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Spree festival hailed as a “tremendous success” for Paisley

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

Renfrewshire Council bosses have hailed this year’s Spree festival in Paisley as a “tremendous boost for the town”.

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

The nine-day festival saw over 4,000 tickets sold and more than 1,000 children attend free day-time workshops during the October school holiday. Gig-goers came from as far afield as Australia, Croatia, Germany and Denmark to attend this year’s festival.

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Kids enjoy a dinosaur workshop in the Spiegeltent as part of the festival

Highlights included the festival’s signature Paisley Abbey concert and a unique collaboration between former Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with Currie backing Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 from the stage.

 Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing in Paisley Abbey

Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing in Paisley Abbey

A specially-erected Spiegeltent in the town’s County Square hosted several sell-out shows and a live broadcast of BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway show to over 20,000 listeners.

The addition of ‘Spree Sessions’ this year showcased Paisley’s vibrant home-grown cultural scene with shows featuring local cultural groups RockUs Choir, Create Paisley and Feis Phiaslig. And the festival’s first ‘fringe’ event, the Spree for All, saw local music promoters LNP Promotions organise a series of gigs in venues across town as well as a ‘magic trail’ in cafes.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This was the fifth year we have held The Spree festival in Paisley and, once again, it has been a tremendous boost to the town. We had a fantastic mix this year, from the big-name acts to concerts featuring local school children, which showcased the diversity of cultural activity we have.

“We purposely time the festival to coincide with the October school holiday each year and programme a host of free activities for families to enjoy. Like much of our events programme, we want it to be accessible and for all our communities to have the opportunity to enjoy cultural activity on their doorstep.”

“Events like The Spree are crucial in generating footfall and encouraging spend in the local economy, while also enhancing the image and reputation of Paisley as a place to enjoy spending leisure time, whether you are local or not.

“I think Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 gave this year’s festival an added buzz. The success of this year’s festival and our ability to attract a national and international audience adds to the growing evidence that Paisley is ready and able to take on the culture title.”

Next on the events programme for Paisley are a Halloween Festival (28-29 October), a Fireworks Spectacular (5 November) and the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On (12 November). It was also announced this week that Paisley will host the start leg of the Monte Carlo Rally on 25 January 2017.

Details of all the events listed are available online at  paisley2021.co.uk/events.

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Spree festival declared success as hits halfway point

Vic Galloway interviewing fellow Fifer King Creosote live for the BBC in the Spiegeltent

Paisley’s annual festival of music comedy and more has been declared a Spree-mendous success after its first few days – with loads more great shows to come before it wraps up at the weekend.

 Vic Galloway interviewing fellow Fifer King Creosote live for the BBC in the Spiegeltent

Vic Galloway interviewing fellow Fifer King Creosote live for the BBC in the Spiegeltent

Monday night saw Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie take to the stage in Paisley Abbey for the festival’s signature show – a unique collaboration with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

And the show – for which all tickets were snapped up within just a few days in the summer – didn’t disappoint, with a rapturous reception for a set spanning 30 years of Justin’s career and backed up by sweeping orchestral arrangements conducted by John Logan.

 Justin Currie in Paisley Abbey with the RSNO,

Justin Currie in Paisley Abbey with the RSNO,

The festival had kicked off in style on Friday with one of the other headline shows – as critically-acclaimed indie stars Admiral Fallow played Paisley Town Hall.

At the same time, the specially-erected Spiegeltent in County Square saw the town’s very own Carol Laula curate a special one-off Paisley-themed performance featuring various guests.

The same venue was packed to the rafters for two sold-out shows over the weekend – with a triple bill of traditional music acts headlined by Galway’s We Banjo 3 on Saturday and an acoustic show from former Runrig frontman Donnie Munro 24 hours later.

Monday also saw legendary broadcaster Vic Galloway present his BBC Radio show live from the Spiegeltent, with a live performance from King Creosote, at which Vic told the crowd: ‘England’s got Glastonbury, LA has Coachella and we don’t need them as we’ve got The Spree!’

Highlights still to come include a Scottish Album of the Year showcase on Wednesday featuring conversation with previous winners Anna Meredith, Kathryn Joseph and RM Hubbert, as well as a show from Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble at Paisley Arts Centre the following night.

There’s also plenty laughs from Craig Hill (Thursday) as well as a Best of Scottish Comedy night headlined by Joe Heenan (Friday), as well as free kids activities during the day in the Spiegeltent until Friday.

The festival closes on Saturday with a day of ModStuff – LNP Promotions’ festival-within-a-festival celebrating all things Mod – before the final show of a double-bill featuring Treacherous Orchestra and Skerryvore in the town hall that evening.

