The Saw Doctors 

With Stonelakes. Friday, March 16, at the House of Blues.

The Saw Doctors are sometimes compared to U2. This is based on the fact that 1) they're Irish and 2) they're not the Chieftains. But in reality, the Saw Doctors -- possessing the unbridled determination of a veteran bar band from the west of Ireland -- are as folk-rock as any band who was ever booed off the stage at Newport.

Despite opposition from the Catholic church, the band's second single, "I Useta Love Her," detailing a lusty romance during mass, became Ireland's all-time- biggest-selling single. The Doctors' contentious relationship with the Church is also evident in the chorus of "Howya Julia," a tune about the disgraced Bishop of Galway: "Oh mighty, mighty Lord almighty/It's off with the collar and off with the nightie/Jesus, Mary, and holy Saint Joseph/The beads are rattling now."

In addition to U2, critics regularly cite the pop sensibilities of the Beatles and the Byrds, and a Springsteen-like use of everyday characters and situations. In "I'd Love to Kiss the Bangles," however, the band pays tribute to an influence that hits closer to home: "And Shane McGowan's not my type/Because his teeth are green and mangled/But Jesus Christ Almighty! I'd love to bang the Bangles!"

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