The Saw Doctors are an Irish rock band. Since I'm a newcomer to the group, I'll leave the details of their origins and habits to others who may be more qualified. Or, of course, if I'm still into 'em in six months, perhaps add it myself.

I can hear you all now, asking yourselves "So why the writeup, then, custy old bean?"

I'd just like to comment on the band for a moment from my own viewpoint. This viewpoint is a tad...different from most of their fan base, I'm sure. This is because both of their shows that I've attended have been nigh unto overcrowded with fans both young and old; however, in both cases, I've felt a bit alone. At the Avalon ballroom in Boston's Lansdowne street and at The Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Ave. the shows were attended by a uniformly Caucasian and (and most likely Irish) crowd. I, on the other hand, am a large Black Jew. I have received a staggering number of confused looks at these events.

Still, it's nice to know that America works, at least to this extent. I have not yet, at either show, been on the receiving end of any noticeable hostility. Especially given my other experiences in Boston, this is pretty amazing. A couple of thousand Boston Irish with uisge beatha or Guinness in hand, and not one dirty look, shove, or muttered insult. Please don't get me wrong; I'm not making a statement about the Irish. It's just that in my experience, nearly any identifiable ethnic or national group of this size, when gathered for what is essentially an ethnic event, tends to have a couple of 'bad eggs' in the bunch.

Now, it's quite likely that I just didn't run into them, and when the house lights are down I don't stand out that much (I'm fairly light-skinned, and bearded). I have been on the receiving end of Boston racism enough times, however, to be wary in such circumstances.

The Saw Doctors seem to induce a pleasant and cheerful mien in their audiences. This is a rare and wonderful thing, especially when said audience is more than a bit tipsy and the band can run the gamut from energetic Irish rock to fairly haunting ballads. It's a great feeling to be part of a large crowd enjoying a show, when everyone is in a decent mood, and the show is a rollicking good one. I especially enjoy their shows (and perhaps may have an unfair advantage in this) because they're a chance for me, personally, to observe and participate in the enjoyment of a different ethnic group's music and tradition. More power to them, and to the Irish for producing them.

Oh, and I highly recommend the tracks The Green and red of Mayo, (Wish I was on the)N17, Meet me on Clear Island We all are one and Tell me who the Villains Are.

The Saw Doctors are an Irish band formed in 1987. They consist of Davy Carton on guitar and vocals, Leo Moran (again guitar and vocals), Pearse Doherty on bass and vocals and John Donnelly on drums and vocals.

The name Saw Doctors comes from the name that was given to people who travelled around earning money by sharpening saws in Ireland. It was originally intended to be a temporary name until someone came up with something better.

They are probably best described in the bands own words,
"Born into a repressed, catholic, conservative, small town, agrarian, angst-ridden and showband infested society we're trying to preserve the positive elements of our backgrounds and marry them to the sounds which have culturally invaded our milieu through TV, radio, 45's, fast food restaurants, 24 hour petrol stations and electric blankets!"

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