Saw Doctors take a sabbatical amid uncertain future

Saw Doctors’ fans will be disappointed to learn that the legendary Tuam band are on an extended sabbatical and will not be touring for the rest of 2013. The band, who have just returned from a tour of the States, took the decision last November, according to manager Ollie Jennings.

They plan to return to the music scene in 2014, but no date has been set for this.

“We are hoping to be back, but I can’t predict the future,” said Mr Jennings. “Life is very volatile at the moment, particularly in the music industry.”

He denied there were tensions within the band and said the decision to take a break had been taken by the three people who run the Saw Doctors – Davy Carton, Leo Moran and himself.

Davy Carton, who currently lives in London, and Leo Moran are founding members of the band and are the Saw Doctors’ creative force. The Saw Doctors rose from the ashes of the Tuam punk scene in the 1980s and came to prominence in the late 1980s when they were spotted by the Waterboys while gigging in the Quays Bar.

They went on to support the Waterboys in 1988 and scored their first big hit with I Useta Lover in 1991. That was followed by N17, which was their first single, although it only received cult status when it was rereleased.

During their 35 years on the road, the line-up of the Saw Doctors has changed several times. Previous members include John ‘Turps’ Burke, Padraic Stevens, Pearse Doherty, Johnny Donnelly and Lotto winner Tony Lambert, but Davy and Leo have always at the core of the group.

Right now they are tired, says Mr Jennings.

“We’ve had a very busy two and a half years and have been a bit under pressure because CD sales have almost come to nil in the music business. We are relying totally on live work and we have done 30 per cent additional live work in the last couple of years”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune