Har Mar Superstar, Komedia, Brighton
Sunday 13 April 2008
"I just want you to know I'm made of booze and MDMA," warns Har Mar Superstar. "And the MDMA was an accident..."
Har Mar Superstar is the alter-ego of Sean Tillman, a sex-obsessed funkateer from the outskirts of Minneapolis whose biggest brush with mainstream celebrity was fronting an ad campaign for Lynx, and whose appearance (small, chubby, with a balding mullet) has been compared to porn star Ron Jeremy.
It's a valid comparison in more ways than one. Just as Ron Jeremy allowed men who were, shall we say, not conventionally attractive to imagine that they too could get the superhot girl, so Har Mar proves that you don't have to look like everyone's idea of a pop star to have the skills.
The (glorious) humour to his act led many to dismiss him as a novelty, but make no mistake: this guy's got what it takes. He can write a killer tune, sing a mean falsetto, and do it all – literally – standing on his head. Which is how he begins tonight's low-key support slot, before performing press-ups, then embarking on a set-long striptease in which a Menudo T-shirt, Xanadu sweater and sports vest are removed until all he's wearing is a pair of Y-fronts, into which he reaches and rips out pubic hair, scattering it like confetti. Gross-out showmen don't come much better.
It comes as little surprise, then, before another new track called "Girls Only", when he tells us that it was originally composed for a Disney Channel pop group called the Cheetah Girls, "...but they looked into my background, and decided it was wrong for me to write a song aimed at 12-year-olds".
Before "Powerlunch" – a funky tale of eroticism in the workplace – he reminds us that the backing vocal belongs to "Beth Ditto before she was famous". It took Ditto a while to break into the public's affections. Maybe it's Har Mar's turn next. Just don't expect him to get Disneyfied when being disreputable is much more fun.
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