We Struck Lucky wow their fansBy Caroline Cook
May 03, 2012
When it comes to Reading’s famous alumni, Kate Winslet leads the way for the actors and Ricky Gervais does it for the comedians, but there is a gaping hole in the town’s exports as no local band has managed to make it to the big time.
Although the town has bands like Amys Ghost who are on the verge of making it big, no local group has yet made it to superstardom.
But, with a little bit of luck, everything could be about to change.
When I meet We Struck Lucky in their garage-turned-studio just outside of Reading, they’re already looking like a boyband, lounging on the sofa as our photographer snaps away.
Made up of 17-year-old lead singer Dan Bartlett, whose voice has more than a hint of Gavin DeGraw, and pals bassist Andrew Burge, 17, and drummer James Mackenzie, 22, We Struck Lucky are following in the footsteps of bands like One Direction who are reviving pop and getting it to the top of the charts.
And We Struck Lucky have already had a hint of boyband mania after performing to a crowd of screaming girls at Wycombe High School last summer.
“We played a few covers and wrote a few songs and we got such a good response,” says Dan, who is studying for his A-levels at The Piggott School in Wargrave with Andrew.
“We felt like we were in One Direction. It was quite surreal.”
After going down a storm with the audience in High Wycombe – “That was the first time I’ve been asked for my autograph,” adds James – the guys landed another gig at Queen Anne’s School in Caversham.
“They were all screaming and wanting photos,” says Andrew, still hardly able to believe the response from their first gig.
The guys named themselves Miami Block for the Wycombe gig, sounding a bit like a bad 80s cop show.
“None of us have been to Miami so it wouldn’t have worked out,” laughs James.
It wasn't long before the band decided to change their name – “because you need a bit of luck in the industry” – and landed another gig at Republic in The Oracle.
With the new name in place, the guys set their focus on recording demo tracks in Dan’s garage studio, coming up with catchy You’re All I Want, slower tune Never Leave, and A Night to Remember, which is destined for commercial radio success.
“We are three normal guys. We’ve not had a bad life and we’ve not had any terrible experiences so we wanted to write something we could relate to,” says Dan. “We’re just talking about relationships and parties and going out.”
With their demos in the bag, We Struck Lucky are looking forward to going into the studio to record a professional EP when they finish their A-levels this summer, and when James finishes his final year at Warwick University studying engineering.
“People wonder why he’s wasting his amazing mind on music,” jokes Dan, but James adds that music is all he wants to do.
“We are excited to just play music and for people to hear us,” he adds.
And the guys say they are ready for the One Direction-style mania if things take off.
“I don’t think anyone can prepare for it, but if it were to happen, well that’s what we’re doing this for,” says Dan.
“It happens already to Andy,” laughs James. “Grocery shopping is a nightmare.”
Although the idea of being chased down the street by a gaggle of girls is something the guys can’t quite picture yet, when they play their version of Jessie J’s Domino, which has clocked up 1,000 YouTube views in a week, you can’t help but think if their records fall into the right hands it won’t be that long till they’re being mobbed by fans.
As I sit in the studio listening to them play an acoustic version of A Night to Remember and a cover of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night, the penny drops that soon there could be thousands of fans wishing they were sitting right where I am.
It’s about time Reading got its famous musical alumni, and with a stroke of luck the newest boy band in town might just be it.