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Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain in concert with Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Photographs

phil and aly

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain in concert with Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Photographs.

Photographs from the Spiegeltent in County Square, part of The Spree Festival in Paisley.

In 1988, two  members from two of Scotland’s leading bands, “The Boys of The Lough” and “Silly Wizard”, came together to work on a television series. You could say ‘the rest is history’.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham enjoyed performing together so much that they decided to have a small tour that year. That was beginning of a remarkable working relationship and friendship that has endured and continued to thrive taking them all over the world.

Ross & Jarlath fortuitously formed at Celtic Connections 2012, following a double bill of the two frontline pipers’ trio line-ups, the pair have fast become one of the most enigmatic duo’s to emerge from Scotland, these young musicians are not only vastly talented but have created a sound that is bursting with energy.

A fusion of pipes and flutes the duo push the boundaries of what the instruments can achieve in a performance which is a vibrant mix of new and original compositions along with traditional tunes. [text courtesy of The Spree]

All photographs by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with www.paisley.org.uk

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Paisley Spree is a triumph

the spree

Paisley Spree is a triumph
Six months of planning, 24 events and nearly 3,000 people made last weekend’s new national festival, The Spree, a triumph.

The music, arts and comedy festival launches Paisley’s Year of the Mod and showed just how well the town is suited to holding major cultural events. Next October, the Spree will wrap round the Mod; making Paisley the focal point for Scottish music, drama and comedy.

the spreePeople from Tokyo, Texas, Ireland and throughout the UK visited Paisley to see artists such as Roddy Frame, Damien Dempsey and Karen Matheson, Fidil and Chemikal Underground. They also enjoyed some rip-roaring comedy: Craig Hill’s outrageous Jock’s Trap!, lunchtime improvisation, kids’ comedy and Saturday night’s Best of Scottish Comedy in association with the Stand comedy club.

A Spiegeltent was shipped in from Holland and local people watched on in amazement as this spectacular venue was erected in Paisley’s County Square within 24 hours.

There were four partners involved in funding and delivering the project; Creative Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, EventScotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:

“The Spree was a great success. We were proud to welcome so many visitors to Paisley and, of course, Renfrewshire’s people got the chance of a great night out on their door step.

“The Spree shows us all how a real town setting like Paisley does can add to a festival’s character. The Abbey and the Spiegeltent were fantastic venues, the town’s people welcomed our visitors in the best Paisley spirit and the atmosphere around the town lively and friendly.”

the spree

The Spree organisers worked closely with local organisations such as: Reid Kerr College, who assisted with the photography and radio interviews; the University of West of Scotland, who are working on the festival evaluation; Loud ‘n’ Proud, a local youth charity who help develop young musicians in Scotland; and PACE Youth Theatre.

The festival ended yesterday with a full day of Celtic Connections that included a flavour of the Danny Kyle Stage. Previous finalists such as Breabach and Craig Jeffrey entertained a full Spiegeltent audience who were then treated to a Scottish exclusive performance by Francois and the Atlas Mountains.

Amanda Moulson, Renfrewshire Council’s Town Centres and Events Manager added:

“The Spree has had a great impact on Paisley and has placed us firmly on Scottish events map; proving that great things can happen in towns as well as cities. We’re happy to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended a Spree event and who supported the festival in its first year.

“Paisley can prepare for an even a bigger Spree next year as we welcome the National Royal Mòd.”

www.thespree.co.uk

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Celtic Connections day at The Spree

Danny Kyle

Celtic Connections The Spree

Also Danny Kyle Stage in association with Celtic Connections

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Spree, Scotland’s new national music and arts festival will launch in Paisley 25-28 October and will herald the year of Mod Phaislig 2013 (The Royal National Mod in Paisley).  Spree organisers have been working with Celtic Connections to bring a flavour of the Danny Kyle Stage back to his home town. The Spree will celebrate the emerging talent platform and what Danny Kyle did for some 89 acts.

Danny Kyle

Danny Kyle statue with previous Danny award-winner Breabach at Sma’ Shot Cottages, 11/17 George Place, Paisley

Danny put his stage together to give new artists the break they needed.  It toured folk festivals throughout the UK and helped to launch 89 new acts.  On Sunday, 28 October, the Danny Kyle stage will be in Paisley, in our Spiegeltent and doing its job well; showcasing the best in new Scottish talent.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark MacMillan, is enthusiastic about the festival:

“We’re thrilled to welcome Celtic Connections to The Spree and to Paisley.  Our real town setting will add even more spirit and authenticity to what promises to be a great event.  Paisley’s people and businesses are already getting ready to welcome festival goers and Celtic Connections Sunday will provide a rousing end to The Spree.”

Donald Shaw, artistic director of Celtic Connections, added:

“We are delighted to be working with The Spree to bring a taste of the Danny Kyle Open Stage to Paisley. Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform on Danny’s open stage and it is a great opportunity for young musicians to get recognised. Danny has left an incredible legacy to Scottish folk music.”

