Alexandria Sightings – Saw Doctors: Outstanding in their field


Like most stimulants, fame can become addicting.

According to Davey Carton, lead singer and co-founder of the Irish folk-rock band The Saw Doctors, (wholl pull their musical caravan into the Birchmere on August 9), widespread popularity is a drug that every artist craves, either secretly or openly.

Oh sure, one day wed love to score another hit, said Carton during a recent telephone interview from the small coastal town of Galway, a hidden shipping jewel of the Emerald Isle.

Anyone who tells you they arent is either foolin you or just foolin themselves. Its what we got into this business fer. But even if we dont hit the charts again, well still have fun playing all the songs our fans already know.

One classic the bands fans have come to expect is I Useta Love Her, a lusty number about fantasizing during Catholic mass. While frowned upon by the church, Love Her spent nine weeks at the top of the charts in their homeland, on its way to becoming the best selling single of all time there, besting such fellow countrymen as U2 and Van Morrison.

International success is a bonus Davey Carton never expected would happen while growing up in the small farming community of Tuam (pronounced as 2 a.m. according to Carton).

Leo [Moran] and I set up the band to try and write songs that we loved like those of Buddy Holly, John Fogerty, and Bruce Springsteen. When you grow up in a community of 5,000, you never expect to be anything more than local entertainment.

As for the bands performance philosophy, The Saw Doctors dish out a healthy dose of old-fashioned rock-n-roll.

When we were coming up, we had what were called show bands. Youd show up to a dance hall on a Friday or Saturday night and get two hours of high-energy music. Thats really a tradition we try to carry on. Our simple motto is send em home sweatin and maybe theyll have to buy a T-shirt.

Dirty laundry
This show band has made quite an impression here in the states, where the Doctors have been widely accepted. With four trips to the U.S. last year and two more in 2007, Carton agrees the feeling is mutual.

Theres just a great sense of openness here in America when compared to Europe. Its much easier to build an audience here than it is there. In England, no one under 25 comes to our shows; were not cool enough for em. In Ireland, no one over 25 comes to our shows; they love the loud music we play. But in America, we really are an all ages show since everybody comes out to see us.

As for life on the road so far away from home, Carton finds no reason to complain.

Tourin the States is rockin. The food you have here is awesome. It could be 1 a.m., and usually you can get a hamburger and some headache tablets in almost every town we drive through. As for the laundry, I have to say that the Birchmere has the best set of washers of all the venues well play.

When informed that the Alexandria stop will be the groups first on their late summer trek, the coy Irish boy offered up a sly and snappy reply.

Well then, we might just have to bring a stack of dirties with us.

All shows are at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Tickets available at all Ticketmaster outlets, or contact The Birchmere at 703-549-7500 or visit

Joel Fowler