If you haven't heard of them, you have no interest at all in Irish folk music. Lunasa are a world famous band, selling out most of their venues. They travel extensively, but when they are within 150 miles of me, I get a ticket to see them. Last Wednesday they appeared at Nottingham University (a sell out), and I was in the second row.
Anyway, after the last time I'd seen them, at Litchfield, I was my usual gushing self about the performance. Mind you, it is always perfection. I jokingly sent a; 'Jim'll fix it' email to their site for me to play with them on stage (one of my hobbies is playing the bodhran, or Irish drum). It was very tongue in cheek, and I just forgot about it.
I checked my emails just before going on Wednesday, and there was one from Tracy Crawford (the lead of the band's other half, I guess), saying my email had only just been seen, then going on to apologise that there was NO WAY Lunasa could invite an unknown onto the stage without practice, knowing ability, etc etc. She was very nice about it, and I was a bit embarrassed, as I hadn't really expected them to agree to it.
Anyway, off I went to Nottingham University's Djanogly theatre. First half, fantastic, second half, just as good, then they came back for the encore, and Kevin suddenly announced they were going to dedicate this last song to Les Singleton (yours truly). I was stunned, to say the least, but what happened next was he got me up, took me to the stage, (for some bizarre reason made me put on one of those Day-Glo vests), and then the band struck up. I was given the drum, and off we went!
It was a dream come true, and I think I 'held my own'. I even got a smile & a wink from the usually dour Cillean Vallely - praise INDEED! Sean Smith looked over and winked too, and that really put me at ease. Well, after our little number, the auditorium erupted, and I was SO proud! Here I was, in such fantastic company, me - and I had actually played along with Lunasa.
Does it get any better?