If you have no idea who the Saw Doctors are, do have a look-see on YouTube first. Their style of music has been described as punk folk for muck savages, which is fairly accurate. Having said that, though, they’ve just shot to number one in Ireland once again with a cover of ‘About You Now’ (originally by the Sugababes), so draw your own conclusions about the Irish listening public.
Anyway, once a year the Irish invasion hits the Shepherd’s Bush Empire around the beginning of December so that the lads can belt out all their classics to a crowd that this year contained everyone from boogeying biddies to local boys who clearly had no idea what was going on.
I don’t think I’ve ever managed to be at the front *and* in the centre of the mosh pit before. This was where we went wrong, because this was where all the drunken idiots who decided to play human skittles and the tallest selfish fools decided to base themselves. There was a brilliant moment when chief idiot got hauled back and walloped by people behind him and a fight nearly broke out. I’d actually been okay with chief idiot before he started bouncing around, because he tried to point out to the two mountain men at the front that it might’ve been a better and more community-conscious plan for them to stand further back. Hey ho.
The music was pretty damn awesome, despite all that. All the usual stuff, plus ‘About You Now’ and the odd bit of Petula Clark. The band came on to the opening chords from Star Trek, accompanied by blinding white lights. We index fingered to ‘To Win Just Once’, did the alphabetical actions to ‘Tommy K’ and crooned to ‘Clare Island’. You know what you’re getting with a Saw Docs gig. The lights go red and green and it’s off to Mayo, then maroon and white for Galway. Like the Irish side of my own family, the Docs are torn between the two. Membership of the band has changed continually over the last twenty years. Davy Cartan and Leo Moran (pictured) are the two constants, with Davy doing most of the singing, while Leo plays to the crowd and strums away on the guitar, occasionally bounding around the stage. This performance notably featured a few old faces, such as bassist Pearse Doherty.
There’s a new live album and DVD just out, but which only seem available on the official website.