We posted the video from Lady Sovereign's performance at Rickshaw Stop on May 24, but for those who want to skip to the highlights (or lowlights, as it were), she performed a whopping three songs, total.
She stopped her set two songs in to go on a rant about the sound, qualifying her harsh words by saying "I'm not being an asshole, I'm just honest." She then dragged out her complaints, adding, "I will never play here again, I swear that. You'll sound crap here," and that the other bands sounded "amazing" while her set sounded like "someone farted."
The thing is, by her own management's account, that farting sound wasn't the club's fault (and by many accounts, the sound was just fine). In a case of "she who smelt it..." these were issues were of her own making, since Lady Sov had fired her sound person the previous night in Portland, and then missed the soundcheck with her new hire at Rickshaw. (She'd lost her passport in Portland and had to drive down to San Francisco in a van, which her manager said left her "tired" and "not relaxed.") Dan Strachota, Rickshaw's talent buyer--and a SF Weekly contributor--says the rest of the band soundchecked without her and sounded fine.
But that wasn't the end of it. Post-rant, it seems the pint-sized emcee left a monster-sized mess in the Rickshaw's backstage area. "After her show she went backstage and wrecked the green room," says Strachota, "breaking bottles and throwing stuff around."
Sov's manager, Zak Biddu, wasn't at the show but admits that things "got a little messy" in the green room. "She was upset, angry, and disappointed," he says. "She wanted a perfect show in San Fran for her fans and it didn't happen."
Biddu asks that people put her performance in perspective, saying on a world tour like the one she's on, only a "handful" of shows won't go according to plan. "There are some technical issues we are resolving to give her the platform she needs," he says, "but other than that, it's just her perfectionist nature. She wants it to be perfect for the fans and if there are any glitches she get's upset."
Her "perfectionist nature" may make it hard for Lady Sov to find sympathetic bookers in San Francisco--especially after this tantrum came on the heels of a similarly truncated show at Seattle's Easy Street Records. Strachota says that he declined the offer for another Lady Sov date at Rickshaw Stop, adding that "we've had plenty of her." Popscene helped promote the show, and Aaron Axelsen says of Sov, "She offered a makeup show for the Rickshaw and we felt it was in the best interest of everyone if she found another alternative [to be booked through]."
Biddu says Sov Twittered out an apology to her Rickshaw fans, but after so many meltdowns in this city (remember good ol' Jelly Donut?) what her Bay Area fans need more than a 140-character "sorry" is a performance that proves her professionalism.