Ahead of their upcoming rearranged show at Rock City, The Mic got in touch with lead singer of the Saw Doctors Leo Moran to find out exactly what the Irish rockers are all about
How did The Saw Doctors form?
The Saw Doctors formed from the remnants of a melodic
punky band called Blaze X of which Davy Carton was one
of the singers and writers. He, the other singer, Paul Cunniffe
(RIP), Blaze X’s manager, Padraig Stevens and I collaborated
to put together The Saw Doctors’ biggest hit, ‘I Useta Lover’.
Is there a story behind the bands name?
It was a title of false importance given by the manager of the
local Tuam sawmill to an employee who, up to that point, wasn’t
Who would you consider to be your main inspiration behind
It wouldn’t be possible to name anyone above the others – I learn
things and am inspired from all sides; not just musicians and
songwriters but writers and poets and crafty people. Anyone
who is creative really.
Would you say your reputation is built on your live shows or
albums released or indeed both?
Only once has someone said to us they prefer our recorded
versions to our live deliveries. The Saw Doctors are best known
for their live show – that’s what works for our audience and we’re
lucky it’s so.
What was the first music festival you ever went to?
I was at a famous rocky folk festival in a small town in County
Clare called Lisdoonvarna in 1982. Jackson Browne headlined but
Dave Edmunds blew the place away on the day. It was old style
of course; I remember a man standing on a couple of slabs of
beer to see the stage but as the night wore on his vantage point
What’s your favourite venue / city to play?
We’re very lucky in that almost everywhere we get to play ranges
between good and fantastic. There’s no real favourite and
a particularly magic night can come most unexpectedly.
Favourite music festival?
Again, I’ve enjoyed almost all the ones I’ve been at – it was a
great buzz to get to Roskilde in Denmark though.
Do you prefer playing festival sets or more intimate shows?
There are advantages to both – the big show needs a snappy,
theatrical-almost, presentation of the songs and the set – the
smaller shows allow you to develop a more relaxed and
free-flowing relationship with the audience.
What would your five records for a desert island be?
There are three Springsteen albums I love – ‘Darkness on the
Edge of Town’, ‘Nebraska’ and ‘Tunnel of Love’. The Clancy
Brothers and Tommy Makem’s ‘The First Hurrah’ and I’m not
sure after that.
Do you have a favourite song to play live?
That shifts around – it’s usually the newest one or one we
haven’t taken out in a while.
Finally, as it’s the first time I will have seen you live, what can I
expect from a Saw Doctors show?
The Saw Doctors is a rock band with a West of Ireland accent
and vernacular. We play simple, melodic songs with not much
fancy instrumentation – there’ll be songs all across the spectrum
between sad and joyous with singing along, shouting and