WHAT'S ON YOUR RIDER? RACHEL AUSTIN
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