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Lisa Kowalski – Freespirits EP

Lisa has a big event coming up with the launch of her first EP (funded by 2021) on 20/21 April.

photos courtesy of Allan Borland Images

There is a launch gig with Lisa and some guest artists at Callums Cavern on the 20th and the EP will be available for download  on 21st.

Paisley 2021 are behind the project as part of the run up of events prior to the next stage of the bidding process and St Mirren FC are great friends of Lisa Kowalski Music, having had Lisa along to play  at the ground several times and promoting the EP on the pitchside screens.

By coincedence Lisa was booked to play at the Brewers Tap for the first time last Saturday, which was packed with SMFC fans after the cup game and she had the pub singing along to Oh when the Saints and the fans shouting “Lisa, Lisa!”

Braehead and West College are also plugging/ getting involved with the EP launch and Brick Lane Studio have helped her put a band together to  perform her original songs on the stage at the Beer Fest.

Initial feedback to prelaunch promotion of the EP has been great, with airplay on Pulse FM, KA Radio, Radio Saltire, Your Radio and Amazing Radio (Jim Gellatly). STV have also listened to the songs and  expressed an interest in having Lisa on the Riverside show.

The four songs on the EP were written from age 14 to 16 and reflect teenage experiences of growing up and Lisa’s personal journey as a musician and someone who has always stuck  her head well above the parapet.  It includes the track Hearts of Gold as in “the streets are paved with hearts of gold” which is all about how much she loves busking in Paisley.

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Paisley Comic Con at Paisley Town Hall on 8th April

Paisley Comic Con is a family friendly, fun-filled event all about comic books!

A whole day in Paisley’s stunning Town Hall dedicated to celebrating and enjoying the art and culture of comic books, exploring and discovering new and exciting comic creations, and showcasing a range of local Scottish creative talent.

Writers, artists, publishers, as well as over 50 tables of comics, books, toys, collectables, arts, crafts and creators. We’ll also have comic book panels, workshops, cosplay, games and activities, and lots of family fun!

Paisley’s very own Hail The Villains will be there to exhibit their fantastic range of Comic Heroes and Villains T-Shirts, accessories, and jewellery.

A special discount code called PAISLEYORG has been created for subscribers of Paisley.org.uk.  You can use it to get 15% off all purchases on www.hailthevillains.com. Or you can use the code at the Paisley Comic Con by simply saying “PAISLEYORG” to get 15% off your purchase there.  If ordering from our website  – Delivery is FREE.

Invite your friends to like the page, join the event and spread the word!

In partnership with Comicrazy, Paisley’s only specialist comics and gaming store, and Les Hoey MBE DreamMaker Foundation SCIO – making dreams come true for some very special children with life-threatening illnesses.

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Step Up for St Vincent’s Sponsored Walk

The weather may not have been too kind to us but the people of Renfrewshire certainly were.  They turned up in their hundreds to support our first ever sponsored walk at Castle Semple, Lochwinnoch last Sunday, 19th March.

After a fun warm up led by our lion mascot, “Vinnie”, our wonderful supporters set off on their chosen 10k or 5k walk … all to support a great cause.

Laura McDade, Hospice fundraiser said “despite the early downpour of rain, the sun came out in the afternoon to greet our supporters at the finish line.  We would like to thank everyone who came along to make this a fantastic community event and hope to see you all again next year!”

Sponsorship donations are still arriving daily but to date over £11,000 has been raised for hospice care in Renfrewshire. St Vincent’s Hospice is a charitable organisation at the heart of the community, offering specialist care and services to all those affected by life-limiting illness.

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Paisley’s global weaving story to be retold during festival

Paisley will host a weekend-long celebration of the town’s radical weaving heritage and international links – and is looking for artists to help tell that story to the world.

Sma Shot drummer Tony Lawler with weaver Mariam Syed and artist Paria Goodarzi in Paisley’s Abbey Close (outside Abbey and Town Hall).

The town’s traditional Sma’ Shot Day celebration – one of the world’s oldest workers festivals – is this year joined by a two-day arts programme called Weave.

Weave – on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July – is one of Visit Scotland’s signature events for the country’s Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology 2017.

Part of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, the event will reconnect the town’s weaving heritage and global connections via a programme of music, design, art, poetry, dance and theatre, set against Paisley’s historic town centre.

As part of that, visual artists can apply for awards of £1,500 to create temporary public artworks in the town centre telling Paisley’s unique global textile story in new and innovative ways. For more info and an application form, email events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Sma’ Shot Day is a much-loved part of Paisley’s events calendar – and this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever with the addition of Weave.

“The weekend will combine the traditional family elements of Sma’ Shot Day with a two-day programme of top-class performers telling Paisley’s unique historic story as a global textile hub and centre of radical political thought.

“Through the public art commission we want visual artists and makers to help us tell that story in exciting, creative and original ways which can be enjoyed by all.

“The event will help show off everything Paisley has to offer as a key destination within Scotland for heritage tourism.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories and unique experiences as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations.

“Scotland’s history and heritage is defined by its people, both past and present and is an integral & iconic part of our national identity.

