The 5-minute Interview: Steve Harley, Singer, actor, presenter

'Half of the world believes I've only recorded one album'


Harley, 57, is lead singer of the 1970s rock group Cockney Rebel, best known for the hit single 'Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)'. He has since released 12 albums and hosted the BBC radio show 'Sounds of the Seventies'. This summer, he and the band will tour the UK, playing The IndigO2 on 7 June. Tickets are available at
www.ticketmaster.co.uk

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Reading the Racing Post. It's my great love after music and my family.

A phrase I use far too often...

"The answer is yes, what's the question?"

I wish people would take more notice of...

My musical history. I've written 12 original albums, but half of the world only think I've done one.

The most surprising thing to happen to me...

I got a gold badge of merit from the British Board of Composers, about three years ago for my contribution to music. That was a surprise.

A common misperception of me is...

That I lack humility. Although I'm hoping that's in the past, I live by the words of T S Eliot that: "The only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility, humility is endless."

I am not a politician but...

I loathe the arrogance of the mediocre politicians ruling the world. But if I was a politician, I would close down the Scottish Parliament or insist it has its own devolved parliament and rule itself, because I feel its taking advantage to the nth degree.

I'm good at...

Small talk – and of course hoodwinking journalists.

I'm very bad at...

Starting discussions when I know it would be much easier to keep the peace and remain silent. I know it's less than sensible to do this sometimes but I cannot help myself.

The ideal night out is...

Going to the theatre, or even appearing at the theatre. I've just performed a Samuel Beckett play and for fans of Beckett the words are good enough to eat. Waiting for Godot first appeared in the Fifties andthe more you read and perform the words the more – in some bizarre way – it makes sense.

In moments of weakness I...

I pray. I don't preach but I read the lesson every Sunday.

You know me as a musician but in another life I'd have been...

I wish I could paint. I buy and collect art but I wish I had the talent to be an artist. Particularly with the unique talent of people like Turner, Picasso, El Greco or Caravaggio.

The best age to be is...

35. That's the age that I still remain. No question about it, particularly when onstage, I feel 35.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is...

Consideration for the man next door to you. How you treat others will determine your treatment.

Faye Lewis

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star