Annie & Bern are an award winning music duo based in Melbourne whose love of Britain in the 1960s is reflected in their music style. With a collection of catchy songs, their performances are both sweet and captivating and we just love what a special and unique duo they are for live wedding entertainment. Bern plays the acoustic guitar and Annie’s smooth vocals make up the duo who we recently got to know a little better…
Share with us how Annie & Bern came to be established?
We met fourteen years ago through a classified ad in a music newspaper. We had a few bands together, and then in 2013 we decided to distil our sound down to one guitar and one vocal. We wanted to perform covers as well as originals, and we both liked the charm of 1960s pop, so we learnt our current repertoire and arranged our originals in the same style.
What music greats do you find your inspiration from?
Merseybeat groups like the Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers were so strong as song writers. Other British Beat bands like The Troggs, The Zombies and The Kinks dealt with interesting song ideas. The Kinks have a quintessentially English sound as well. They’re almost like Britpop pioneers. You can hear their influence in current bands like Blur. Singers like Cilla Black and Lulu stand out as well. They came from a crop of singers whose performance was based entirely on singing, rather than playing an additional instrument or dancing, which brought a sharply-focussed presence.
If you had to define your music as a certain style what would you describe it as?
‘Romantic vintage pop’ – We have a lot of respect for the tight, catchy song writing and wit of 1960s pop. It takes great skill to write songs that have emotional charge yet a light touch and that offer their own angle on romance.
What would be your favourite wedding / couple that you’ve performed for and what made it so awesome?
Our favourite couple so far has been Jen & Brent. They saw us performing at a hotel and liked our 60s repertoire. At the wedding, their guests were Googling lyrics, asking us to jog their memories as to the original artists, and were excited to be hearing songs they hadn’t heard in years. It’s lovely to reacquaint people with songs from their past, and to switch people on to songs from generations before theirs.
Curious to hear a little snippet of Annie & Berns music? Play the video below to enjoy their romantic sound
(and don’t you just looooove Annie’s super cute dress!!)
For those who are really digging your style of music where are you based and do you travel for weddings?
We’re based in Melbourne, and we’re keen to go wherever we’re called to for weddings. We’ll travel anywhere in Australia, and possibly even further afield.
Word on the street is that you have recorded an album? How can readers get their hands on a copy?
Yes, we have an album of ten originals and three covers, including Lulu’s hit To Sir With Love and Gerry & the Pacemakers’ I like It. It’s called Here Comes The Love. It’s available on CD or as a download, both via menu tabs on our website http://annieandbern.com
What advice do you have for couples trying to select the perfect live entertainment for their weddings?
Choose entertainment that you’re innately drawn to rather than thinking about it a lot. Choose entertainment that YOU will enjoy, because your guests are gathering to celebrate your happiness, so they’ll be happy if you’re happy.
All too often weddings take place to an ipod soundtrack – why do you feel having a live performance at a wedding is so important and special?
A live performance is a one-off, unique experience. Even though we’ve performed the same songs many times, each performance has its own, fresh energy. The real thing happening right there in front of you helps to create a special, enriched moment.
When you’re not entertaining people what do you love to spend your time doing?
For big nights out, we go to indie discos to dance to bands like Arctic Monkeys, Belle & Sebastian, The Libertines and assorted Britpop. House parties are fun too. On weeknights, we both ritually watch Shaun The Sheep and Bargain Hunt on telly!
And now for a few quick questions with Annie & Bern
Favourite drink to order at a bar?
Annie: Whiskey sour / Bern: Coffee tequila
Ultimate holiday location?
Annie: Venice / Bern: Mexico or Cote d’Azur
Best restaurant you’ve ever been to?
Annie: Mandala Organic Arts Café on The Gold Coast. We played a gig there, and were treated to the most wonderously imaginative vegan food.
How do you usually spend your Sunday mornings?
Annie: Sleeping in / Bern: Sleeping
If you could live in any period of history when would it be?
Annie: The 1960s / Bern: 1960s London
Funny movie or thought provoking documentary?
Annie: Funny movie / Bern: Funny movie
Tea or coffee?
Annie: Tea / Bern: Tea
Book that you simply couldn’t put down?
Bern: The Three Musketeers or a book about helium…
So where to next for Annie & Bern?
We’d like to travel all over Australia, performing wherever couples invite us, and we’ll keep building our repertoire as we discover more and more vintage pop. We’re also writing our 2nd album, which we’ll release early next year.