, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Award-winning theatre maker premieres new show in Paisley


Paisley is set for a unique Halloween spectacular as multi-award-winning visual theatre maker Al Seed holds the world premiere of his latest solo show The Tapping as part of the town’s winter festivities.


The show – a gothic-horror melodrama based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – is part of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and taking place during its Halloween festival, in Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October.

Al – a former artist in residence at Glasgow’s The Arches – is a critically-acclaimed performer who designed his latest performance based upon a long-term fascination with the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and elements from Greek myths.


The show is one of the first to be funded through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – a five-year £500k programme to transform the town’s creative scene and build up cultural capacity during the Paisley 2021 bid.

Paisley 2021 Project Director Jean Cameron said: “For an artist as well respected as Al Seed to premiere his new show here is a major coup for Paisley ahead of the bid going in next year – and it just highlights our growing reputation as one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations.

“We are delighted the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has enabled Al to create this original piece of work and I would recommend you book early for what is sure to be a fantastic spectacle in one of Paisley’s iconic venues.”

The Tapping is described as ‘drawing upon the myth of Orpheus’ descent into the underworld’ and will ‘take its audience down a hallucinatory spiral of madness’ within the stunning backdrop of Paisley Town Hall.

The show relies heavily upon strong visual and design elements, original music, and the space in which it is set, while drawing upon the history and conventions of gothic-horror literature and art, and related genres.

Al Seed added: “I am delighted to be presenting the debut of The Tapping at Paisley Town Hall and in support of the Paisley 2021 bid.

“This past year it has been wonderful to receive so much support in the making of the show; especially from the staff at Paisley Arts Centre, Johnstone Town Hall, and Paisley Town Hall itself. I am now really looking forward to sharing the finished results.”

The Tapping will be at Paisley Town Hall from 26 to 27 October. Tickets – costing £10 and £6 – are available now at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by calling 0300 300 1210.

The show is being produced by FERAL Arts in association with Renfrewshire Leisure. Supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Events and Heritage Fund as part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021

Paisley’s Halloween festival is free to attend and runs from Friday 28 until Saturday 29 October and will feature a spectacular lantern-lit parade through the town and a fire garden of flame-breathing sculptures. More information at www.paisley2021.co.uk

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mhairi Black MP for Paisley South Interview

Mhairi Black MP
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley Buddie to play it right in Manhattan


A Paisley playwright is set to deliver performances of her play in New York as part of an international theatre exchange after receiving support from the Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF).


Karen Herbison at Glasgow Airport departures on her way to New York

Karen Herbison, who operates as H-arts, will put on performances of ‘Say You Love Me’ just a stone’s throw from the famous Broadway theatre district later this month. The play has previously been a success at the world renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

H-arts was one of the first recipients of support from CHEF which is a key component of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021. The £500,000 fund was created with the aim of unlocking Renfrewshire’s creative potential by helping the region’s cultural community run its own events and projects in the build up to the bid.

‘Say You Love Me’ will be produced by Mind The Gap Theatre- who boast revered actresses Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Judi Dench on their board of advisors. The production company are well known for taking the best of British theatre to New York every year- with productions ranging from short plays to full length features.

Karen and the team from her production company, Punch Productions, will put on three performances at the distinguished Duplex venue, known as an international destination for arts and entertainment. While in New York, Karen will also attend a number of theatrical workshops and meetings with the local cultural community to help generate interest in and support for Paisley 2021.

Upon her return from the USA, Karen aims to take ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of Renfrewshire’s high schools. She will also deliver creative workshops, covering many aspects of the writing process, to pupils studying Higher and Advanced Higher English.

‘Say You Love Me’ offers the audience a unique experience as it’s a theatrical performance which can take place in any public setting. Since writing the play in 2008, Karen has staged performances with the help and support of her Punch Production colleagues, Cheri Smith and Jon Cuthbertson, in a wide variety of venues, including most recently Bernie’s Café in Bridge of Weir.

Taking place in a restaurant setting, this current run of the play is designed to let the audience get close and listen in to what is happening at an adjacent table where the cast are playing out the story.

Critics have described ‘Say You Love Me’ as intimate, funny, explosive and poignant.

Karen Herbison said: “I’m incredibly excited about taking my play to New York and giving audiences there an experience of culture which has been created in Paisley. Since writing the play, it has always been a dream of mine to have it performed off Broadway and the support from CHEF has made that possible.

“I would encourage any Renfrewshire-based groups with ambitions of getting local people actively involved in cultural activities to apply to the Culture, Heritage and Events and Fund. It is a great initiative which is helping to make culture more accessible across Renfrewshire.”

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “We’ve had an amazing response to our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, showing that there is a real appetite to get involved in culture across Renfrewshire.  Karen and H-arts is a prime example of that and I wish her all the best in New York and upon her return when she takes ‘Say You Love Me’ on a tour of our schools in Renfrewshire.”