The Spree is sponsored by Saporito and Birra Moretti – who are adding some festival feel with a beer tent in County Square all week.

You can still buy tickets for most shows online at  thespree.co.uk or in person at the box office at 9b Gilmour Street.

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Sell-out Spree gig links culture ambitions of Paisley and Galway

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Proud ambassadors of Galway’s successful European Capital of Culture 2020 bid – WeBanjo3 – are ready to play a sell-out gig at Paisley’s Spree festival.

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WeBanjo3 are playing in the festival’s famous Spiegeltent as Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 gathers pace.

Galway has just been named European Capital of Culture 2020, and WeBanjo3 were one of their musical ambassadors.

They now bring that passion for culture to Paisley along with two of the best bands in the Scottish and Irish folk music scene – Michael McGoldrick and Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Trio.

The nine-day national arts, music and comedy festival kicks off on Friday 14 October with festival favourites Admiral Fallow and Paisley’s own Carol Laula.

The Spree is already known across Scotland as a unique multi-artform festival, and while the trad trio show is already sold-out, tickets can still be snapped up on The Spree website – www.thespree.co.uk – or at Box Office, inside InCube shop, Gilmour Street.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “It’s fantastic to have WeBanjo3, a band hailing from Galway which will be European Capital of Culture in 2020, to come to Paisley as we put forward our town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“Playing with some of the best acts in the trad music scene, it is no wonder tickets to this fantastic gig have been snapped up.

“There’s lots of great cultural activity to look forward to at The Spree – including Carol Laula’s show that celebrates Paisley, which will be the first gig of the nine day programme – as well as fantastic Gaelic events – Big Gaelic Beasties and Adventures with the Gaelic Alphabet with Ariel Killick.

Renfrewshire’s fantastic local talent will be featured in The Spree sessions, each with a unique opportunity for people in the area – such as Rockus Community Choir who encourage everyone to get involved as part of their ‘sing yourself happy’ philosophy, Create Paisley who are providing a platform for young talented people to work with acclaimed Scottish musician and songwriter James Grant and Fèis Phàislig’s amazing Ceilidh Trail that brings people across Renfrewshire together to play traditional music.”

Mark Macmillan, Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board and Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “Paisley has a wealth of talented people and it’s fantastic that they are a key part of The Spree programme alongside bigger acts – such as the sold-out Justin Currie and the RSNO concert in Paisley Abbey and two fantastic bands Admiral Fallow and Treacherous Orachestra with Skerryvore – both in Paisley Town Hall.

“With Paisley only a 10 minute train journey from Glasgow, there will be lots of people popping into Paisley over the next nine days.

“This year, the festival has been expanded with a fringe event Spree for All, with pop up events happening in venues all over the town centre, lots more events for kids and a special showcase of Paisley’s fantastic local talent.”

For more information, like /thespreefestival on Facebook or follow @SpreeFestival on Twitter.

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Spree for All fringe festival will be magic

MagicianTrail.jpg - Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi's espresso bar

Families should get set for some ‘absolutely magic’ free entertainment with the announcement of a magic trail as part of this month’s Spree for All.

Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi's espresso bar

MagicianTrail.jpg – Magician Tommy Templar with staff from Cardosi’s espresso bar

The Spree for All fringe festival will see events taking place across the town to co-incide with The Spree, Paisley’s National Festival which runs from 14-22 October and celebrates its fifth birthday this year.

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo with staff from Cardosi's espress bar and Ta Ta Bella's tearoom and Andrew Mitchell from Paisley First

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo with staff from Cardosi’s espress bar and Ta Ta Bella’s tearoom and Andrew Mitchell from Paisley First

As part of the entertainment on offer, a magic trail across shops and cafes will take place on Saturday 15 October (11am – 3pm) and Friday 21 October (11am – 3pm).

Magicians Tommy Templar and Stevo of Paisley Magic Circle popped into Cardosi’s espresso bar on Paisley High Street this week to amaze staff with some magic tricks.

The Spree for All is being supported by local business development group Paisley First.

Andrew Mitchell, Business Development Manager for Paisley First, said: “We are delighted that Paisley First can support the Spree for All. It’s a great idea and will build on the existing success of The Spree to involve as many of our town centres businesses as possible in a celebration of arts, culture and entertainment.”

Gary Kerr of LNP Promotions, organisers of The Spree for All, added: “This is the first year we’ve tried to organise an event like this and the backing we are getting from local businesses shows the real community spirit we have here in Paisley.

