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

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]
A Vinyl 12 song issue was published in 2015 by Starman Records including the UK EP, the first Single, demo's from 1984 and never before released song "Heartbeat" from 1983.

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' EP My Suitor/Pardeon up here/Lunacies/Emotions (1984, Blanco y Negro)


  • Merry Lines in the Sky CD (2004, LTM) 15 songs including My Suitor EP
  • My Suitor Vinyl (2015, Starman Records) 12 songs including My Suitor EP

Songs in compilations[edit]

  • '1992 Witlof From Belgium, Volume 4: 80:'s, Part 2 "My suitor"
  • '1998 Was Het Nu 70 Of 80? Vol 7 "My suitor" EVA
  • '2005 Various - Bel 80 (Het Beste Uit De Belpop Van 1980-1989) "My suitor" Universal
  • '2007 Les Inrockuptibles présentent : 100 trésors cachés : chansons rares & indispensables "My Suitor" Les Inrockuptibles
  • '2008 Expo 58 - De soundtrack "My suitor" ARS Entertainment
  • '2010 Underground Belgian Wave Volume 2 "Toys" Walhalla records
  • '2011 Belpop. De eerste 50 jaar CD5 "My Suitor" EMI
  • '2013 80s Compilation EP "Images"EE Tapes
  • '2014 Studio Brussel - Eigen Kweek - 30 jaar Studio Brussel "My Suitor"
  • '2014 Insane 80s [EV01>EV10] "Images - Exterieur Nuit"EE Tapes
  • '2015 100 Op 1 - De Beste Belgen (Radio 1) "My Suitor" Warner
  • '2016 Nostalgie - Belpop Classics "My Suitor" Sony Music

Cover of My Suitor[edit]

  • '1998 Figurine (USA) on Moshi Moshi compilation
  • '1999 Buscemi (BE) on "Our girl in Havana"
  • '1999 Das Pop (BE) on "Electronica for lovers" EP
  • '2001 Kahimi Karie(JP) on "My Suitor" CD
  • '2002 De Flandriens on "De popklassiekers" Live CD
  • '2011 The Arch on "Engine in Void" CD (with Drita Kotaji on vocal)

Other band covered "My Suitor" for live or special occasions


  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". The Narcotic Daffodils. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  8. ^