Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Aren't We Lucky?

It now falls to me to tell you about my favourite band (who have sadly split - but more about that later). I first met them while on a hiking holiday in McGillycuddy Reeks, in County Kerry, Ireland. Well, I say holiday - it was really a trek through the highest peaks of that fair isle, accompanied by Bear Grylls (whom you will remember from This Ain't No Snow Job) who was teaching me how to survive in the wild, all the time reciting the complete works of Sophie Kinsella - just for fun, you understand... he told me he'd go mad if he didn't fill the void with something. I suggested having a conversation but he pooh-poohed the notion.

We reached the summit of Cnoc na PĂ©iste, the peak where in December '43 a USAF Douglas C-47 Dakota crashed on the mountainside. A small plaque commemorates the brave crewmen that perished there and Bear & I were paying tribute to them when the silence and stillness was broken by the sound of ukuleles and snare drum. We spun around sharply to see three fashionably-dressed individuals - two guys, one gal - singing a melancholy tune in tribute also.

We didn't know it at the time, but this was to be a life-changing meeting. 

They called themselves The Lucky Ones. It transpired that they were en route to the nearest pub - in fact, any pub - for a pint and good old-fashioned sing-song, the kind that only the Irish can put on.

We ambled down the mountain towards the nearest road, where we thumbed a lift to Killarney on a passing potato truck. The Lucky Ones introduced themselves.

L to R: Adam, Jayne, Brad
The longer we talked, the more Brad stared at me. Finally he spoke up. "I swear to God I recognize you from somewhere," he declared. "Are you like, some kind of super-spy dude or something?"

"What's it to you?" I riposted, thinking to myself that the cut of his suit marked him out as an individual of which to be wary. "What's it to you" is (was)actually an Unbelieva-code phrase designed to be recognised only by members of our now-massive network of informants and special operatives, and Brad immediately knew I was an Unbelievable, as did Jayne and Adam.

Once it was out in the open that they were part of our global 'club', they shared with me their knowledge and skills.

Not only are they gifted musicians, but it turned out that they were weapons experts...

The hem of that dress is razor-sharp, too. Stand well back, lads. She may just pirouette...

..communications boffins...

Operator? Gimme the front page!

martial arts exponents...

and masters of disguise.

Brad, among other things, is a bona fide scientist, with like, qualifications, letters after his name and stuff. He gave me a tip about Prof. Stephen Hawking which we're still working on. We'll get that man someday, but security is watertight. 

Once we arrived at the pub, the locals spotted the trio's instruments and asked them to play a tune or three. They readily obliged. How they got the drum kit, guitar, ukes and melodica as well as the box of CD's and their three suitcases out of the one steamer trunk they were carrying, I'll never know, but one thing is for sure - they were really well organised, and they knew how to pack light.

They set up in no time at all and suddenly here I was, with Bear, at a full-blown Lucky Ones gig. The way they took such a wide variety of tunes, from Puttin' On The Ritz thru Funky Cold Medina to Billie Jean and The Bear Necessities (Mr. Grylls sure loved that one, and requested it several times before thankfully passing out after copious quantities of Guinness) and turned them into post-modern retro classics was a delight to behold. Adam's subtle, pulsing guitar, Brad's sinuous yet muscular cocktail drums (not to mention his acerbic witticisms, delivered in that highly listenable Connecticut drawl) and Jayne's harmonious warblings, strummings, pluckings and dynamite dance moves had the whole place hopping. At the end of the night, after they'd played for over three hours, the band finally had to stop.

The Luckies became fast friends of The Unbelievables, and their exploits in the world of kicking butt and taking names rival only our own.

Sadly, as I said, these things only last so long. Brad got too big for his boots. In his mind he was far superior to the other two and figured he could be an independent force of one. He now runs his own super-agent service, known simply as "The Brad, Inc." Jayne and Adam wished him well and all three continue to be of service to The Unbelievables even as I write this. Their musical ventures continue also, and you can witness their efforts at Order their CDs - they'll love you for it.

I once asked Jayne, "To what do you owe your success?" 
Her reply was disarming. "We are well behaved, well dressed, affordable and don't take up too much space, electricity or eat too much. We are friendly, organised, rehearsed and talented. And we aren't allergic to anything." Wise words indeed.

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