Davy Carton is a singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitarist from Tuam, Co. Galway. He is the co-founder of the hugely successful band ‘The Saw Doctors.’
You played in Blaze X in your early years – did you find your passion for music there?
Yeah, I found a like-minded genius that was Paul Cunniffe, along with his friend Paul Ralph and a friend of mine Ja Keating. We had the same ambition to write our own songs, and that’s where it all started for me.
What was it like to tour as support with The Waterboys in 1988 / 1989?
It was a huge change in my life because up until the age of 31, I had been doing shift work in factories. Suddenly we were playing our own songs to a massive Waterboys audience! It was an eye-opening experience and a baptism of fire into the world of touring music. The Waterboys couldn’t have looked after us better, and they encouraged us no end.
The Saw Doctors topped the Irish charts with ‘I Useta Lover’ for nine consecutive weeks. Did you think from an early stage that the band could go a long way?
Looking back to that time, it was all very surreal. We weren’t really thinking too much about the future, just trying to enjoy the moment. We did what we’ve always done. Make it up as we go along!
Do you get nervous before going on stage?
I used to in the early days, but mostly these days, it’s more excitement. It’s always good, though, to have a bit of nerves. It gives me an adrenaline rush and stops me from taking it for granted. It’s why we always try to put on the best show every night. Contrary to what some people might think, we never drink before a gig, but we might have a few celebratory beers after!
In February 2008, The Saw Doctors received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards. What did that mean to you and the band?
Having our music recognised and rewarded in that fashion was such a privilege. I felt very humbled and still do.
How did The Saw Doctors manage during the pandemic?
We had been off the road for a bit of a break anyway prior to the pandemic. Once it was safe enough to meet in small groups of people, myself and Leo would sit down together a couple of days a week and write some new material. It was great to not have the pressures of touring to get some new ideas down.
Looking back at your career so far, what are you most proud of?
There are so many things I’m proud of in our career, too many to list, but the one that sticks out the most was playing in the Royal Albert Hall in London and seeing my Mam and Dad sitting in the Royal Box! They had spent 25 years living in the UK, where I was born. We came back to Ireland when I was a small child.
This was the first time they’d been back to London, and it was to see The Saw Doctors. I was so choked up; the first few songs were hard to sing! It still gets me now.
What’s your favourite non-Saw Doctors song?
There are too many to list, but if I had to choose, it’d be Teenage Kicks by The Undertones.
What is the best concert venue you have played at?
The Barrowlands in Glasgow is hard to beat, but wherever we play, it’s the crowd that makes it special.
Have you ever thought about writing a book about your career?
It wouldn’t be something I’d think about while we’re still rockin ’n’ rollin! It might be something for the future. It’d probably make a good story.
What do you like to do away from music? Hobbies?
I love football and my family. Simple but priceless.