Jason Baron

13:10 23rd September 2003

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Confidence can be a dangerously deceitful double-dealing drug - a numbing narcotic that can either elevate the innovative or medicate the minds of the mediocre. With a lack of rock 'n' roll reinvention presently occurring, if one must tread on the terrain of the timeworn and hibernate around the jukeboxes of the yesteryear, then confidence cannot conceal lack of creativity. More importantly, please use caution when you are filling that jukebox with all things atrocious about the early-eighties. Unfortunately, this lesson has yet to be learnt by tonight s headlining brand, I mean band, Hot Hot Heat.

The habitus of this humble student haunt were on hand to witness the first shot of the British (Columbian) invasion, as the horribly hyped Hot Hot Heat took to the stage with an air of arrogant ambivalence, but what these quirky Canadians delivered was much more of a musical misfire. Although the band's full-length debut, 'Make Up the Breakdown' (Warner Brother) has extracted earnest and eager acclaim, the LP reviews are in a different column, what was witnessed live delved deep into the soiled denim of Dexy's Midnight Runners, the student scribes of XTC, and the irritating idiocy of Oingo Bongo - and yes, that is as vile a cocktail as it sounds. The heat was too much for me, so with a disinterested anger and an unbelievable thirst for a different choice of drink, I followed my urge to become a far bar superstar and reflect back on how once again I was blown away by that belly full of bravado they call Har Mar Superstar.

At first glance, this naively suburban hip-hop homage to the hedgehog himself, Ron Jeremy, may be simply seen as a sarcastic satire on an egocentric world of blatant beats and R n B cheats or an overly ironic image of all that's chic, but when Har Mar (née Harold Martin Tillman or Sean Tillman) screams I'm the fucking best, whether you initially believe it or not, he is, and by the end of his performance, so does even the most cautious of crowds. Tonight Har Mar also demonstrated that he is the heir to the title of the hardest working man in show business by overcoming his recently acquired affliction, the plague of pirates everywhere, shingles.

Going against doctor's orders, Har Mar couldn't hold back his more original and infectious hot hot heat. As he was wheeled on stage by his rather efficiently equipped nurses, his one man DAT attack could not be contained. With the bulk of his performance coming from this year's finest party-records, 'You Can Feel Me' (B-Unique), Har Mar is all about the party and ULU became his crew and crib. As this keg of a man reached out to his adoring female fans with his serenades of summertime rumps, his crooning sounds effortlessly switch from the perverted dove-cry of Prince to the Motown ministry mode of Stevie Wonder. And damn can this brother dance, showing off every move from Beat Street, Flashdance, and Footloose between costume changes that take him from the graduate of the University of Rock, to a tennis star, to his notoriously ultimate conclusion of tighty-whiteys. A hard act to follow even if you are good.

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