Galway group The Saw Doctors are in the running for the Christmas number one with their recording of Petula Clark’s 1960s hit ‘Downtown’.
The video for the song, which was recorded on the streets of Galway, has attracted over 37,000 views since it was uploaded last week and bookmaker Paddy Power is now offering odds of 3/1 that the single will reach number one in the Christmas charts. The winner of ‘The X Factor’ is favourite to take the top spot at 4/9.
Speaking to the Galway Independent this week, The Saw Doctors manager Ollie Jennings said the Tuam group had begun performing ‘Downtown’ at concerts as part of their song ‘Hay Wrap’, and were astounded at the crowd reaction to it.
“It was getting a great reaction and that’s why we kind of figured it might work at Christmas,” he said.
“We close every concert with ‘Hay Wrap’ but the thing about ‘Hay Wrap’ is it has become a number now which lasts about seven or eight minutes and for a bit of fun at the end of the night we always throw in two or three other songs in the middle of it, little snatches of songs, depending on where we are.
“We originally started the Petula Clark song in England and we couldn’t get over the reaction. We would only do a minute of it, maybe a verse and a chorus,” said Ollie, adding that the song had received a great response at Oxegen this year. “Aside from N17, that was the track that got the most reaction.”
The track was a hit for English singer Petula Clark in 1965, when it sold three million copies, and she agreed to record the song with The Saw Doctors in London at the end of August. Describing the 79-year-old as an “icon”, Ollie said that the group was delighted that she had agreed to contribute to the song.
The Geneva-based singer then filmed her portion of the popular video for the song in Paris at the end of October. “The rest of it then was filmed in Galway and through technology they were able to manipulate it so that it looked like she appeared in Shop Street,” said Ollie, adding that up to 400 revellers gathered on the street at one point during the filming of the video earlier this month.
‘Downtown’ will be released on iTunes on Friday 9 December, when a limited edition CD version will also be available.