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They Saw They Conquered
Head Saw Doctor Leo Moran shoots the breeze on 20 years of Rock'N'Roll madness
Olaf Tyaransen, 02 Nov 2010
An instantly recognisable everyman, Leo Moran of The Saw Doctors breezes into Galways’s Tigh Neachtain’s pub on a midweek lunchtime, and calls a friendly “howiya” to about five different people before he spots your Hot Press correspondent waiting expectantly in a booth. “Ah, good man, you’re here already,” he says in a Tuam accent undiminished by a million intercontinental motorway miles. “Pint?”
Wearing jeans, white shirt, a black jacket, and his trademark specs, the 45-year-old singer seems just as fresh-faced, jovial and easygoing as he did when he first shot to national fame in 1990 with the now classic Saw Doctors anthem ‘I Useta Love Her’. The years have certainly been a lot kinder to him than certain reviewers have been to his band. But Moran is acutely aware that what the Docs might lack in critical acclaim and kudos, they more than make up for in other ways. Still very much a live concern, they spend at least five months of each twelve out on the road. This year alone, in addition to numerous festival dates, they’ve so far played tours of the UK, America, Australia, Norway and Switzerland. Next month, they’ll be heading off again on another three-week tour of Britain.
Not that you’d necessarily know this from the Irish music media. Although they picked up a Meteor Award (for ‘Lifetime Achievement’) in 2008, the Docs aren’t so much slagged off in the press as almost routinely ignored.
“I often wonder if we were from east of the Shannon would we get more notice, or would there be news that we were selling out two nights in places like the Shepherd’s Bush Empire?” Moran muses. “But I know where the prejudice comes from – people think we’re rural. We were actually very urban kids in Tuam. We thought we were the bee’s knees. And when fellas would come into town on the bus we’d be laughing at their Wellingtons and all that – that was a joke to us. So, it’s a very adolescent, puerile joke, but I understand the angle.”