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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


Scots summer garden party, with attitude!
John Roche
Photos by Bill Mathews

Arranging another Stramash (a rowdy assembly perhaps!) is just a walk in the park for you, I commented to Alan Thompson, the Chieftain, as we entered the Marriott Royal Hotel where the imported visiting artists were staying, courtesy of our old friend Tony Fardon. Hum! Its not quite that, he replied with a knowing smile. The last three years the event has taken place at the British Ambassadors residence, but they have the decorators in, so its a new venue. But thankfully, still whisky galore! Even with the big label issue, Be Famous, as the Famous Grouse promotion goes, and for you, John, we have Tennants lager and loads of wine for the ladies!

Yuri Navarro from Santa Fe did the full on BBQ again! What a star! I strolled through the Hermitage Gardens to the strains of the pipes, passed a group of wedding couples having their photographs taken by a Heart shaped sculpture and found the Coca Cola bouncy castle. Alans team think of everything! I noted the American Clinics ambulance discreetly on hand again, but thankfully not required. The childrens entertainment by Marias Children and The Taganka Childrens Fund (Charities supported by the St Andrew Society) included clowning, face painting and setting out their well-planned games program.

Bill Mathews, the Scottish entertainer who performed at the 2003 Stramash, returned this year wearing his M2M2 cap. He co-founded the company in 2003 and they acted as agent and artists liaison to bring top duo, Craig and Charlie Reid, otherwise knows as The Proclaimers, to Moscow as guests of the St Andrew Society this year.

Welcome to the summer Stramash, announced Greg Summers, who opened the day in his inimitable Glaswegian, and with his arsenal of music, I couldnt catch him out on any music requests. Scotlands number one band, which just played Tea in the Park in Scotland to 75,000, will be on at six The Proclaimers!

A dream come true, I remembered Alan saying earlier. They had walked more than their famous 500 miles that day and it was worth it. P.S. to see more knees than you can shake a stick at, come to the St Andrew Ball on November 25th. Book early its always a sell out!

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