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Scottish songwriting stars team up for Rafferty tribute

Scottish songwriting stars team up for Rafferty tribute.

Paisley hosts Bring it all Home festival to celebrate Gerry’s legacy

The cream of Scotland’s songwriting talent is teaming up for a series of unique concerts to celebrate the memory of the late Gerry Rafferty in his hometown of Paisley.

Bring it all Home (11 to 19 April) will bring together some of the finest Scottish artists of the past few decades for a star-studded tribute to Gerry and his life’s work.

The festival – a key part of the Homecoming Scotland celebrations – coincides with a two-month exhibition of the singer’s memorabilia at Paisley Museum, featuring artwork from his friend and another of Paisley’s best-known sons, John Byrne.

Gerry-Rafferty

The centrepiece of the festival will be Bring it all Home: The Gerry Rafferty Concert (Wednesday 16 April, Paisley Town Hall) – a very special evening of Gerry’s songs performed by his friends, family and fans on what would have been his 67th birthday.

Led by Gerry’s daughter Martha and his long-time friend and collaborator Rab Noakes, the night also features Eddi Reader, Barbara Dickson, Emma Pollock, Roddy Hart, Siobhan Wilson and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

It will include all his most popular songs as well as some lesser-known work, with many pieces specially arranged for the RSNO.

Later that week will be From Burns to Biffy: A Celebration of Scottish Songwriting (Saturday 19 April, Paisley Town Hall) with a unique collection of talent paying tribute to the breadth and depth of Caledonian hitmaking.

Veteran songwriters Midge Ure (Ultravox), Hamish Stuart (Average White Band, Paul McCartney) and James Grant (Love and Money) will be joined by contemporary artists Siobhan Miller, Karine Polwart and Blue Rose Code.

Each artist will perform some of their own material alongside their favourite songs from other Scottish writers, showcasing the country’s rich treasure trove of words and music.

Other shows on the bill include:

– an international concert in Paisley Abbey featuring Irish multi-instrumentalist and songsmith Paul Brady and US singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier

– a show from Mercury Prize nominee Kathryn Williams and local rising star Michael Cassidy

– a series of musical masterclasses from acts including the RSNO, RM Hubbert and the Cairn String Quartet, and Stevie Wonder’s manager Keith Harris.

All shows will take place at various venues around Paisley. Tickets will go on sale from www.bringitallhome.co.uk from 9am on Friday 21 February, and from the box office at Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley, on 0300 300 1210.

Running alongside the festival will be Bring it all Home: The Exhibition (7 March to 18 May).

The unique exhibition at Paisley Museum will feature Rafferty memorabilia from guitars to album artwork and gold discs to hand-written lyrics.

Paisley artist, and close friend of the Rafferty family, John Byrne will also showcase some of the artwork that brought the pair so close.

Gerry’s daughter Martha said: “I’m looking forward to marking what would have been his 67th birthday with a great bunch of artists and musicians. Breathing new life into his songs is always a pleasure.”

“It’s also fantastic to be able to stage this festival in Paisley – his home town meant a lot to him and inspired much of his work, I’m sure he would be delighted to be able to help shine the spotlight on the town.”

Bring it all Home is being organised by Renfrewshire Council, with funding from Homecoming Scotland and Creative Scotland.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan added: “Gerry Rafferty is one of Paisley’s most-famous sons and there remains an incredible amount of affection for him and his work.

“We are delighted to host Bring it all Home – which comes after the area successfully hosted The Spree and The Royal National Mòd last year – and Paisley is ready to welcome the national and international interest we expect it to attract.”

Caroline Packman, Homecoming Scotland Director, added: “We are delighted to have the Bring it all Home festival as part of the packed programme of Homecoming Scotland events.

“For many people, his music brings back memories of a wonderful talent so it is fitting the success of Gerry Rafferty should be celebrated with a fantastic line-up of musicians and songwriters, in his home town and on his birthday.”

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Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Bringing It All Home for Gerry and the songmakers

Paisley is gearing up to honour one of its favourite sons with a series of songwriting events in the town this May.

Bring It All Home (2 – 4 May) is a celebration of song inspired by the legacy of Gerry Rafferty.  The Paisley-born singer-songwriter, who died in 2011, is known for his iconic hits ‘Baker Street’, ‘Right Down the Line’, and ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’.

Bring It All Home will feature performances from internationally-renowned artists such as Love and Money’s James Grant as well as a celebration of Paisley songwriters.

James Grant will open the event in Paisley Abbey on 2 May, where he will welcome friends Chris Thompson(Friends Again and The Bathers), Graham Skinner (Hipsway), Monica Queen (Belle and Sebastian collaboratrix), Fraser Spiers and bandmate and producer Paul McGeehan.

Home-grown songwriting talent will feature with Carol Laula and Yvonne Lyon performing in the Wynd Centre on 3 May and Michael Cassidy, local artist and winner of a council-sponsored songwriting prize in 2012, opening the Abbey concert.

In this first year of a new annual event, budding songwriters can join a free ‘masterclass’ in the town in a special session in Paisley Museum with James Grant.

Paisley’s Songwriting Guild will also perform free in The Bungalow Bar on Thursday 2 May and in Hamishes Hoose (just after the masterclass in the Museum) on Saturday 4 May.

Martha Rafferty, Gerry’s daughter, said: “Gerry’s talent is recognised as much today as it ever was and he would have hoped to inspire people from Paisley to pick up a guitar and try writing a tune or two themselves, I’m sure.”

“He was passionate about his music and he was passionate about his hometown – any combination of the two is a great way to remember him.”

Renfrewshire Council is backing the event with Council Leader Mark Macmillan describing it as “another step in promoting Paisley as an exciting cultural venue”.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The Paisley music scene has always been incredibly vibrant and we’re doing all we can at Renfrewshire Council to encourage musicians and music fans to the town.

“We’ve been blessed to have talents like Gerry Rafferty over the years and it’s great to have this opportunity to celebrate what he and his music brought to Paisley.

“This is a huge year for music in the town.  In October, Paisley will take centre-stage as the showcase for traditional and contemporary Scottish culture when we see the return of The Spree festival and we play host to the Royal National Mòd.

“All of these events attract people into the town and that’s what we need as we work to regenerate Paisley after some tough years.”

Tickets for the shows on 2-3 May can be bought from www.tickets-scotland.com on 08444 155 221 or from the food counter of Marks & Spencer, High Street, Paisley.

More information about the festival is available online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bringitallhome