“We think the trail will be absolutely magic and, judging by the tricks that Tommy and Stevo have already shown us, anyone watching the magicians is guaranteed to be amazed!”

Details of the magic trail and other events taking place are available at www.thespree.co.uk/spreeforall and you can follow the fringe festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/spreeforallpaisley. Businesses looking to take part in the festival can contact Gary Kerr or Tommy McGrory directly.

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

Tickets can be purchased online from www.thespree.co.uk; from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210; or in person at Paisley Arts Centre or the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street.

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Spree show with Carol will celebrate Paisley

Carol Laula pours a pint for Saporito owners Gary McCaw and Craig Bickett in the new Saporito High Street restaurant

One of Paisley’s favourite musical daughters is returning to the town to play this year’s Spree festival…and she’s bringing some friends with her.

Carol Laula pours a pint for Saporito owners Gary McCaw and Craig Bickett in the new Saporito High Street restaurant

Carol Laula pours a pint for Saporito owners Gary McCaw and Craig Bickett in the new Saporito High Street restaurant

Carol Laula will open The Spree festival on Friday 14 October with a very special ‘celebration of Paisley’ in a Spiegeltent in the town’s County Square.

The festival, now in its fifth year, will run from 14-22 October with music, comedy, drama, film and kids activities programmed throughout its nine-day run.

Appearing with Carol in her show will be ex-River City star Tom Urie; David Scott (formerly of The Pearlfishers and BMX Bandits); Mark and Claire Rafferty, relatives of the legendary Gerry Rafferty; and Carol’s core backing band, which boasts a wealth of Scottish talent.

Special guest appearances on the night from PACE Youth Theatre Company and St Mirren Football Club promise to make the show a unique celebration of Paisley.

Carol said: “I am beyond delighted and excited to have been commissioned to put on a show for the opening night of the Spree festival.

“The remit is to celebrate all things Paisley. Easy-peasy… but where do I start?

“There will be a mix of Paisley’s rich culture of drama, music, acting and even a wee bit of literature in there too.”

Tickets for the show are available to buy online from  www.thespree.co.uk; from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210; or in person from Paisley Arts Centre or the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street.

Other acts appearing at the festival include Admiral Fallow, Donnie Munro, Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore, Roddy Woomble, Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill.

The Spree is supported by Saporito and Birra Moretti.

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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.

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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.

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Renfrewshire gets singing with Spree-mendous Rockus Choir

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People in Renfrewshire can sing themsleves happy by joining Rockus Community Choir as they rehearse for this year’s Spree Festival.

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After last year’s sell-out success, Rockus are looking forward to showcase their talents with more singers than ever before at their show in Paisley Abbey.

It’s all part of the Spree sessions – a set of community-led cultural events leading up to The Spree festival in support of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – with new singers taking part in a special Spree gig in Paisley Abbey on Sunday 16 October, 7pm.

People can come along to three free rehearsal sessions to experience the choir for themselves and enjoy singing some of their favourite tracks:

  • Monday 10 October, 7-9pm in Tannahill Centre, Ferguslie
  • Tuesday 11 October, 7-9pm in Glenburn Resource Centre
  • Thursday 13 October, 6-8pm in Salvation Army Hall, Mill Street

Rockus are well known for their philosophy that everyone can sing and their unique arrangements to classic and modern hits – Caledonia, Electric Dreams, Titanium and One Day Like This.

Director and Conductor Gregg Muir said: “Everyone can sing. It’s a fact. If you can talk, then you can sing. And it doesn’t have to be scary! Rockus Choir offer a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for anyone to come along and try choir singing; there are no auditions, no need to read music, and absolutely no pressure! We have a laugh, and we sing. It’s as simple as that.”

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “Lots of people across Renfrewshire already enjoy being part of Rockus Community Choir and these open sessions are a great for many more to get involved in one of the Spree’s unique showcases.”

The Spree sessions include James Grant with Create Paisley and Fèis Phàislig Ceilidh Trail – both hosting a series of open events for people in Renfrewshire. Each session culminates with a final performance as part of The Spree festival.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “Singing can improve mental health and anyone can join in, so it’s a great way to get involved in culture. Paisley Abbey will be an amazing acoustic space and it will be a great event for everyone involved.”

For details on Rockus rehearsals, email  singyourselfhappy@hotmail.com.

Tickets to the Rockus Community Choir Spree session cost £5 from boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 1210.

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Free fun for kids at this year’s Spree festival

P7 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary School, Paisley - Kirsty Allan (10), Alex Thomson (10), Lily McEwan (10) and Kieran Mathues (11)

Dinosaurs, LEGO and Gaelic adventures are all on the bill as The Spree festival returns with another packed programme of family fun.

