Jazz meets Jazz
( Now there's an unusual story )

Cyril Wroe (Festival Jazzmen, Blackpool), and his wife Nora, went down to spend the weekend with their son and family in Ashbourne. Now around this time of the year Ashbourne is home to the largest Highland Games event outside Scotland, and to get the flavour who better to entertain the locals than Scottish folk singer, Isla St Clair. Cyril's son had bought tickets for the event, and whilst waiting for it to start, Cyril couldn't help noticing that the sound engineer was playing Dixieland Jazz tapes. So Cyril popped over to him to enquire about his interest. "Well, I'm Bill Bailey and I have a jazz band", he was informed. Cyril introduced himself as they had both heard of each other but never met before. Sensing that Cyril might be wondering how he had suddenly become a 'roadie' for Isla, Bill proceeded to tell Cyril this amusing little story.

Apparently, Isla St Clair's agent rang the venue asking if sound checks had been carried out on the pa system. "Can't do that until you bring your P.A.", was the reply. "What P.A.", said the agent, "You are supposed to supply that".

A moment of panic ensued and as the venue organiser left the building to ring round for a PA, who should drive by in his big white van with "Bill Bailey Jazz Band" painted on the side, but Richard (Bill) Bailey himself. The guy jumped into his car chasing Richard down the road, eventually stopping him. "Does your band have a PA system", asked the chap? "Yes", said Bill. "Do you have a gig booked for tonight?", was the next question. "No", said Bill. "Then can I book your P.A?", came the reply.

And that's how two jazz musicians who knew of each other, but never met before, finally caught up with each other.

A strange encounter if ever there was one.

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