What's on your rider? Maria Doyle Kennedy


What’s on your rider?Wine, honey and a smile. NB: note to venues – your hangover/bad mood is not the welcome I’m expecting.

What would be on your fantasy rider? The Kyoto Drummers.

What’s your pre-gig ritual/ routine? A hellish amount of pacing,

What are your favourite and least favourite venues?More and more we’re starting to make our own venues, finding places we feel are nice to be in and knowing it would work for us and for an audience. Hook lighthouse is the most recent example – that’s great. The worst are always down to someone’s bad attitude. Sometimes the staff in very busy venues are jaded by the turnover of musicians and feel they are doing you a favour somehow. Spare me.

Who is the most famous person to have shown up at one of your gigs?Bob Dylan came to see a band that opened for us once. For the whole gig we thought he was there, but he left after they finished.

What’s your crowd-pleasing number?Everybody still asks for Stars Above.

Chatting between songs – good or bad?Necessary, as there are a lot of guitar tunings. But never stuff you don’t mean. The sound people make when they do the “shtick” thing is awful.

Groupies. Would you?What a ridiculous notion.

Have you a special stage wardrobe?I’m locked into green sequins at the moment, but they’re about to fall apart so a change is coming. I’m very superstitious, so I associate clothes with good gigs and find it hard to let them go.

Any useful stage tips?Mean what you do up there.

If you could be in any other band, which one?Midlake in the Van Occupanther stage

Who’s invited to your aftershow party?Our amazing family and friends who have been a constant support for over 20 years – and Panti, and anyone else she cares to bring.

What’s your best tour story?The first time we went to the US a fight broke out one night between two band members. They were making a lot of noise so Kieran, in an attempt to shut it down, announced that he was going to shoot the next person who shouted. The next thing we knew the hotel was crawling with NYPD, and everyone was on the corridor talking about some crazy sniper action.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea. Maria Doyle Kennedy plays Kilkenny tomorrow