Celtic Music Radio’s Liz Clark, herself a long-time friend of Danny Kyle, will compere The Spree’s Celtic Connections day and introduce two previous Danny Award finalists. These include:

  • Breabach, who won ‘Best Group’ at the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and who have just wowed the Edinburgh Festival audience
  • Craig Jeffrey, whose debut album has become a favourite TV soundtrack choice
  • Maeve O’Boyle
  • Rory Butler

Danny Kyle died in the summer of 1998. He was one of the best loved and most influential people on the Scottish folk music scene. He’s remembered fondly for his sense of humour, his terrible ties and his very bonnie bunnet.

The Stonehaven Folk Festival chose to commemorate Danny with a statue by Penicuik artist Jan Miller.

Ewan Robertson, guitarist in Breabach comments: “Being named as finalists in the 2005 Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections was a huge honour for us. Liz Clark and Gibb Todd have done a fantastic job continuing Danny’s work of discovering and promoting new Scottish music. It’s a legacy we’re really proud to be a part of.

“The band has developed and matured a great deal in the seven years since taking part in the open stage. With the interest and support we received following it we were able to launch a professional career.

“More recently we’ve added double bass into the mix, replaced 2 band members, released our 3rd studio album and toured in Europe, North America and Australia. Everything has just clicked into place and we’ve been having a ball.

“The prospect of playing the Spree in Danny’s home town is a really exciting one. We love to travel but ultimately the most special gigs are always the ones at home and we can’t wait for this one.”

Other features of the Celtic Connections day (outwith the Danny Kyle Stage) include:

  • Francois and the Atlas Mountains 
  • Bwani Junction 
For more information visit www.thespree.co.uk
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Renfrewshire Arts and Museums’ new autumn programme

Scottish musical talent set to kick off Renfrewshire Arts and Museums’ new autumn programme

Superb line-up of Scottish musical talent set to kick off Renfrewshire Arts and Museums’ new autumn programme:

Autumn has arrived in Renfrewshire with a new and exciting arts programme jam packed with music gigs, plays, film screenings, stand-up comedy, exhibitions, dance pieces and outreach classes and events taking place at venues across the region.

The music programme kicks off with Heidi Talbot sharing a stage with John McCusker, Kris Drever and Ian Carr, quickly followed by a new series of Paisley Underground gigs which returns for its third year focusing on artists from 3 of the country’s most dynamic record labels as well as developing and promoting emerging talent.

Again the theatre programme boasts a diverse mix of themes, from the heart-warming and hilarious ‘The Matchmaker’ to the wonders of witchcraft, Wi-Fi and wild imagination in ‘The Scarlett WWWeb’. Moreover, the newly refurbished Renfrew Town Hall will play host to ‘The Monster in the Hall’ by award winning playwright David Greig and come November you are encouraged to lose control as ‘Sing-a-long-a Grease‘ hits Paisley Town Hall with an electrifying performance.

The countdown to Mòd 2013 is now well underway and as a taster, Gaelic musicians Mairi Morrison and Alasdair Roberts take to the stage to perform their stunning new recording of ‘Urstan’ during The Spree festival in October.

Renfrewhire Arts and Museums is again working with The Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival to bring you insightful discussions, films, such as ‘My Name Is Joe’, and a drama performance called ‘Piece of Mind’; which brings to life the experiences of young people suffering from Bipolar Disorder.

Two exhibitions not to be missed at Paisley Museum this season are Paisley Artists 100th Annual Exhibition and ‘Paisley’s River’, a presentation of the role that the White Cart Water has played in the town’s development over the years.

Once again our talented outreach team will be running an extensive programme of creative art, fashion design and animation classes, as well as family favourites Playdays! @ the Museum and themed Baby Discos.

The new Autumn What’s On brochure, complete with the full arts programme is available from various venues and hotspots across Renfrewshire and Glasgow.

You can also keep up to date with Renfrewshire Arts and Museums by following www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts, logging onto www.renfrewshire.gov.uk or signing up to their e-newsletter by emailing rem.els@renfrewshire.gov.uk where you have the chance of winning a £50 Amazon gift card if you do so before 2 November.

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Rockin’ around The Paisley Spree 25 – 28 October 2012

The Spree national festival will bring something new to the Scottish arts scene and to prove it organisers have announced its programme for under 18s.  Three local initiatives; Create, Pace Theatre and Loud ‘n’ Proud will show just how talented you people can be.

Create is inspired, informed and run by volunteers and interns who are dedicated to building a creative arts focused future for Paisley where a community of confident young artists and musicians can develop and thrive.

On Friday 26 October, Create, in association with Hit the Road will hit the stage with Create Wars 2012, its final battle of the local bands.  Last year’s winner Crown of Storms will head the bill before hitting the road on their own Scottish tour. The Wynd Centre, Paisley, from 18:00, £2

On Saturday 27 October, Loud ‘n’ Proud will present the Wee Band and the Acutones with special guests.

