28 May 2023

Bernadette - Come Kiss Me Love/ Let Me Do The Talking


Scottish folkie with a bouncy, peppery 1967 pop effort

Label: RIM (Rediffusion International)
Year of Release: 1967

Bernadette Connelly of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire - known solely as Bernadette during her recording career, for unclear reasons - is one of those folk artists who seemed to be glued to the release schedules for most of the late sixties, but to no commercial avail. Many such characters abounded through the period, perhaps because while labels back then didn't expect folk music to fly off the record store counters, they seemed quite happy with the steady, niche sales it achieved.

"Come Kiss My Love" was her debut single, but a huge clutch followed; "Many A Day", "You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven" and "Toys Toys Toys" in 1968, followed by "Sing Me Sunshine" in 1969 and "Ladyfingers" in 1970. The LP "A Girl Called Bernadette" was released by Philips in 1969 as well, and as recently as 1984 she put out the album "Back On The Road Again" on the Scottish independent label Lismor. 

That last LP appears to have largely consisted of modernised recordings of her previous waxings, including a version of this very single with none-more-eighties keyboard chiming. To my ears, though, the original is best. It gives Bernadette lots of Sergeant Pepper styled brass flourishes, strident melodies and choppy guitar rhythms. It's actually a very restless arrangement and while I'm sure its busy, poppy nature had many a folkie screaming "Judas!" at the time, it's actually a thoroughly interesting piece of work as a result. 

While it obviously failed to chart, it's far from an out-and-out obscurity and crops up for sale reasonably frequently, a sign that Bernadette was obviously a bigger deal at the time than her current status would suggest. While its stylings are slightly more middle of the road than way-out, I'm still surprised it hasn't cropped up on a sixties rarities compilation yet. 

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