 P7 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary School, Paisley - Kirsty Allan (10), Alex Thomson (10), Lily McEwan (10) and Kieran Mathues (11)

P7 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary School, Paisley – Kirsty Allan (10), Alex Thomson (10), Lily McEwan (10) and Kieran Mathues (11)

Paisley’s national arts festival will run from 14-22 October to coincide with school holidays and the annual extravaganza will have a host of fun, free activities for kids.

Free events taking place in a specially-erected Spiegeltent in County Square include:
· Bookbug (17 & 20 October) with songs and rhyme for pre-school children
· Fiction Fusion and Jigsaw Drama workshops (14 & 20 October)
· a special puppet show, The History of Tom Thumb (15 & 18 October)
· comedy shows designed for kids (15 & 19 October)
· fun workshops based around LEGO (15 October), CSI fingerprint technology and 3D colouring (18 October) and dinosaurs (19 October), and
· adventures with Big Gaelic Beasties and the Adventures with the Gaelic Tree Alphabet (21 October).

Kids shows are free, with tickets available from Paisley Arts Centre. Spaces at workshops are limited and places should be booked online atwww.thespree.co.uk.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “The Spree is our flagship arts event and we want to make sure as many people as possible from across the Renfrewshire community can enjoy it, so we have a full programme of free activities for all families to enjoy during the school holiday week.

“This is the fifth edition of the festival and it’s just going from strength-to-strength. I think there is a special buzz around the town this year with the bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and that will help make this year’s Spree the biggest and best yet.”

Other Spree shows for kids include drama performance ‘Anatomy of the Piano (for Beginners)’ (16 October, Paisley Arts Centre, £5).

The festival’s popular ModStuff segment will have a special Junior ModStuff event on the festival’s last day (22 October) leading up to the scooter ride-out from County Square.

Young people could also find themselves take part in this year’s festival with specially-commissioned Spree sessions including a songwriting showcase with musican James Grant and Create Paisley and a Ceilidh Trail for performers of more traditional music.

Festival partners PACE Youth Theatre will hold an October Fest performing arts festival. Booking details are available on 0345 130 5218.

The Spree Festival is supported by Saporito and Birra Moretti and features acts such as Admiral Fallow, Treacherous Orchestra, Donnie Munro, Daniel Sloss and Craig Hill.

Tickets are available online at  www.thespree.co.uk or from the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 (Mon – Sat, 10am – 4pm).

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Talented young music stars set for top Spree showcase

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Young singer-songwriters are set for a fantastic showcase of local youth talent with Love & Money frontman James Grant.

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Leading up to this year’s Spree Festival, James Grant – whose show sold-out at last year’s festival – and creative arts youth initiative Create Paisley are working with young people across Renfrewshire to produce a special concert.

The showcase is part of the Spree sessions that celebrate local talent as part of Paisley’s national festival – The Spree – which culminates in a special showcase in the Spiegeltent on Tuesday 18 October at 7.30pm.

So far eight songwriters have signed up – Rachelle and Brittany Davies, Andrew Quinn, Lisa Kowalski, David McAdam, Jordan Stewart, Emily Punton and Darren Dickson.

The Spree is part of an exciting calendar of events for Renfrewshire that supports Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Alan Clark from Create Paisley said: “We’re so excited to be part of this year’s Spree Festival and to be able to work alongside James Grant to offer local young people the opportunity to write songs and collaborate together. A lot of the young people involved attend our fortnightly Create Cafe at Blend on Friday nights and this is a great opportunity for them to improve their songwriting, get to know other young songwriters and showcase their talent. Opportunities like this made a big difference to the young people we work with.”

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Spree sessions are a great opportunity for young people to get involved in Paisley’s national festival and showcase the wealth of talented young people in Renfrewshire. Culture is in Paisley’s DNA and the town’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021 is all about harnessing our creative talents to deliver social and economic benefits for all of Renfrewshire.”

The Spree sessions include Fèis Phàislig Ceilidh Trail and Rockus Community Choir – both hosting a series of open events for people in Renfrewshire. Each session culminates with a final performance as part of The Spree festival.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “Young people are great ambassadors for Paisley 2021 and it’s fantastic that there are so many opportunities in Paisley and Renfrewshire to develop the talents of young people.”

Tickets to the James Grant and Create Paisley Spree session cost £5 from boxoffice.renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 1210.

Young people interested in being part of Create Paisley should call 07886 554 275 or email alan@createpaisley.org.uk.

Find out more about The Spree sessions at www.thespree.co.uk/events.