In July 1990, Reg Aveyard (the banjo player with the Savoy Jazzmen) and I, went to hear a
touring Russian band at Telford’s Warehouse, Chester. The ‘Eight
of the Neva’ from Leningrad (changed back to St. Petersburg in
1991) were a fine Dixieland band who had a great reception from
a packed venue.
The drummer had a tee-shirt with “Life is Music” on the front,
and “Jazz fran Sovjet pa turne” on the back.. At the interval I
asked him if he would swap his tee-shirt for my “Hot Jazz”(with
sousaphone motif) sweatshirt. He went beserk with delight !
Later on he wanted me to sit in on his drums – no way ! Chatting
after the event , the trombonist nudged me, pointed at the
tee-shirt and said ”No Russian – Swedish !” Cyrillic characters
never occurred to us duffers. (And it was made in Brazil.) My
wife thought I was mad – and still does – swapping my sweat
shirt for a tee-shirt.
Later that year at Pete Allen’s Manx Jazz Festival, on the
open-top bus into Douglas, wearing my ‘Russian’ tee-shirt, a
lady tapped me on the shoulder and very slowly said
“Are-you-enjoying-your-holiday-in -the-Isle-of-Man ?” My equally
slow reply “Yes – thank-you, -can -you-
understand-my-Lancashire-accent ?” Mirth all round on the bus.