Tattoo's debt to Moscow's generals

AS THE Edinburgh Military Tattoo packs up its mega-stands after yet another sell-out show, bringing an estimated £80 million to the £4.1 billion Scottish tourist economy, the organisers will be especially grateful to the Band of the Moscow Military Conservatory. Not only did they steal the show with a skilful and hilarious performance, but they could almost have been said to have saved it as well, flying in to replace a US band that pulled out because of military commitments.

Vitaly Mironov, the irrepressible Scotophile impresario, who next month stages Kremlin Zoria, the first ever Edinburgh-style tattoo in Moscow Red Square explains: "Military bureaucracy and the short notice did not make it easy but we decided to do our best and explain to the generals in Moscow that the Tattoo are our friends. This is real life, we know how it is, we decided to do our best for them.

"Call it military solidarity, it's a great honour for us, that you trust us to help out by sending you the best band."

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All the more appreciated given that relations between London and Moscow are, er, hardly at their cosiest right now.


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