“The wide-ranging programme for Weave will celebrate a wealth of exciting cultural heritage through music, poetry, dance, workshops, crafts and design, presenting a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals to experience Paisley’s vibrant personality.”

A full Weave programme is still being developed and will be released later in the spring – but to publicise the call-out for participants, a Sma’Shot Day stalwart was joined by two artists already signed up to this year’s Weave bill.

Tony Lawler will this year mark his 25th year as the man banging the Charleston Drum at the head of the traditional Sma’ Shot parade through the town from Brodie Park to the festivities in Abbey Close on the Saturday afternoon.

He was joined at Paisley Abbey and Town Hall by Mariam Syed, who will give free drop-in demonstrations of traditional weaving skills on the looms at Paisley Museum.

Also involved in Weave is Iranian textiles artist Paria Goodarzi, who will exhibit work from her solo show Mass Movement, inspired by her journey to Scotland as a refugee, plus a joint show about identity and heritage with Indian photographer Arpita Singh called The Routes We Thread, both at Paisley Arts Centre.

Sma’ Shot Day marks the victory of Paisley’s weavers in an industrial dispute over payment for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls together.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and saw the traditional first-weekend-in-July holiday renamed Sma’ Shot Day.

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New range at John McKay Jewellers

John McKay Jewellers of Paisley are pleased to introduce a new range of Scottish pewter called Piper Pewter.

This can be engraved covering all of Scotland’s tradition gift wear.

All subscribers of Paisley.org.uk will receive a 20% Discount.

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Fraser gets a Kirk from playing the blues!

AS a teenage musician Fraser John Lindsay used to play guitar and drums for the congregation during church services on a Sunday morning.


Then at night he would belt out pop punk songs inside the same Elderslie Kirk as he rehearsed with his band, Limon.
That was almost 20 years ago and now Fraser is preparing to perform a gig – this time in the former church that is Paisley Arts Centre – with his blues band, Fraser John Lindsay’s Blues Incentive, on Friday, March 31.


A full-time musician and producer with his own record label, Fraz Records, the former Castlehead High pupil looks back on the start of his musical career.

He says: “I suppose there was quite a contrast in musical styles. I would be playing hymns and religious songs during the church services and later I’d be in the same place rehearsing with my pop punk band playing songs by bands like Green Day and Blink-182.

“I’m pretty sure there would have been a few people who wouldn’t have been very happy if they’d known about this.
“But I don’t think anyone ever officially complained, or demanded that we should be kicked out – maybe because our drummer in Limon, Jamie McLachlan, was the minister’s son!”

The 32-year-old added: “ Some may think there would have been the odd lyric or two in the songs we played that could have been construed as ever so slightly blasphemous, or unsuitable for a church.
“But as a lead guitarist I never bother listening to lyrics.”

Fraser’s musical education also came from playing in Paisley pubs with a variety of bands like Riff Raff, Little Miss Debbie & the Scumbag Boogie Band and Blind Panik.

Fraser followed well-known local singer, Willie ‘Jukebox’ Matthews around the pubs, so he could plug in his guitar and jam along with whatever Willie decided to play, learning tunes on the spot.

Fraser said: “I learned my trade as a musician on the job in the pubs in and around Paisley and Glasgow backing singers like Willie Matthews.”

And it was Willie who introduced Fraser to the Glasgow blues scene.

“Willie used to drive me up to the State bar blues jam in Glasgow every Tuesday night, that was around 15 years ago, and this is where I met most of my current band mates,” said Fraser.

Fans of the blues can hear Fraser’s virtuoso guitar playing with his band Blues Incentive at the Paisley Arts Centre gig , on Friday, at 7.30pm. Tickets at £10 and £8 can are available to book online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts <http://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts> > or by calling 0300 300 1210.

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Paisley welcomes MasterChef – The Professionals winner to food fiesta

Gary Maclean, the winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016 will teach Buddies how to prepare top class meals at the upcoming Paisley Food Festival.

Chef extraordinaire Gary will host a series of cooking demonstrations at the free event which will take place on Saturday 22 April at Abbey Close from 12pm – 7pm.

Also confirmed to attend is CBeebies star Katy Ashworth who will entertain children and families throughout the day and give them the chance to participate in fun, interactive games, stories and sing-a-long songs.

Now in its third year, the festival will showcase the breadth of Scotland’s vibrant street food scene, with traders using the very best seasonal ingredients and sustainably sourced produce in their dishes. This event also forms part of the push for Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The event has a wide selection of producer traders serving hand reared produce, including The Kitchen Farmer from Perthshire with their gourmet lamb burgers, and outdoor reared Pork and apple burgers from Duntarrin Farm in Argyll. The event caters for both savoury and sweet pallets, with Indian street food from Bombay Kitchen, and exquisite French patisseries from les Plaisirs d’Odette and artisan crème brule from Crema Caravan.

All traders will offer smaller portion sizes at reduced prices for children and the event will offer a range of halal, gluten free and vegetarian options. Visitors will also be able to sample a wide range of craft beers, small batch gins and prosecco on tap.

