WHAT’S ON YOUR RIDER? SARAH MCQUAID
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