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is taking place as part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and the one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in spring 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They’re good sports for backing Paisley’s City of Culture bid

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

THE team running sports and leisure activities in Renfrewshire is backing Paisley’s bid to win City of Culture status in 2021.

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Renfrewshire Leisure board members and senior management team backing Paisley City of Culture bid are, from left, Joyce McKellar, Mark Tokeley, Colin Neill, Bob Darracott, Fiona Naylor, Morag Macpherson, Ann Butterfield, Kirsty Devine and John Rodge

Yesterday, board members of Renfrewshire Leisure – the management trust that runs sports, leisure and cultural centres locally – spelled out exactly why they support the bid.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have no doubt that Paisley’s rich heritage allied to the vibrant cultural activities Buddies are presently involved in and the fantastic plans for the future, merit City of Culture status.
“Sport, whether in participating or spectating, plays a huge part in the culture of our town. And we at Renfrewshire Leisure, as providers of sporting and leisure facilities are well aware of the wide variety of activities people are enthusiastically taking part in.
“Our role in delivering a first-class arts and culture service also supports the bid for City of Culture status.
“We’re big supporters of the Paisley City of Culture bid and we’ll do all we can to persuade the powers that be that the town deserves that accolade.”

Renfrewshire Council launched the Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021 campaign to capitalise on their long term regeneration plans for the town – such as the £56.7m flagship museum project and £200m investment in the town centre as part of Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “It’s fantastic that Renfrewshire Leisure has publically declared their backing for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
“RLL offer significant support to Paisley’s bid with a packed cultural programme that builds upon Paisley’s contemporary cultural scene, taking place in some of Paisley’s magnificent venues – such as thought-provoking exhibitions in Paisley Museum and spectacular performances in Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Town Hall.
“Paisley 2021 has already been a journey of self discovery for Paisley and Renfrewshire – the town is realising its ambitions, its self confidence and the profound relationship between culture, health and wellbeing – and that’s thanks to our diverse cultural programme.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Scouting for Girls to headline Paisley festive extravaganza


Paisley is getting set for a winter festival extravaganza – with triple-platinum-selling popsters Scouting for Girls to headline the town’s annual Christmas lights show.


The Londoners – known for top-10 hits including This Ain’t a Love Song and She’s So Lovely – will play to a crowd of tens of thousands in the town centre on Saturday 12 November before the big switch-on.

The afternoon-long event will also see main-stage slots for two up-and-coming bands from Paisley – the Vegan Leather and Dogtooth.

The fun will get under way at noon with the traditional reindeer parade around the town, led by Santa himself, with a full programme of children’s entertainment during the day before the lights go on at 6pm.

And the big Christmas date is just one of three installments of family festive fun coming up over consecutive weekends.

The town centre will also host a two-day spooktacular when the Paisley Halloween Festival returns for a third year at the end of the month.

That will see a lantern-lit parade through the town centre on the evening of Friday 28 October, with a day of activities, including a spectacular fire garden, on the Saturday.

And Saturday 5 November will see the town’s annual fireworks display, which will this year feature music from the 1960s and 70s as part of a decade-by-decade countdown to 2021 – the year Paisley hopes to be named UK City of Culture.

There will be live music from bands from local groups Brick Lane Studios and Create Paisley on the main stage in Gauze Street from 2pm, before the fireworks display itself at 7pm.

Scouting for Girls said: “We love Christmas, and what better way to get in the spirit than with the good folks of Paisley!

“We are very excited for the lights switch-on and hope to see as many people as possible there on November 12.”

The three festive events are being run by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s ever-expanding major events programme. Sponsorship from local organisations is contributing towards the cost of the performers.

And council leader Mark Macmillan said: “Renfrewshire’s major events programme brings tens of thousands of people into our town centres every year, many of them visitors from outside the area.

“Not only does that show off everything Paisley has to offer but it brings an economic boost to town centre traders too.

“This year’s events are particularly important given they are the last set before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is lodged early next year and the Christmas Lights event marks a year since the bid was launched.

“And the bill reflects that – the Christmas Lights show will put the spotlight on two talented young local bands, while the fireworks display will also have a 2021 theme.”

November will be a busy month for major events, with Johnstone’s Christmas lights switch-on due for Saturday 19 November and Renfrew’s a week later.

At the same time, Renfrewshire will also host top-class sporting action when the European Curling Championships comes to Braehead from 19 to 26 November.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Shopping mall support for Paisley’s City of Culture bid

Braehead general manager Gary Turnbull and Councillor Mark Macmillan with mall staff showing their support for Paisley’s City of Culture 2021 bid

THEY’RE mall getting behind Paisley’s campaign to be the UK’s City of Culture 2021.

