The Saw Doctors @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

Live Reviews | Dec 19th, 2006

Saw Doctors
Photo by Bryan Kremkau

Opening Bands: Stonelakes
Date: December 9th 2006
Venue: Shepherds Bush Empire, London, UK

This was the fourth time I saw the Saw Doctors, and it’s about time I saw them somewhere else besides New York City. I was hoping the band would perform some different songs because the last 2 times they had a similar set list. They played most of the songs I heard in the recent past, but they also broke into a few I haven’t heard before live or at all.

I saw the Levellers at Shepherds Bush last year and knew the venue was a decent place to see the band. I wanted to get their early to get a decent spot to see the show. I waited online in the rain, shooed away beggars & bootleggers, and eventually made my way into the venue. I got a spot in this little corner by the bar, which would soon be a mistake. As soon as I sat there, a bunch of old people came right behind me and were literally hovering over me so I moved and went to a different spot. I decided to see the Saw Doctors in the standing section because I wanted to dance in my spot (with little room I had). Besides, the back area seemed like a big noisy smoke box, which was where my brother and his fiance were standing. At least there’s more open air in the crowd. I’m just not use to the smoky clubs since New York thankfully has that smoking ban.

The opening band was another Tuam band, called Stonelakes. They were actually pretty good and got the crowd (myself included) dancing to their music. The singer had a good voice, and I didn’t realize 2 of the members of the band were brothers until Leo of Saw Doctors pointed that out to the crowd when they were playing. Their sound was a bit of folk, a little bit rock; something similar to the headliner. I’d definitely recommend checking out those guys if they play a venue, pub, whatever near you. To hear some songs, check out their myspace page here: Every band that I’ve seen open for the Saw Doctors, I’ve become an instant fan so the Saw Doctors really know how to find some great opening bands. Well except one female singer that opened in BB Kings, I didn’t like her music at all.

By the time the Saw Doctors came on, the crowd was ready to go and packed in like sardines. The Saw Doctors came out and opened with the usual “The Green and Red of Mayo.” The crowd raised some Red & Green flags in the audience, or at least in my area. The band played Me Without You from their newest album “The Cure” and I think it’s their best song on that album. They also played “Stars Over Cloughanover” from that album as well. They played some songs I’ve heard but that’s okay since I haven’t seen them since March. They did play a few songs I haven’t heard before or haven’t heard them do live yet. They played their new download single “She’s got It” and that sounded pretty good. I liked Leo’s comments about burning the song for a friend on a CD, even though it’s illegal but then again one song isn’t going to make a band going starving. They played “You Got Me on the Run” and “D’ya Wanna Hear My Guitar,” which I haven’t heard before and hope they continue to play some older & less-played songs in the future. They did the notables like “N17,” “I Useta Love Her,” “To Win To Just Once,” “Share the Darkness,” “Galway & Mayo,” and “Clare Island.” During the set, the guys from Stonelakes came on stage and did an older song that was written by Paul Cunniffe called “Everybody Dreams”. That can be heard on the B-sides Saw Doctors album and it’s a song I love! I was really happy and shocked to hear it being played at the show, but the guys from Stonelakes did a fantastic job of covering it with the Saw Doctors. The band also did a few rock covers like “Bang a Gong,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” They finished the encore with “Hay Wrap,” which they usually end with. The band was in great form that night and if you haven’t seen the saw Doctors yet, do yourself a favor and check a rockin’ good Irish rock n roll band!


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