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

What’s on your rider?

We ask, very po­litely, for a light gluten­free meal be­fore the show, and if pos­si­ble some white wine for me and a nice dark ale for my tour man­ager/sound en­gi­neer.

What would be on your fan­tasy rider?

I can’t eat or drink much be­fore I sing, so there’s not a lot I’d add to the above.

What’s the best gig you’ve at­tended – and why?

David Byrne at the Na­tional Con­cert Hall in Dublin was amaz­ing.

Tour bus bunks, ho­tel rooms or couch-surf­ing?

Ho­tel rooms – a lot of the time it’s ac­tu­ally nicer to be in a Trav­elodge or Su­per 8 than in a posh ho­tel.

Who is the most fa­mous per­son to have shown up at one of your gigs?

Luka Bloom – a great friend and ally over the years – came along to a Dublin gig I did a while back.

Tour bus tunes? Which are your ones for the road?

What­ever’s on the iPod, any­thing from Scroobius Pip to the Dandy Warhols to Johnny Cash.

Chat­ting be­tween songs – good or bad, and why?

I do an aw­ful lot of chat­ting be­tween songs, so I hope it’s a good thing!

How big is your en­tourage?

Just my­self and Martin Stansbury – my man­ager.

While on tour, do you do your own laun­dry?

Yup, I have washed lots of shirts in lots of ho­tel sinks.

Do you like to meet and greet fans af­ter the gig?

Yes, al­though the main meet­ing and greet­ing hap­pens at the merch ta­ble dur­ing the in­ter­val.

Any use­ful stage tips?

I bring a lit­tle fold­ing ta­ble to use on­stage for my glass of wa­ter, hand towel, capo and thumb-pick, with a black cloth to put over it so it looks nice.

What on-tour lux­ury would you like the most?

A mas­sage ther­a­pist would be nice to have on hand!

What’s your best tour story?

Martin got an ab­scessed tooth on one of our first US tours, was in dread­ful pain and had a rag­ing fever. We couldn’t find a doc­tor who had time to see him, so we went to A&E, where they told us we’d have to pay some as­tro­nom­i­cal sum up­front. I rang that night’s venue (a lit­tle theatre on the Gulf Coast of Texas) to say we’d be de­layed, and the guy said he could get us some an­tibi­otics, no prob­lem. He met us at the venue, stepped out of his pickup truck and counted out a week’s course of un­marked cap­sules from an enor­mous bot­tle. Ap­par­ently his girl­friend was a nurse and bought them over the bor­der in Mex­ico. He then pro­duced an­other bot­tle of horse-sized pills, say­ing “if the pain is re­ally bad, you can take one of these and you won’t feel a thing for about 24 hours.” Martin po­litely de­clined . . . The an­tibi­otics worked a treat, though.

In con­ver­sa­tion with Tony Clay­ton-Lea, Sarah McQuaid plays St John’s Art Cen­tre, Lis­towel, Co Kerry, Wed­nes­day at 7.30pm. Tick­ets ¤12 stjohn­sthe­atrelis­towel.com; and Cough­lan’s in Cork, Thurs­day at 9pm. Tick­ets ¤10

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