The Saw Doctors @ O2 Academy, 15/04/17

Being a 20 year old student, it probably seems odd that I jumped at the chance of going to see a band that has a fan base of mostly people aged 40+ with my dad. However, having Irish grandparents means I’ve grown up listening to The Saw Doctors and seeing them live brought back a flood of nostalgia from family trips to Ireland.

Upon entering the O2 Academy, it became apparent that I was probably the youngest person there, aside from a few moody children who’d obviously been dragged along by their parents. I have to say, I felt a little out of place. However, as soon as The Saw Doctors took to the stage this feeling washed away immediately. For anyone that has any Irish roots, you’ll probably understand the warm feeling that comes with being surrounded by fellow Irish men and women singing their hearts out to well known songs. Opening with ‘What A Day’, the crowd erupted in song and I quickly realised the enormity of The Saw Doctors’ fan base. The audience knew pretty much all of the lyrics off by heart, and the noise only got louder as the well known classics ‘Green and Red of Mayo’ and ‘Joyce Country Ceili Band’ were played. The piercingly melodic sounds coming from saxophone player Anthony Thistlethwaite were a particular highlight for me and his solos left me genuinely astounded as to how anyone’s lungs could withstand such a high amount of pressure.

Something that irritates me about a lot of gigs that I go to is that they are over way too fast but The Saw Doctors made sure to appreciate their fans by playing a set that lasted around two hours, with an encore of over four songs! Lee Moran and Davy Carton made sure they engaged the audience by taking on the role of entertainers and at one point even imitated Snoop Dogg, encouraging the audience to chant “Put your motherfucking hands up” — something I thought I’d never hear my dad say.

Although this isn’t the typical type of music that I’d usually see live, the gig was above and beyond what I expected and I now understand why the band have managed to maintain their fan base for 30+ years.

Phobe Berman

Image: The Journal

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