Annette Berlin

Annette Berlin play grungy New Wave Blues with hooks that get right under your skin. They suck you into a dark, angst-laden world that’s seen them compared to The Pixies and PJ Harvey. They’re a duo - frontwoman Annette delivers ferocious vocals and filthy guitar lines while Keith Hall doubles the edge with his inventive and powerful drumming. They are playing the new Sisteract night at Proud in Camden tonight (4th June), along with Dog In the Snow, Holy Milk, and DJs Jen Macro and Debbie Googe (My Bloody Valentine).

Praise The Loud

Annette Berlin - Live

We met the Bristol-based Annette Berlin at a London gig at The Underbelly in Hoxton. The duo kicked off with Bubblegum from their album The Playground. It’s a lyrically sweet but sonically ruthless tune with growling guitar, and vocals that range from a fierce howl to sinister gentleness.

We also loved The Doll, a slower, filthy blues-tinged paen to a Voodoo Doll that melds buckets of punk attitude with a heavy driving beat and at times a waltz like feel.

The album’s title track The Playground opens deceptively with a summery playfulness that gets darker and darker as it pins you down.

We asked Annette how she gets her snarling sound and she told us she likes to keep her rig simple and without too many distractions. It was the first outing for her new Epiphone Firebird.

It’s like a wild horse, it has such tone! All the new songs sound really great on the Firebird. It’s bigger than my other guitar and the X shape means you can play right up the top.

Annette also uses a Peavey Classic 30 valve amp which was rescued and restored.

It was burned in a fire at the rehearsal studios we use, but still usable. I got it revamped and put a new Celestion speaker and valves in. It’s compact and sounds amazing, so powerful.

I need a lot of bass and deep end in my guitar - the band is quite nasty and I need something to reflect that!

Keith usually plays a Tama Swingstar 80s vintage kit, but on the night he used the house kit.

He brought along his:
13” Pearl Brass shell Piccolo snare
Iron Cobra bass pedal
Zildjian quick beat top & dyno beat bottom hihat
Istanbul Alchemy series ride
Paiste 400 16” power crash
Sabian XS20 16” crash
Stagg Mini China