updated 8 May 2012, 13:33
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Mon, Apr 02, 2012
The New Paper
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Rocker mummy
by Tan Kee Yun

With her tribal tattoos, dark eyeliner and multiple ear piercings, it's hard to visualise Dolores O'Riordan as a dedicated homemaker who regularly unleashes her motherly instincts.

But the charismatic frontman of Irish rock band The Cranberries tells The New Paper she genuinely enjoys the day-to-day mummy routine of looking after the needs of her three children, Taylor, 13, Molly, 10, and Dakota, 5.

"Joining babies' playgroups, volunteering at my children's schools, going on school tours, I've done all that stuff," said the 40-year-old in a phone interview yesterday from Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, where she and her band mates are staying before their concert here on Monday.

"It actually keeps me busy and I really appreciate it... Our kids are God's gift to us."

The veteran four-piece outfit, adored for their 90s chart-topping hits such as Linger, Zombie and Dreams, arrived in Singapore on Thursday night.

After a sold-out ticketed performance here last August, the band - which includes guitarist Noel Hogan, 40, 38-year-old bassist MikeHogan and drummer Fergal Lawler, 40 - are back.

Touring kids?

Gone are the days when O'Riordan's tykes would follow her on tour around the world.

"When they were much younger, I used to have them come along with me, but after a while, they reached a certain age where they needed to go to school and make friends with other kids," she said.

"It's not normal and healthy for them to spend so much of their time in tour buses."

The quartet, on the whole, has scaled back its touring activities due to personal commitments.

"In the past, it was common for us to stay on the road for up to six months... It's different now, all of us are married and at the end of the day, we want to return home to our families," said O'Riordan.

But they now tour "a maximum of four to five weeks at a stretch".

She added: "Too much of anything is boring and motherhood keeps me grounded.

"In my younger days, I worked so hard that I found it hard to relax, even when I could take a break."

So have any of her children inherited her excellent music genes and are able to deliver The Cranberries' classic tunes with gusto?

"No, they don't sing our songs, but my daughter (Molly) plays the piano very well," said O'Riordan, whose husband is Don Burton, British rock group Duran Duran's former stage manager.

"And she plays the flute too."

Last week, the foursome - who are back with a new studio album, Roses, after a 11-year hiatus - upset some of their Australian fans when they cancelled the Sydney leg of their tour 15 minutes before the gig was slated to start.

In an official statement released to the media, The Cranberries explained that O'Riordan had come down with food poisoning and was too "unwell" to perform.

The band subsequently rescheduled its concert two days later.

"My tummy was giving me problems for a couple of days and I was puking all over," she recalled.

"Of course we felt bad that we couldn't go on with the show, but to look on the bright side, there are worse things that have happened in life!"

As it turns out, she has experienced more serious mishaps in her two decade-long rock and roll career.

"I (bust) my knee during a concert 16 years ago," she said.

"It happened right on stage, when I was jumping around.

"After that incident, I didn't do my physiotherapy properly and as a result, even till today, the pain in my knee comes and goes. It gets really sore at times."

What: The Cranberries Live In Singapore

When: Monday, 8pm

Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium

Tickets: $98, $138, $168 and $198 from Sistic (6348-5555 or

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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