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Royal National Mòd Torchlight Parade Photographs

Royal National Mòd torchlight parade

Royal National Mòd Torchlight Parade Photographs.

What a fantastic response from the people of Paisley who turned out in their hundreds if not thousands to see the Royal National Mòd Torchlight Parade go from Paisley Museum and march to Paisley Abbey.

It was a magnificent display by everyone involved and could not have gone better, such a positive night for the town of Paisley

Photographs courtesy of Digitalpict Photography in partnership with www.paisley.org.uk

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Its all happening in Paisley

Paisley Christmas Lights

Its all happening in Paisley.

Paisley is gearing up for a busy October and November of events, there is quite literally something for everyone in the forthcoming months everything from a scooter rally right through to the Festive Lights Switch On  in the town centre.

Only a few years ago the fireworks display was the only thing happening remotely close (at Seedhill Playing Fields), and the town centre had not yet seen any big events happening in or around it.  St Mirren going through Paisley in the open top bus in 1987 from the triumphant Scottish Cup win saw the town covered in ‘Black and White’, and then again in 2006 when the Buddies won the First Division to be promoted to the SPL, those were momentous occasions.

The arrival of the big centrepiece Fireworks event and Festive Lights Switch On a few years back changed things and in my opinion these may just have been defining moments for the fortunes of Paisley.  Thousands of people love to come to these events showing that the town centre can cope with these large scale occasions. It has proved to be a safe environment although there is still a lot more to be done with toilet amenities and food shops and local traders combining their efforts to make the best of these events.

Paisley Christmas Lights

Paisley is turning a corner, maybe we can’t see it yet but there is change coming.  Local traders are now combining their efforts, resulting in a process called the Business Improvement District (BID) to be known as Paisley First which officially launched last week. This is the first time many local traders and business owners have actually sat in the same room, now that is no mean feat in itself! There is progress although it may be slow but at least there are signs of promise.

Events in Paisley

The Farmers Market has now moved to the Cenotaph and is much more central and visible to the public and the change in timings has also helped, so the market will go from strength to strength.  The next one is tomorrow, Thursday 10th, 10am-2pm.

The Spree, which I love, is calling itself Paisley’s National Arts Festival  and is now in its second year. You will be able to see the massive Spiegeltent being erected in County Square, this is the venue for an event which covers every taste of music, comedy, arts and drama. Last year I attended a few events and there was plenty of local talent on display as well as some big headliners such as Roddy Frame.  The Spree begins this Friday and runs as a fringe event to the Royal National Mòd.  To find out more please visit www.thespree.co.uk

Modstuff is a local event aimed as an alternative to everything else, but working in tandem with local businesses and organisations. This is all about the traditional MOD style and the music associated with it. Their will be a scooter rideout in town this Saturday 12th October and the winner will be announced by the sponsors the Piazza Paisley. They will also have various acts performing live on the Friday and Saturday this week. LNP Promotions have done an excellent job with this mini festival and hopefully it will go on to be an annual event in Paisley. You can find out more by visiting their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/LNPPromotions

Royal National Mòd, It is a fantastic honour for this prestigious Gaelic event to be held in Paisley for the first time. The very fact its coming to Paisley shows just how far the town has come, and showcasing such events as the Paisley Choral Festival, which has been running in the town for six years, it brings a string of high profile classical musicians to Paisley, helping the town earn the unofficial title of Scotland’s Festival Town.

An Comunn Gàidhealach is the oldest and most respected Gaelic Language organisation. Founded in Oban in 1891, it has long been a leading light in the teaching, learning and use of the Gaelic language and the study and cultivation of Gaelic literature, history, music and art. Through the organisation and running of the Royal National Mòd and grass roots community development work, An Comunn Gàidhealach continues to further support and develop all aspects of the Gaelic language, culture, history and heritage at local, national and international levels. You can find out more by visiting the official website www.modphaislig.org

Renfrewshire Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival 2013, is currently ongoing with various events throughout Paisley and Renfrewshire, some highlights over the next couple of days are..

1. Wed and Thurs Workshops and Artist in Residence with weaver Joanne Kaar, 32 Old Sneddon St, at the bottom of stairs to Gilmour St Station. Go by and say hello and have a look!

2. Gilmour St Giants Reception, platform 1 Gilmour St train station Thurs 10 11am

3. World Mental Health Day Book Club and Event 12.30-1.30 10 Oct Spiegletent, County Square, Paisley with author and RMHAFF 2013 song, ‘Your Perception, My Reality’ come and get your free cd!

4. Creativity Works on Monday Reid Kerr, some places left, employability and creativity 9.30-12.30. book with Lorraine.Ewing@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

5. Angus Weaver of Grass dramatic performance Thurs 17th 9.30am, Paisley Arts Centre, only free performance, please help me fill the house. See more by clicking here..

We of course have the Festive Lights Switch On and the Fireworks to look forward to. This year’s Festive Lights Switch On ceremony will be performed by Tynchy Stryder and The View, to find out more information on this event click here..

