From Red Square to South Shore

Members of the Russian Military Band at Blackpool Town Hall.  Pictured is Alexei Yurchavka with town crier Barry McQueen.
Members of the Russian Military Band at Blackpool Town Hall. Pictured is Alexei Yurchavka with town crier Barry McQueen.
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Watch out, the Russians are invading! But do not worry – this is all to do with a musical revolution.

The world-renowned White Russian Central Band – formerly known as the Red Army Band – took a tour of the Fylde coast, visiting the Comedy Carpet, South Shore and Blackpool Town Hall for a special civic reception.

Blackpool mayor Coun Val Haynes hosted the event on Tuesday, alongside her Fylde and Wyre counterparts Coun Kevin Eastham and Coun Ron Shewan.

Among those who helped to organise the event was town crier Barry McQueen.

He said: “It has been absolutely fantastic – a fantastic day.We got the chance to go inside the town hall and walk out onto the balcony.

“The performers absolutely loved it. It was great to see such a turn-out.”

The White Russian Central Band visited the Fylde coast last year and played at Lowther Pavilion.

They are well known as ambassadors for Belarus and the Russian Federation, but rarely have the chance to visit these shores.

The band – which is based in Belarus – includes some of the best performers Russia has to offer, and as one of the best known military orchestras in the world, it successfully combines traditional Russian folk music with a wide range of modern big band favourites and international music.

Mr McQueen added: “The day could not have gone better.

“They were all impressed by their visit to the Fylde coast. The band arrived in the UK on Saturday and will perform at the Birmingham Military Tattoo at the weekend.

“I also have to thank Morrisons in South Shore which fed the band – all in all it was a fantastic day.”

Members of the band were joined by solo artists from the Bolshoi ballet before performing at Marine Hall, in Fleetwood, on Tuesday night. It is the start of a busy few days for the band as they travel to Redditch, Leeds, Telford, Kidderminster and Folkestone before their weekend performance in the Midlands.