just a "musical experiment" named after a line in a Virna Lindt song, the band found surprise success with their single 'My Suitor'/'Emotions' recorded in August 1983. Championed in the UK by DJ John Peel and appearing in his Festive Fifty for 1984,[2] the group signed to the UK label Blanco y Negro. The band released one more record, a long version of "My suitor" with additional parts by Wim Mertens and Drita Kotaji and, despite occasional gigs, disbanded in 1985.[3]

In 1999 radio station Studio Brussel chose 'My Suitor' for its Bass-tard remix competition, won by Buscemi - who later released his version as a single and on the album Our Girl in Havana - and the song was nominated by DJ Chantal Pattyn as "one of the classics of Belgian New Wave".[3] The song was also covered by Kahimi Karie on her 2001 album of the same name. In 1997 Simon Rigot put together a compilation of studio, live and other tracks covering the group's whole career, A History of Bernthøler 1981-1985, issued as a limited release. An official issue was published in 2004 by LTM[4]

Keyboard player Manuel Poutte later became a film director, winning the Palme d'Or for a short film in 1992.[5]

Singer and writer Drita Kotaji is running a solo career and is also involved, amongst other projects, in the INK. duet.

Composer, guitarist and keyboard player Simon Rigot played and recorded with many bands ( Les Cactus, Resurrection(Belgium),[6] learned Sitar in the 90's and plays now Synthesizer, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer electric piano and Sitar with Belgian band The Narcotic Daffodils[7]

Bassplayer Pol Fourmois is working as electro-technician in the Cinema[8]



  • 'Japanese Garden/The Others' (1982, Putovsky)
  • 'My Suitor/Emotions' (1983, Blue Feather)
  • 'My Suitor' (1984, Blanco y Negro)


  • Merry Lines in the Sky (2004, LTM) (complete recordings)


  1. ^ "Simon's Bernthøler". Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  2. ^ "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - Festive 50s - 1984". BBC. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  3. ^ a b "Bernthöler - The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives". Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  4. ^ "Berntholer | Biography". LTM Recordings. 1985-04-30. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  5. ^ fr:Manuel Poutte
  6. ^ "The resurrection "Black Dream"". YouTube. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  7. ^ "The Narcotic Daffodils". Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  8. ^