In their years fronting London-based bluesy rock quintet Never the Bride, singer Nikki Lamborn and keyboardist-guitarist Catherine “Been” Feeney have done about every gig imaginable. Clubs, pubs, biker festivals, weddings, bar mitzvahs and the occasional funeral.
One inevitable performance, in particular, is unsettling even for them.
“We have a friend who’s dying of AIDS at the moment,” Lamborn said recently, “and he’s actually booked us for his funeral already.” Said Feeney: “He’s planning for us to put a video together. He’s a bit of a character, and he sings too and he wants to open this video singing, ‘It’s my party and I can die if I want to.’ It’s a celebration of his life, really.”
Yes, it sounds maudlin, but Feeney said doing something for an ailing friend “makes you feel closer to them, that you’ve helped them cope with their death.”
Never the Bride’s the-show-must-go-on attitude has served them well, leading to a deal with Atlantic Records and a confident, self-titled debut album (due July 11). Success finally tapped them on the shoulder when a longtime fan became an artist & repertoire representative for a management company and all along had grand plans for them.
“He used to come to our shows over the course of about three years,” Feeney said, “and we didn’t think anything of it. We just thought he was a fan.
“Then about a year and a half ago, he came up to us in a club and said, ‘Did you ever get a deal?’ And we said no. He was so excited. He asked us for a tape, which we were happy to give him. Two days later, his boss – now our present manager – came to see us and loved us. Then he went to America with another of his bands and brought our tape along. Within about two weeks, he had gotten us a deal with Atlantic.
“After eight years, we might be an overnight success, just like that.”
Never the Bride first appeared on “Enconium,” the Led Zeppelin tribute album, doing a cover of “Going to California.” Their debut album was produced by Ron Nevison (Heart, The Who, Starship), but Lamborn and Feeney said they were involved in every aspect of the production.
“We had so many songs and we basically wanted to run with them,” Feeney said. “We put what we do best on to a record.”
BWF (before we forget): Here comes Never the Bride on the Web @ www.neverthebride.com.