What's on your rider? Barry McCormack


What’s on your rider?I usually promote my own gigs, so technically I’d be providing myself with a rider, which would be an act of self-delusion of Norma Desmond-esque proportions.

What would be on your fantasy rider?Someone taking care of my library fines.

What’s your pre-gig ritual/routine?I used to suffer from terrible stage fright, so my ritual involved pacing and chain smoking. Nowadays, I drink water.

How do you get to the gig?I’ve scabbed a lift to the last couple of gigs (thanks to the Spook of the Thirteenth Lock).

What’s the best gig you’ve been to?Teenage Fanclub supporting Nirvana at The Point in 1992 (I think) was the most I ever enjoyed a set. Nirvana were fairly ropey.

And the worst?It wasn’t the worst, perhaps, but the Bob Dylan gig in Vicar Street a few years back was a bit of a let down.

Who is the most famous person to have shown up at one of your gigs?I played for President Higgins at the Áras last month. I had to fight the urge to curtsy.

Most embarrassing on-stage moment?Curtsying to President Higgins at the Áras last month.

What’s your crowd-pleasing number?I have a song called After This Low that people are keen on. Someone made a video for it on the interweb that shows graphic scenes of violence; it seems rude to ask for it to be taken down.

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a gig ticket?Probably not more than €30. I can’t really deal with the bigger, more expensive gigs, and you can usually hear them for free from miles away anyway.

Chatting between songs – good or bad?I’m a chronic between-song blatherer; Irish audiences expect and demand it. I once went to a Tindersticks gig where they ignored the crowd for the first few songs until someone shouted “Speak to us!”.

Groupies – would you?The closest I get to groupies are earnest, bespectacled blokes who want to discuss High Llamas’ records. They never put out.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea. Barry McCormack plays in Dublin on Thursday.

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