Singer-songwriter John Grant called Thieving Harry’s in Hull "one of my favourite places to eat".
Singer-songwriter John Grant called Thieving Harry’s in Hull "one of my favourite places to eat".

Singer John Grant: Why Hull makes me want to take photographs

Singer-songwriter John Grant has sung the praises of Hull while listing his favourite cultural places.

The American star is known in the city for his North Atlantic Flux festival during Hull’s UK City of Culture celebrations in 2017, which celebrated the city’s Nordic links.

Grant, a former member of the Denver-based alternative rock band The Czars, told the Irish Times’ On My Cultural Radar section that the city makes him feel “excited” – and it even boasts one of his favourite places to eat.

“I was just at Thieving Harry’s again in Hull, England,” said the Queen of Denmark star, who also performed at the University of Hull last month.

“That’s one of my favourite places to eat in the world. I like to have the mashed avocado on toast with poached eggs, and they do great coffee too.

Singer-songwriter John Grant called some of Hull's old factories "incredible”.

Singer-songwriter John Grant called some of Hull’s old factories “incredible”.

“You can sit upstairs and look out over the harbour and watch the afternoon winter sun going down. And the interior is cool without making you nauseous with its hipster-ness. It’s warm and inviting, almost to Australian levels.”

Hull’s critics knock the city as “grim” and “industrial”, terms that residents and regular visitors disagree with passionately.

But Grant agrees with those descriptions – and insists they should not be considered an insult to the city.

“A triptych just came into my mind of Manchester, Glasgow and Hull because I’m a huge fan of the grim, industrial landscape,” he said.

“Calling something grim isn’t an insult as far as I’m concerned, it’s a compliment, because it makes me feel excited and want to take photographs. Manchester is an extremely photogenic city.

“People keep saying it’s so sad that Hull is run down and I’m sure my outside perspective is skewed and romanticised, but some of those old factories are incredible.”

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George Norris Jnr and Glen Collins loading a motorcycle onto a rulley in Stepney Lane, off Beverley Road, Hull. Picture: Russell Boyce