The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - LISTINGS -

What’s on your rider? I love In­dia pale alesles, so I usu­ally ask for a cou­ple of good ones. IPAs are pretty tasty and there are some de­li­cious Ir­ish pale ales pop­ping up. I can be a bit of a health nut so I ask for fruit and whole­some food, too. What’s your pre-gig rit­ual/ rou­tine? I have a rou­tine where, rather un­ex­cit­ingly, I do a few warm ups, check the set list, and have a drink or two. What are your favourite and least favourite venues? My favourite is ei­ther Pete’s Candy Store in Brook­lyn or the Pop-In in Paris. Both are small venues with lots of char­ac­ter. Pete’s looks like an old train car­riage and the Pop-In feels like a cave. My least favourite venue was prob­a­bly Flan­nery’s in Di­jon. The set-up was atro­cious, as in the pro­moter hadn’t been told to sort a PA for us. Gaah! I get an­gry think­ing about it now. Still, it was fun hav­ing half a dozen Ger­man tourists sing With a Lit­tle Help from My Friends at full blast. Most em­bar­rass­ing on-stage moment? Per­haps the time I tripped over a lead in the mid­dle of a song and brought an amp down on my bass player’s foot. At least it was a gig in Na­daville. Still it hap­pens, but I learned my les­son: tape that shit down. Groupies. Would you? In my ex­pe­ri­ence, the male groupie types I at­tract are . . . erm . . . of a cer­tain age and sleaze­dom. But if they were clas­sic Spinal Tap-style groupies, like blondes with teased and “frosted” hair, I might give it a go. Have you a spe­cial stage wardrobe? I used to wear th­ese larger than life Jane Austen­style dresses for a bit of a steam­punk look. I’ve soft­ened the style a bit more and mod­ernised.

Do you like to meet and greet

fans af­ter the gig? Usu­ally, yeah. It’s cool to see what sort of peo­ple lis­ten to my mu­sic. Peo­ple usu­ally have a lot to say – it’s funny the sto­ries you get from peo­ple when you come off stage. What’s your best tour story? Hav­ing a photo shoot on the roof of a pen­t­house in Brook­lyn owned by Tim Hunt, who is James Hunt’s brother and agent for Andy Warhol’s work. Tama Janowitz also lived there, and Stan Lee used her as a char­ac­ter in one of his books. There were a few pages out of the book framed on the wall. Af­ter try­ing to not look down off the roof for an hour, we ran over to the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens for a shoot there. It was a lot of fun and pretty jive to be stand­ing next to Warhol orig­i­nals.

In con­ver­sa­tion with Tony Clay­ton-Lea. Rachel Austin plays Murphy’s in Thomas­town, Co Kilkenny tonight

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