The Cooking Demonstration tent offers a jam-packed programme of free workshops around the theme of food and where it comes from, including showstopping dinners from Gary Maclean, a fermentation workshop on how to make your own healthy ginger beer from Bottle of Ginger, Asian cooking from STV’s Julie Lin Macleod, and how to conquer your fear of cooking fish from the chefs at seafood restaurant A’Challtainn. Demand for the demonstrations is expected to be high, so pre-booking is recommended.

Gary said: “I love everything about cooking from preparation through to patisserie but I also get a real buzz from teaching others how to be a success in the kitchen. I look forward to sharing my passion with Paisley’s cooking enthusiasts and showing them how to create showstopping meals at Paisley’s Food and Drink Festival.”

In addition to the cooking demonstrations taking place there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained. Children will be able to take part in hands on cooking fun with free chocolate treat workshops, fruit bouquets and challenge each other on the smoothie bike.

CBeebies Katy Ashworth is ready to entertain families on the day. She said: “Events like this are a great day out for the whole family. I’ll be bringing a burst of silliness and fun for all through fun-packed games, songs and giggles and I’m looking forward to being part of the day.”

The festival is just one of three food and drink events taking place that week. Scotland’s largest beer and ale festival, the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival, will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April. While Paisley Restaurant Week, being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, will run from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals available at eateries throughout the town centre.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The range of food and drink events taking place in April is likely to attract around 15,000 visitors to the area over the course of the week demonstrating our capacity for hosting large-scale, national events that bring visitors to the area and I for one can’t wait to head along and try some of the tasty treats on offer.

“The timing of the events gives us even more reason to celebrate as they take place one week before Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged with the UK Government.”

To book a place or find out more about the cookery demonstrations on the day visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/foodfestival2017

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Paisley Pirate’s match reports

paisley pirates
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Winner of the Paisley First Mascot Competition Revealed!

The winner of the new Paisley First Mascot Design Competition has been revealed as ten year old Christopher McCall with his design…Paisley Lion!

winning design entry

Christopher, a primary six pupil from Williamsburgh Primary School, impressed judges with his colourful creation which was picked from the final shortlist of ten entries.

Paisley First received hundreds of entries for the competition from school children all across Renfrewshire.

The new mascot will be used by Paisley First at events, performances and activities, all promoting Paisley town centre as a great place to live, work and visit.

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson and Paisley First BID Manager Andrew Mitchell made a surprise visit to Christopher and his school friends this week to announce he had won the competition and award him with his prize…see the video at www.paisleyfirst.com

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson with Mascot winner Christopher McCall, teacher Michaela Lennon, Paisley First BID Manager Andrew Mitchell and Williamsburgh Primary School Head teacher Nova Scott

“I am so happy,” said Christopher. “It took me about two days to create my design.”

“We had been talking in class with our teacher Miss Lennon about the lions which came to Paisley last year and then we started to talk about the Paisley pattern.”

“So I wanted my mascot to be about the lions and the Paisley pattern and I wanted my lion to be happy because Paisley is a happy place.”

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson agreed that these were all factors which helped Christopher’s entry stand out, saying: “All the entries were fantastic and it was a really difficult job to pick just one winner.”

“It was such a bright, colourful and happy picture and just had that positivity that we want to be associated with Paisley.”

Class teacher Miss Michaela Lennon, who helped the class with their entries to the competition, said: “I am not from Paisley so it was really interesting to talk to them about the town and its history.”

“They were all very excited when they were telling me about the Pride of Paisley so it’s clear the lions made a big impression on them all last year.”

Head teacher Nova Scott added; “The children all loved the lions last year and we have our very own school lion “Will.i.lion.”

“The children really enjoyed taking part in the mascot competition, it’s good to get them involved in what’s happening in the town.”

As well as being able to see his mascot design brought to life, Christopher received a £25.00 prize and as the winning school, Williamsburgh Primary School Parent Teacher Association also receives £200.00.

Three runners up also received prizes of £15.00 each – Jack Dunn of Wallace Primary School and Erin Clark and Lily Belle McEwan of Williamsburgh Primary School.

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson said:” It’s important to involve the children in all the positive projects we are working on to bring more people to the town centre.”

“This helps them take pride in their home town and this is why Christopher’s design made such a big impact on our judges.”

“We can’t wait to see Christopher’s design being brought to life and welcoming Paisley Lion to Paisley town centre in the near future.”

Paisley First would like to thank all the local school children, and their parents and teachers, who helped submit entries.

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NNE presents ABBAMANIA at Paisley Town Hall

ABBA Mania, the world’s number one touring ABBA tribute production, are coming to Paisley on Friday 5th May 2017.


Featuring a special concert presentation, which celebrates the music of ABBA in a respectful and enjoyable way, reviving special memories of when ABBA ruled the airwaves.

ABBA Mania brings ABBA fans old and new a night not to be missed. If you’re looking for an excuse to party, reminisce or simply be entertained by the best music ever, then ABBA Mania is for you!

So dig out those platforms, dust down those flares, join in and enjoy all of your favourites including: Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper and many more.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting their website here or @skiddle.com