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All The Fun Of The Fair
Stuart Clark selflessly volunteered to meet Fanfair, a girl group with impeccable rock ‘n’ roll credentials and a member who’s the youngest of 12 kids from Terenure.
Stuart Clark, 16 Apr 2012
“You would, wouldn’t you?”
“Be rude not too!”
The four members of Fanfair are casting heavily mascara-d eyes over Hot Press’ recent Bruce Springsteen cover. President of this particular branch of The Boss’ fan club is Roberta Howett, who for all of her girl groupery, is a rocker at heart.
“I was at the last E Street Band gig in the RDS and he was just phenomenal,” enthuses the twentysomething Dubliner who also has a bit of a grá for Dave Grohl. “I sang at Oxegen last year with Bressie who’s a mate of ours and Mr. Grohl was in the dressing-room next to us. I did the stalkery fan thing and got my photograph taken with him. He couldn’t have been nicer – really down-to-earth and happy to chat away. Another person I’d love to meet is Rufus Wainwright. The couple of times I’ve seen him in Vicar St. he’s blown me away.”
How did the Bressie connection come about?
“Dublin being a small place, we kept running into each other,” she explains. “I’d written a song, which he produced. Then we co-wrote for a while and I did some vocals for his solo album, Colourblind Stereo. He’s always been popular with the ladies, but now he’s on The Voice I imagine he’s fighting them off!”
Ah, there are stories I could tell! Ms. Howett is also the only person I know who’s been on a date with Ozzy Osbourne.
“That needs a bit of explaining!” she laughs. “I went for X-Factor years ago and was a finalist, which opened lots of doors and led to me working with Sharon Osbourne who’s so lovely and giving. Even when I was voted off, I stayed in her house and got to meet the family. Anyway, there was an awards ceremony that I needed a plus-one for and Ozzy kindly volunteered. It was all very glitz and glamour – we arrived in a limo, the door opened and it was ‘flash, flash, flash’ as we walked up the red carpet. He’s very chilled, witty and not at all sniffy about the fact you’re pop and he’s rock.
“The postscript is that we were in Birmingham recently, walked into our hotel and there was Ozzy and the rest of Black Sabbath in the lounge. Really nice guys.”