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WITH a 25th anniversary tour on the go, Ireland’s The Saw Doctors have seemingly risen from the dead – again.
After some years in a bit of a wilderness, the band seem to have been given a new lease of life recently and are undertaking a 21-date UK tour.
They were formed back in 1986 as a trio with Mary O’Connor, Leo Moran and Davy Carton.
Constant touring brought them attention in their native Ireland, where they supported the likes of Hothouse Flowers and The Waterboys.
Their connection with The Waterboys has remained strong as frontman Mike Scott produced their first single, entitled N17, and a number of band members have swapped between the two bands.
The band’s second single, I Useta Lover, topped the Irish charts for nine weeks in 1990 and became Ireland’s all-time best-selling single.
Hay Wrap was another chart-topper a year later.
Albums included If This Is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back (1991), All The Way From Tuam (1992) and Same Oul’ Town (1996).
But the hits seemed to dry up after She Says in 1998.
The band continued to be a successful live attraction with their mix of traditional Irish music and rock ’n’ roll, and they got a reputation as being a ‘good-time’ band.
Interest was rekindled when a reissue of I Useta Lover reached No.7 in 2007; then in 2008 the band was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Meteor Irish Music Awards.
They then appeared on Irish TV’s Podge & Rodge Show and performed the Sugababes’ song About You isn’t too bothered by the band’s years in the chart wilderness.
“We just didn’t write or record the songs that could have been hits. We were busy touring all the time and it didn’t really matter to us.”
He is guarded when I ask him whether he thought the band was a ‘live’ attraction rather than a ‘studio’ band.
“I think the rest of the world sees us as such, and to be honest we have concentrated more on live work than being in the studio.”
This year, the band celebrates a quarter of a century and Leo can’t believe that the band has lasted that length of time.
“Oh no, we just thought that we’d last a few months. We’ve been very lucky. We enjoy playing very much and people like our songs and we like the lifestyle. What’s not to like?”
n Much of the set list at The Brook tomorrow night will be taken from their new retrospective entitled 2525, which is in fact 25 tracks from 25 years and includes a new track, Downtown.