Har Mar Superstar, aka Harold Martin Tillmann, is best known for his pants, which he proudly airs alongside his prize paunch and thinning mullet for his camp-striptease live shows. His likeness to porn star Ron Jeremy comes a close second. What he is less known for is his music - regrettably, because his newly released second album, You Can Feel Me, is actually very good and oozes smooth slabs of sexy electro-funk R&B, set to the kind of grinding chopped-up beats that would have even the Neptunes hot under the collar.
It matters little that Har Mar is about as sexy as crusty bedsheets: when he prances diva-like onto the small stage draped in a red, satin dressing-gown, he raises the temperature in the intimate confines of a sold-out Garage to that of a steam bath. He begins by leading an arms-in-the-air puerile sing-along to "Sodomy" from Hair. But it's not until the end of his second song, the slick, sleezy rap "No Chorus", that the excited crowd get what they came for: their first glimpse of Har Mar flesh. Dressing-gown off, and comically dressed in tiny black shorts, white sports socks and sequined jacket, Har Mar pulls down the top's zipper to reveal a Rab C Nesbitt-style string vest. Judging by the whoops of approval this is the epitome of seduction.
Backed by an instrumental tape, and flanked by three Har Mar Superstar female dancers dressed in booty-hugging hot pants, Har Mar pouts, thrusts and gyrates his way through his fantastically sordid album tracks. The heaving, Barry White-aping "We Could Be Heavy", the pounding disco-tinged "Elephant Walk" and funk-heavy "Freedom Summer" are all delivered with Oscar-winning deadpan sincerity. And all the while the rotund teaser is casually tearing off his sweat-drenched layers of clothing.
Stripped down to his famous pants (on this occasion, baggy black Y-fronts) Har Mar is clearly loving it. He walks right into his adoring crowd and boldly ignoring the danger that something could pop out, attempts to climb the speaker stack. His tongue-in-cheek performance is rewarded when two pairs of panties are chucked onto the stage, one bearing a phone number ("You are so laid", he shouts to the lucky lady), the other scribbled with lyrics from his excellent single "Power Lunch". Har Mar seems genuinely touched by the sight of his words scrawled on a G-string. But for all his undeniable showmanship and hilariously smutty tunes, tonight's stand-out moment is a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke". Har Mar reveals a truly remarkable voice that actually gives Stevie a run for his money. Proving that pants or no pants there's so much more to Har Mar Superstar than meets the eye.Reuse content