The Saw Doctors

The Saw Doctors

The Saw Doctors released fifteen albums, achieved nineteen top-thirty hits, are renowned world-wide for their energetic live performances and a line-up which has continuously vacillated over the decades. They have had a long and successful career, which continues to grow, in music in both their home country and internationally.

The begining of the Saw Doctors

Originally there was three members to the band when it was first formed in 1986, Leo Moran (founder), Davy Carton and Mary O’Connor. The trio hailed from Tuam, a town located to the north of Galway City. Within the first two initial years of finding their feet within the music scene The Saw Doctors found themselves supporting other notable Irish musicians such as the Hothouse Flowers.

Mary O’Connor soon left the group which left Moran and Carton, who both had musical backgrounds and were in other bands previous to joining The Saw Doctors (this in turn may have opened a few doors a lot quicker than usually found in the music industry), with the task of finding a replacements.

The Saw Doctors release their first single

By 1989 they had released their first single “N17”, which was produced by frontman of The Waterboys, another Irish music group which would cross paths more than once in the future of the Saw Doctors due to the fact that two of its band members would also become members of The Saw Doctors eventually. “N17”, unfortunately did not reach the charts on its initial release although it is recognised today as the bands anthem thanks to their efficacious appearance at the Féile music festival in Thurles, County Tipperary in 1990.

I Useta Lover

1990 was to be a good year for The Saw Doctors as it also seen them receive their first number 1 hit with “I Useta Lover” an energetic and uplifting song which would become Ireland’s all-time best selling single after staying nine weeks at number one.

By Christmas of 1990 “N17” was at number 1 after being released after the triumph of “I Useta Lover”. In 1991 they released their first album If This Is Rock and Roll, I Want My Old Job Back and their successfulness continued as it hit the top of the charts in Ireland at number 1.

Top of the music charts

The Saw Doctors were now an established group in Ireland’s main stream music industry and with the accomplishments over the previous two years they then released their second album in 1992 entitled All the way from Tuam.

All The Way From Tuam seen them reach the charts again with another number 1 single entitled “Hay Wrap”. At this time, the group were under the management of Warner Music, however after All The Way From Tuam was released they began a new venture on their own by launching Shamtown Records. It was after this bold move that they found quiet success in the UK music charts. “Small Bit of Love” became a top 30 hit and led the group to perform on BBC’s Top of the Pops.

International fame

The group worked on their third album and in 1996 Same Oul’ Town was released in to the charts and peaked at number 6. There was a period after this however when The Saw Doctors went low key with the chart hits and it was around this time that the many changes to the group line up took place. Although there were many changes being made the band had a few successful tours in the UK and across the water in the USA. Today they still tour all over America, the UK and Ireland with great success and hold a fiercely loyal non-official fan-base.

In the next sixteen years, The Saw Doctors went on to release twelve more albums, four of which were compilations and three were recorded live. Playing festivals such as Glastonbury and Oxegen seen the group brought back into the mainstream music scene and in 2008 they were awarded the Meteor Irish Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award.

After performing the British girl band, Sugababe’s ‘About You Now’ live on television prior to the Award ceremony, the group decided to release it as a single after a lot of positive feedback and in October 2008 they reached number 1 in Ireland once again.

With Leo Moran and Davy being the only consistent band members, Today The Saw Doctors consist of Kevin Duffy, Anthony Thistlethwaite and Rickie O’Neill, still give high energy and electric performances, singing many of their top hits to crowds of fans all over the world. Currently doing their winter tour in the UK, The Saw Doctors show no intention of slowing down. Combining their new music with their fantastic previous hits they are unfailingly pleasing their followers wherever they are.

Links to The Saw Doctors:

This article was first published on 30-11-2015 and last modified on 19-03-2017.

About the Author

Róisín Anraí

Róisín Anraí was born and raised in Ireland. She loves to travel in her spare time but also enjoys learning local history, telling ghost stories, and sharing her favorite Irish recipes. She has no problem telling stories with those who are willing to listen.

Róisín is a regular contributor and author for