The Saw Doctors celebrate 30 years of touring UK on ’emotional’ night in London

Renowned Irish band The Saw Doctors have celebrated 30 years of touring the UK with a “special” and “emotional” night in London in front of a sell-out crowd.

A pocket of the capital turned green for the evening as the band returned to play there for the first time in five years.

The Saw Doctors were welcomed to the stage of a packed Brixton Academy by their legion of loyal fans, who had earlier enjoyed a performance by Irish singer Damien Dempsey.

On a night when England fans were watching their team take on the US in the World Cup, much of London’s Irish population appeared to have filled a small corner of the city for a night of music from home.

The show took place in Brixton (Marvey Mills/PA)
The show took place in Brixton (Marvey Mills/PA)

The crowd cheered as The Saw Doctors opened with Green And Red Of Mayo before playing hits including Tommy K and Clare Island.

Leo Moran, lead guitarist and one of the band’s founders, said: “This is a special night, thank you so much.

“It’s emotional.”

The two-hour show featured 27 songs including a seven-song encore.

The biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the band’s best-known hits I Useta Lover and N17.

The group, which counts comedian Peter Kay among their fans, belted out a range of their greatest hits to an appreciative crowd.

The band take the applause of the crowd (Marvey Mills/PA)
The band take the applause of the crowd (Marvey Mills/PA)

Kay, who has Irish heritage, jetted into Dublin in 2010 to help the band launch one of their albums, and told those gathered that night that he and his family had been “massive fans for years”.

Friday night’s gig came to a close with an emotional rendition of I Hope You Meet Again, followed by a chorus of The Beatles’ Hey Jude.

Moran told the crowd at one point: “This communal singing is awful good for the soul, isn’t it?”

The Saw Doctors, who formed in Galway in 1986, have shows in Manchester and Glasgow next month.