It’s 6pm and I am dressed to the nines, sitting cross-legged on a bar stool in a worrying vacant Asylum feeling more sober than I normally would be in this environment. I feel quite out of sorts with my note pad, pen and Dictaphone within reaching distance.
Club NME has hit the road and landed in Hull with a thud and Tabitha from the Queens of Noize swaggers through Asylum clutching her handbag in one hand and dragging the rest of her tour life on wheels behind her in the other. “Hey. How are you? Do you know where the dressing rooms are?” I fumble over my words but manage to make it all clear by pointing her back in the direction she came from, and into the arms of what must be the promoter, waving at her. “Thank you” she replied. I just smiled nervously, arm still raised, and now looking rather special.
I was told that there might be some “hanging around” when I explained to the promoter that I was doing an interview for Hullfire, but he assured me that there was no problem at all. However, disorientated and consumed by their beauty, I watched Tabitha, now joined by friend and DJ companion, Mairead, set up a table of merchandise. “You look bored?” questions a worryingly off balance Tabitha, reaching round a pole on tip toes to tape up some fairy lights. I smiled, “yeah, kind of”. It was now 7pm and there was no sign of Har Mar, but I was too distracted to care. “Do you want a hand?” I offered, “nah, we’ll be cool”. Rejected.
Its now 7:30pm and a sluggish figure of a man slopes across the dance floor in baggy ripped jeans and oversized yellow hoodie. He walks up to the Har Mar Superstar advertisement on the wall, sparks up a cigarette, pulls down the hood, fluffs his hair (or what is left of it) and turns. With a smug look on his face, he takes a look around the hall and walks straight back out again. Indeed, the pint-sized purveyor of x-rated music was in the building, and then out in one motion and I begin to ponder that maybe this interview will not go ahead.
Its now 9pm, Har Mar has sound checked, fans are entering the doors, and pondering aside I have given up hope, hooked up with friends and hit the bar. Queens of Noize are spinning all manner of tunes on the turntables and seductively enticing the crowd ready for pocket sized party boy, Har Mar.
“I’ve been looking for you for ages!” a tall figure of a man exclaims. “He’s ready for the interview.” Discombobulated, I’m rushed backstage. Slumped in a chair in front of me sits Har Mar, smoking a cigarette and without knowing it, doing a fantastic impression Louie, the wheelchair bound character from Little Britain.
Hello Har Mar, how are you doing?
“Yeah, I’m cool thanks, just chilling in the middle of a tour. How are you, man?”
I’m cool ta. So this is your second gig in Hull (after playing the Welly Club back in July), how did it go for you?
“Yeah that was cool! It was one of the hottest gigs I’ve ever played in my life. It was so full, so sweaty. I just saw The Paddingtons across the road who warmed up for me, they were pretty cool.”
I heard you had your pants stolen from backstage after that gig, so I brought you some new ones.
I hand over a five pack of white y-fronts.
[Laughing] “Oh man, I haven’t had a pair of actual tighty whities since I was a kid.”
You can never have enough, dude. So NME are sponsoring your tour of debauchery through the University circuit. How’s that been working out for you? I hope you’ve been behaving yourself with the girls?
“It’s been pretty good. It’s been fun. These uni type gigs have a real party atmosphere. Queens of Noize running around, NME writers Djing and making the party happen, its cool. It’s not like a proper tour, we are all together on one bus, and it can get cramped and weird sometimes. I have no drama though, but when others do I can get caught up in the middle of it. Some people don’t know how to tour like others.”
And I’m sure you know how to tour, I’ve heard some stories. You seem to have your wicked way with a lot of women, any tips for those not so lucky freshers out there?
“Drink lots of water with your booze and have confidence then you can get as many women/men as you want.”
I told my mum the other day that I was interviewing you. She didn’t have a clue who you were so she looked you up on the Internet. She thinks that you look like a cross between Burt Bacherach and Ron Jeremy…bless her…she’s a bit, you know…divvy! For those who are uneducated how would you describe your music?
“I love Ron Jeremy and Burt is so cool. My music is RnB influenced, but more like the 70s and 80s way. Funk, soul beats and Motown. It’s a bit disturbing that your mum knows about Ron Jeremy, but don’t worry, I’ll be more famous than him soon.”
What have been your influences for the new album?
“I love Stevie Wonder, he is the main one, early Michael Jackson up to “Thriller”, Jackson 5, I love all that shit.”
You seem like a modern day white Stevie Wonder, do you fancy doing a cover of “Ebony and Ivory” with me?
“That would be awesome, I’d like to do it with Jamelia.”
So would I! You’ve worked with the likes of Holly Valance, Karen O and Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on The Handler. How did that come about?
“I toured with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs about a year and a half ago when they were first starting to get big over here. Me and Karen are just really alike and we have been friends since. We have the same attitude in the way we work and perform and we got on immediately. She moved to LA so we hung out and worked together. Nick was the same. I had heard a couple of interviews with Holly saying she’d want to do something, so I called her up when she was in LA. She is super fun and super cool girl.”
My friend was 21 the other day, got horrendously drunk and tried to ride the Hoover in a Mary Poppins style manner. A bit like you in that vodka advert. How did that come about? I heard pink Unicorns are pretty hard to come by?
“I was totally into that, it was all about me. I’m a huge fan of Unicorns.”
What have you got planned for tonight?
“I’m going to turn out the party, make a sweet show out of it and make sure everyone buys my album.”
What are your plans for your next album?
“I’ve got some ideas. But I’m touring for the next year or two so I’ll have to wait until I get home.”
Are you missing home?
“No, I have friends everywhere so it’s not a big deal. I’ll be one at the end of October for about 4 days, then come back over here to tour November and December, Europe and the UK. Then I’ll go over to Australia and Japan, then the US. It’s non-stop!”
We are interrupted and Har Mar has to get ready for the show.
Thanks very much for your time, you’re a winner, best of luck for the gig tonight and thanks for putting up with me. I’m sure the pleasure was all mine.
[Laughing] “It was, man.”
Har Mar took to the stage with girls in the crowd looking for a good time. Slowly stripping throughout the set and kissing girls in passing, it was safe to say my mum would have been disgusted.
“If any of you lovely ladies want to make love to me later, that’s the door right there,” and with a flash girls with no morals and looking for that good time jumped at the chance. “I hope you’re all loaded? I don’t want a Hull baby.” And they say chivalry is dead.