Blog by Brian McGuire..

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Scottish Album of the Year winner RM Hubbert added to Spree bill

Scottish Album of the Year winner RM Hubbert added to Spree bill

Scottish Album of the Year Award winner RM Hubbert has been added to an already stacked festival line-up at The Spree in Paisley this month.

‘Hubby’ will join his Chemikal Underground label mates, Emma Pollock and Miaoux Miaoux, in a special performance with the Cairn String Quartet on Friday 18 October.

The Spree is returning after a successful debut in 2012. This year, it will run alongside the Royal National Mòd, Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic culture and language, on its first-ever visit to Paisley.

RM Hubbert won the 2013 SAY Award with his album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’. It was described as having; “evocative solo pieces nestled alongside spontaneous and experimental collaboration”.

The result is eclectic and beautiful; featuring voice, percussion, violin, piano, accordion, vibraphone, gu zheng and, above all, Hubbert’s extraordinary guitar playing.

His follow up album, Breaks & Bone, is an entirely solo effort, notable for the inclusion of Hubby’s vocals on each alternate song. It’s an album of hair-raising beauty and no little emotional clout.

Breaks and Bone is also the 200th release from the seminal Glasgow label, Chemikal Underground and so is a landmark release in every conceivable sense.

The Spree’s musical line up is Scottish, contemporary and creative.

It includes a unique performance from Admiral Fallow and The Twilight Sad who will appear along with The Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the spectacular setting of Paisley Abbey.

Rachel Sermanni, Capercaillie, Donnie Munro and Horse McDonald will all play another uniquely glamorous stage in the Spree’s Spiegeltent.

There will be comedy too from Craig Hill, Fred MacAulay and the Stand Comedy Club.

For the second year, the Spree offers a chance for unsigned talent to perform on the Danny Kyle open stage, named after the legendary Scottish singer-songwriter.

Acts are invited to apply to take part by downloading the application form from www.thespree.co.uk and returning it by Thursday 3 October to dkos.info@yahoo.com.

RM Hubbert will take the place of Oregon band, Loch Lomond, who had to pull out of this year’s Spree due to unforeseen circumstances.

There will be over 70 Spree and Mòd fringe events over 10 days in October. For further information on The Mòd fringe visit www.modphaislig.org.

The Spree is being run in partnership with Event Scotland, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

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Countdown is on until Mòd and Spree

Renfrewshire Junior Gaelic Choral Association

Countdown is on until Mòd and Spree

The countdown is on until Paisley becomes the centre of Scottish cultural activity with less than 100 days to go until it hosts the Royal National Mòd and national music and arts festival The Spree.

Wednesday 3 July marked the start of the 100-day countdown until the Mòd (11 to 19 October), Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic language and culture, which is taking place in the town for the first time.

Renfrewshire Junior Gaelic Choral Association

And it will be joined by The Spree (10 to 20 October), which has been designed to wrap around the Mòd and is set to feature some of Scotland’s top music and comedy acts.

The Spree made its debut in 2012 and has been expanded to 11 days this year, building on the success of last year’s event.

Renfrewshire Council is backing and helping to organise both festivals as part of its strategy to promote the area as an events destination, and is looking to involve residents, businesses and visitors.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to welcome these two festivals to the area, and expect them to further Paisley’s reputation as a Scottish entertainment destination.

“The Mòd and Spree festivals will see thousands of visitors arrive in Renfrewshire, bringing considerable economic benefits to the area.

“Paisley has some stunning and distinctive venues which will add to the flavour of these events – including Paisley Abbey, which celebrates its 850th birthday this year, and Paisley Town Hall, fresh from a £2.4m revamp.

“When October comes around, the town will be buzzing with activity, and it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase everything the area has to offer.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, Convenor of the Mòd Phàislig 2013 Organising Committee, added: “With 100 days to go we are working very hard to ensure the visit of the Royal National Mòd to Paisley will very memorable.

“We know it is an honour to host the Mòd and we are grateful to An Comunn Gàidhealach for bringing this historic and culturally-significant festival to our town.

“The town is looking forward to a great Gaelic experience and is very excited about welcoming everyone to Paisley in October.”

Full line-ups will be revealed soon, with tickets going on sale viawww.thespree.co.uk on 15 July. More info on the Mòd can be found at www.modphaislig.org

With great transport links, easy access and lots to see and do in Paisley, the town is gearing up for a very busy October.

The Spree is being run in partnership with Event Scotland, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and La Mesa Restaurant.

John MacLeod, president of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “We are really looking forward to the first visit of the Royal National Mòd to Paisley.

“An Comunn Gàidhealach have been working very closely with the Local Organising Committee to ensure that Paisley is the heart of Gaelic culture this October.”

Paul Bush OBE, chief operating officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with just 100 days until The Spree and The Royal National Mòd get underway in Paisley anticipation is building for what will be a fantastic 10 days of entertainment and celebration of Gaelic culture.

