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The Peace & Freedom Magazine The Harbour Bar Interview
The Harbour Bar interviewed by Paul Rance for Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985
Interview with Martin of the band.
When was the group formed?
The band (yuk) group was formed just over a year ago really -- and we recorded a demo then. I was previously in a group called "Bee Vamp", sort of event pop-jazz stuff. The Harbour Bar was originally a six-piece, but has now slimmed down somewhat -- we are hoping to record a superior demo this year.
Who are your influences?
Influences? It's difficult to say. In many ways, The Harbour Bar is more a sort of idea influenced by music, clothes, films, art, furniture, cars, etc. -- all basically rooted in the late 50's and early 60's Cliff and The Shads in the cellar bar scene in "Summer Holiday", Brigitte Bardot in Vadim's "Et Dieu Crea La Femme". Francois Hardy, The John Barry Seven, Sean Connery in "Doctor No", Bacharach and David -- those are some of the influences. Musically, I suppose wwe're influenced by pop and jazz from that period. I like Coltrane in this period, bossa nova. "Tell Her No" by The Zombies is, I feel, one of the best pop records.
What venues have you played at?
We played some low-key dates in Manchester last year -- the university, small clubs, etc., and a date at the Hacienda. Not actually doing anything live at the moment, though.
Ambitions? To be rich? Famous? Sell-out? Probably to make a really good pop record and accompanying video -- driving on the Continent in my red and white 1962 Sunbeam Rapier, wind in hair, radio on -- encompassing the whole concept, really (gulp -- sounds like a McLarenism).
What are your views on current chart bands?
Current chart bands... I find it all pretty bland and boring, really -- obviously like the odd single. I think Boy George has got a really nice voice but the songs are so... throwaway? I like The Smiths, actually; they have a definite charm and I also share Steve Morrissey's love of those early 60's "Northern" films -- "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", "A Kind of Loving", "A Taste of Honey". I quite like some of The Style Council stuff, too -- problem is, everything (most things) is all electric drums, brass and two girl singers -- too much formula. Perhaps I like The Smiths because they're jangly.
How would you describe your music?
I'd describe the music as "casual and continental" -- as one fan lett put it: "It reminds me of driving in France and sunny beaches" -- I found that really nice in that it's what I see us aiming at -- a soundtrack for a casual, continental 1960's film, perhaps.
Thanks to Martin for such in-depth answers.
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