The latest backer of the town’s bid is the giant Intu Braehead shopping and leisure destination.

Braehead general manager Gary Turnbull and Councillor Mark Macmillan with mall staff showing their support for Paisley’s City of Culture 2021 bid

Braehead general manager Gary Turnbull and Councillor Mark Macmillan with mall staff showing their support for Paisley’s City of Culture 2021 bid

The team running intu Braehead announced it is officially supporting the City of Culture bid.
And they’re helping Renfrewshire Council promote the campaign to the hundreds of thousands of people who pass through the mall every week.

General manager at intu Braehead, Gary Turnbull said: “As a Paisley Buddie myself, I know full well the rich and varied culture that surrounds our town.
“If any place deserves the title of City of Culture, it’s definitely Paisley with its fantastic history and architecture, alongside the myriad cultural activities of its people today and the great cultural future it has in years to come.
“Paisley’s culture is a great asset for the town both in social and economic terms and we fully support Renfrewshire Council’s bid for City of Culture status 2021.”

Gary added: “In his 19th century novel, Endymion, Benjamin Disraeli wrote that people should ‘keep their eye on Paisley’ and that is never more the case than today.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, said: “We are delighted the team at intu Braehead is backing Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
“intu Braehead is one of the biggest shopping facilities in the area and attracts people across the Glasgow City Region, so it’s fantastic that their support is visible to the public inside the centre.
“Paisley is bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 to capitalise on our long term regeneration plans for the town – such as £200 million investment into our town centre as part of Glasgow City Region City Deal that will benefit Paisley’s High Street and town centre and will create interesting spaces where people want to dwell, create new homes and improve road and rail links in the area.
“Bidding is part of our transformation and will turbo-charge our regeneration plans for Renfrewshire.
“It has already sparked new conversations between businesses, the community and national partners and regeneration projects – such as the renovation of the Russell Institute into offices bringing 80 jobs to the area and the redevelopment of Arnotts site into new homes for residents and a new restaurant space – are already transforming Paisley.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

St Mirren v Dundee United – match report

st mirren

Jack Ross’ first game as St. Mirren manager was at home to Dundee Utd in the Ladbrokes Championship at the Paisley 2021 stadium. Although there were significant improvements in the Buddies’ performance in their current situation it’s results but first and foremost points that really matters.

st mirren

Saints started the game well but fell behind when a defensive mix up left Scott Fraser one on one with Jamie Langfield on thirty seven minutes and he finished well to give the visitors the lead at the break.

Lawrence Shankland came on for Stevie Mallan fourteen minutes into the second half and the on loan Aberdeen man made a difference. He tested Cammy Bell with a long range effort.

The second defensive lapse in concentration came seventeen minutes from time to allow Tony Andreu chip home the second over a helpless Langfield and sow the points up for Dundee Utd.

Lawrence Shankland had a second effort, this time, cleared off the line. A looping header from striker cleared off the line at the back post summed up St. Mirren’s luck in this game, as even Dundee Utd going down to ten men in the last few minutes didn’t change things as the Tangerines won 2-0.

Article written by Kyle Gunn

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley says ‘Fàilte’ to supporters for its Royal National Mòd 2021 bid

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

Following its successful hosting of the Royal National Mòd in 2013, Paisley’s bid to again host the celebration of Gaelic culture in 2021 is already gaining support from the Gaelic community, including renowned musician Donnie Munro.

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig)

Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, the Royal National Mòd is Scotland’s premier festival celebrating Gaelic language and cultural heritage. Paisley first hosted the event in 2013, when Renfrewshire Council partnered with the local organising committee Meur Phàislig to stage the nine day celebration of Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature.

(L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire's Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer)

(L-R): David Small (Fèis Phàislig), Grant McFarlane (Fèis Phàislig), Peter Macleod (Renfrewshire Council), Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell, Alain Campbell (Gaelic Development Officer)

The 2013 event was heralded as a success and Paisley wants to build on its successful legacy by bidding to host it again in 2021. The Gaelic festival will hopefully be one of many cultural events taking place across Renfrewshire that year as Paisley bids for UK City of Culture in 2021.

Paisley’s bid to host the Mòd in 2021 was launched by Grant McFarlane, a local musician and Chairman of Fèis Phàislig – Paisley’s annual Gaelic festival which takes place each July. Fèis Phàislig gives young people, up to 18 years old, the opportunity to come together and develop skills in Gaelic music with the aim of inspiring the next generation to get involved with traditional music.

Grant is also organising the Ceilidh Trail events which take place as part of The Spree this year. Open to musicians of intermediate or advanced level, participants will receive tutoring in traditional music before playing in a showcase concert in the Spiegeltent on Friday 21 October. More information is available at www.thespree.co.uk

The Ceilidh Trail is just one of several traditional music events which will take place at The Spree from 14 to 22 October, including performances by Donnie Munro and Skerryvore.