“We are delighted to be supporting The Spree again this year, following the success of 2012, which laid strong foundations for a strong cultural legacy from hosting the Mòd.”

Brian Ó hEadhra, Gaelic Arts & Culture Officer, Creative Scotland/Alba Chruthachail said: “Creative Scotland is committed to supporting our indigenous Gaelic arts, language and culture.

“Congratulations to An Comunn Gàidhealach and Renfrewshire Council on their great work to date in preparation for the Royal National Mòd and the complimentary festival, The Spree, both of which we’re really looking forward to.”

For more information see www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

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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

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Ceilidh Dance at The Wynd Centre

Ceilidh Dance

Ceilidh Dance 31st August in the Wynd Centre. Tickets are still available..

If you would like to purchase tickets please contact
Ealasaid MacDonald on 07535 514 385
or alternatively from the Printing Copy, 61 Paisley High Street.

ceilidh dance

Ceilidh Dance 31st August in the Wynd Centre is one of many events in the run up to next years Royal National MOD Paisley 2013

The Mòd

The Mòd is a huge, much-loved festival which has brought the focus of Scotland and Gaelic music lovers across the world to Stornoway.  It takes years of planning to achieve this and they have done a fantastic job.”

Paisley MOD 2013

The eight-day festival is famous for celebrating Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage and provides opportunities for people of all ages to perform across a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature.

Councillor Lorraine Cameron, Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener, said: “There is a fantastic atmosphere here and it’s great to see the whole community getting involved, which is how we want the Paisley Mòd to be in 2013.

“It will be important for us to bring our communities together to ensure that the first ever Paisley Mòd is a success. It will be particularly exciting for local schoolchildren to learn more about the Mòd and the Gaelic cultural heritage in the lead up to and during the festival.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, chair of Meur Phàislig, said: “We are delighted at the positive response we have received from the Gaelic community at large and have recently set up the local organising committee to get preparations underway for 2013.”

“Bringing the Royal National Mòd to Paisley will provide a wonderful focus on the language and help us to develop wider awareness and participation locally. Local Gaelic classes are already popular and we have witnessed the success of local groups, such as Sonas and Clann Gaidhlig, which are going from strength to strength. “

This will be the first time Paisley has hosted the national Mòd. The town will follow on from Stornoway in 2011 and Dunoon in 2012.

Press Release from Renfrewshire Council 

Dont forget book your tickets for the Ceilidh Dance 31st August in the Wynd Centre by using the details above

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Mod Phaislig 2013 & Voices in Paisley weave their musical thread

Paisley MOD 2013

Paisley MOD 2013

Mòd Phàislig & Voices in Paisley are offering an exciting opportunity to compose the tune ‘Paisley welcomes the Royal National Mod 2013’which will celebrate the historic visit of the renowned Gaelic festival to the town in 2013. As their contribution to Weaving Musical Threads, the arts extravaganza which takes place across Renfrewshire on 3 & 4 March, the Mòd Phàislig 2013 team have combined with Voices in Paisley to host this competition, with the winner being unveiled on Saturday 3 March when a number of Gaelic choirs will perform in the town as part of the celebrations.

In order to enter the competition email or post a manuscript of your composition to the Mòd Phàislig team. Do not put your name on the manuscript as the judging will be anonymous. It would be useful if entrants could also submit some audio of the tune being played, although this is not essential. In addition to the manuscript, a covering letter is required with full contact details, as well as any information you feel is necessary. E-mail entries to modphaislig2013@yahoo.co.uk or post to Mòd Phàislig 2013, 12 Ben Nevis Road, Paisley, PA27LA by 8 February. If you have any queries contact Ealasaid MacDonald on 07535514385

In addition to having the honour of their tune being the soundtrack to the Mòd Phàislig celebrations, the winner will receive a cheque for £150. Judging the competition to the final two are three stalwarts of traditional music, Duncan Nicholson, Pipe Major of Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, Brian Laurie of the Brian Laurie Accordion Music School and Andrew Gifford of the renowned band Fiddlers Bid. It will be the audience at the Gaelic Choirs event on 3 March that will make the final decision.

Jim Drennan, Chair of Voices in Paisley said:

‘We are delighted to be working with Mòd Phàislig 2013 as our contribution to Weaving Musical Threads. The tune will provide a lovely soundtrack to the preparations for the Mòd, and will be a lasting legacy. We hope composers from Renfrewshire and afar take the opportunity to be part of two exciting events.’

Ealasaid MacDonald, Convenor of Mòd Phàislig 2013, said

‘This is an excellent opportunity for people to be at the centre of the Mòd Phàislig celebrations. The tune will be central at all events as we prepare for the Mòd and also while it is here in the town. We are grateful to our judges for giving their time to judge and I know they are looking forward to seeing the different interpretations of ‘Paisley welcomes the Royal National Mòd 2013’.

For press queries contact Ealasaid (Liz) MacDonald on 07535514385 or email liz.macdonald-ce@renfrewshire.gov.uk