Donnie Munro said: “It was a great privilege to have been involved in Paisley’s previous hosting of the Mòd in 2013. There was a real buzz about the place and the organisation of the venues and events was first class.”

Grant McFarlane was joined at the bid launch by Renfrewshire’s Depute Provost John Caldwell and Renfrewshire Council’s Gaelic Development Officer Alain Campbell.

Depute Provost John Caldwell said: “The feedback we received after Paisley’s successful hosting of the Mòd in 2013 was extremely positive. We are confident we can build on that experience to host an even better celebration of Gaelic culture with the Mòd in 2021.

“The legacy of our previous hosting can still be felt in the town and across the region, and is epitomised by groups like Fèis Phàislig and the important work they do in our communities to promote Gaelic heritage.”

To be able to bid for the Royal National Mòd, potential host towns and cities must be home to a local branch of An Comunn Gàidhealach. As in 2013, Renfrewshire Council will partner with the local branch to form the organising committee.

The Council is hosting an information event on Thursday 27 October at Renfrewshire House for people who are interested in getting actively involved with the Mòd bid. People with a passion for Gaelic language and culture, the arts, and events are encouraged to come along to find out more about how to get involved with bringing this internationally renowned event to Paisley.

While an ability to speak Gaelic is desirable, it’s not a necessity for those getting involved.

Full programme details for The Spree can be found at:  www.thespree.co.uk/

The public information meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Thursday 27 October at Renfrewshire House, Paisley.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Paisley’s new musical talent to take stage at Spree show

Linzi Clark with Rikki Kyle and Liz Clark

Talented young musicians have all the inspiration they need to perform at the year’s Spree festival taking place in Paisley from 14-22 October.

 Linzi Clark with Rikki Kyle and Liz Clark

Linzi Clark with Rikki Kyle and Liz Clark

The festival’s showcase of unsigned talent, the Danny Kyle Open Stage, will return to the programme. Made famous by Celtic Connections, the open stage is a popular platform for unsigned performers and acts to showcase their music, which is broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio.

Last year, young singer-songwriter Linzi Clark, now part of the Paisley 2021 bid team, was a finalist at the show and won the ‘Danny Kyle Award’. And Linzi has now landed a support slot for the Justin Currie show at The Spree on Friday 14 October.

Linzi said: “I really enjoyed playing on the Danny Kyle Open Stage last year. The audience were one of the best crowds I’ve played to and playing in the beautiful Spiegeltent made the atmosphere really special.

“I would really encourage any emerging singer-songwriters to apply to take part as it can lead to some future opportunities. Liz Clark and everyone at Celtic Music Radio’ 95 FM were lovely and made the competition element very relaxed and fun!”

Paisley’s wealth of musical talent – Paolo Nutini and Gerry Rafferty to name but two – is an integral part of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley’s Brick Lane Studios owner, Alan McEwan, is also looking forward to young talent getting a boost at The Spree.

Alan said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the many young talented musicians and songwriters Renfrewshire has.

“We have many young people coming to the studio every week and we watch them develop into confident and creative young performers. The Danny Kyle stage is a fantastic platform for these young musicians and songwriters and provides them with an opportunity to experience performing in a professional environment. This is something that Paisley needs and may set a precedent for such events for young people in the future.”

Brick Lane Studios are also supporting young musicians through two projects – Live and Unsigned (Battle of the Bands) and a Paisley 2021 album – which are both benefitting from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund set up by Renfrewshire Council.

The Danny Kyle Open Stage is a free show that takes place in the Speigeltent at 5pm every weekday of the Spree festival. The best acts from throughout the week will be invited back for the final-night showcase on Friday 21 October.

Acts appearing at The Spree include Admiral Fallow, Donnie Munro, Carol Laula, Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss.

Details of all the shows taking place and a full programme of free festival activities for kids are available at www.thespree.co.uk. Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210; from Paisley Arts Centre; or the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Older People’s Comunity Art workshop at Paisley Museum


At part of the Paisley Digital Art Commission by UWS, the two artists, Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, will be running a workshop at Paisley Museum from 10 am on Friday 28 October.


This workshop will be a crafts workshop, dealing with memory and reminiscence, and how we represent memories. The artwork made at the workshop will form part of the exhibition, which will also include the commissioned ‘Paisley Pearl’ digital loom that will generate a unique paisley pattern for everyone in Paisley.

The workshop is free, and you don’t need any digital or craftmaking skills to take part. Registration is via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/paisley-pearl-art-commission-community-workshop-tickets-27729302089 or e-mail belle.doyle@uws.ac.uk if you would like to come.