Loud ‘n’ Proud was founded in 2001 as a local music project and it has developed an impressive track record in developing musical talent.  Loud ‘n’ Proud graduates regularly perform at festivals and win competitions.   Spiegeltent, Paisley, 12:00 – 14:00, £10 / 8

The Spree’s about a good laugh too, so there’s a Kids’ Comedy Club, in association with The Stand Comedy Club on Saturday 27.  Viv Gee, Billy Kirkwood and Steven Dick, offer comedy and magic in a show aimed at  8 – 12 year olds.  All content is age appropriate, every young fan must be accompanied by an adult and the club is not suitable for the under 5s. The Wynd Centre, Paisley, from 14:00, £5

Local theatre company, PACE, will  be performing “Terra Nova”……………The roots of our lives spread out in all directions, some to the north, some south, east and west, creating a true concordia of ideas to inspire our spirit with every step we take into the unknown…”

In a unique work devised for The Spree’s Spiegeltent, young actors pave the way for more vibrant creativity in the reflective sight of their Terra Nova … In words, movement and song PACE is stepping out to the rhythms of its heart. Spiegeltent, Paisley, from 15:00

All photographs taken for Paisley.org.uk by Tracey Clements.

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The Spree Festival Paisley

The Spree festival Paisley, is a brand new music, arts and comedy festival taking place in Paisley from 25 – 28 October 2012. For the first time ever Paisley will have its very own Spiegeltent in County Square.
Visit the fantastic brand new website www.thepsree.co.uk
Description

The Spree is a new four day festival taking place in Paisley across four different venues, Paisley Abbey, Paisley Arts Centre, The Wynd Centre and a Spiegeltent based in County Square. Thursday 25 – Sunday 28 October 2012!

The festival encompasses music, drama, dance, comedy and has something for everyone to enjoy… Roddy Frame, Karen Matheson, Damien Dempsey, Francois and the Atlas Mountains and comedian Craig Hill headline the festival.

From lunch time comedy clubs, Roddy Frame performing live in Paisley Abbey to Craig Hill performing in the Spiegeltent this really will be a fabulous four days of complete entertainment.

Tickets can be purchased from www.tickets-scotland.com or 08444 155 221 or from the Renfrewshire Council box office on 0141 887 1010

Event Listing:
Thursday 25th October 2012
  • 10.00 -11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 -2.00: Who’s lunch is it anyway? In association with The Stand to be held in the Spiegeltent £5 PER TICKET
    This improvised comedy show will have you in stitches. Marvel as Stuart Murphy & Garry Dobson weave comedy magic from your suggestions
  • 5.00 – 6.00: 5PM Club Reid Kerr College performance – two acoustic acts FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 6.00 – 7.30: Panel event to be held in Paisley Arts Centre FREE
  • 7.30 -10.00: Paisley Underground presents Chemikal Underground – Human Don’t be Angry supporter by Miaoux Miaoux to be held in the Spiegeltent £12/£10 TICKETS
  • 7.30 -10.00: Karen Matheson Band (Gaelic singer, lead in Capercaillie) and Dick Gaughan TICKETS £18/£16, event to be held in Paisley Abbey

Friday 26th october

  • 10.00 -11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 -2.00: Who’s lunch is it anyway? In association with The Stand held in the Spiegeltent £5 PER TICKET
  • 5.00 – 6.00: 5PM Club Reid Kerr College performance – two acoustic acts FREE held in the Spiegeltent
  • 6pm: Create in association with Hit the Road held in the The Wynd Centre TICKETS £2
  • 7.00 – 9.00: Craig Hill, comedian held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £14.50/£13
  • 9.30 -11.30: Damien Dempsey album tour (West of Scotland excl) £12/£10 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent

Saturday 27th October

  • 10.00 – 11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 – 2.00: Loud and Proud present ‘The Wee Band’ and ‘The Acutones’, plus special guest singers held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £10/£8
  • 2.00: Kids Comedy Club in association with The Stand Comedy Club held in the The Wynd Centre. TICKETS £5
  • 2.00: Seminar held in the Reid Kerr College FREE
  • 3.00 – 5.00: Pace Youth Theatre held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £10/£5
  • 7.00: Fidil and Bard Band £12/10 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent
  • 7.00: Roddy Frame plus support £18/16 TICKETS held in the Paisley Abbey
  • 8.00: Mairi Morrison, Gaelic influence, just recorded album and Alasdair Roberts, Indie and Folk £12/10 TICKETS held in the Paisley Arts Centre
  • 9.30: Best of Scottish Comedy in association with The Stand -Bruce Devlin, Raymond Mearns , Keir MacAllister, James Kirk. £10/£8 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent

Sunday 28th October

  • 2.00 -5.00: – Danny Kyle stage in association with Celtic Connections
    Breabach – recently nominated as Best Group at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and Scots Trad Awards simultaneously in 2011

    Craig Jeffrey PLUS MORE TO BE REVEALED.
    TICKETS £10/£8 held in the Spiegeltent

  • 7.30: Francois and the Atlas Mountains, indie and folk (Scottish Exclusive) plus special guests. TICKETS £12/£10 held in the Spiegeltent

This listing is by no means the final listing and is subject to change, it is purely there to give visitors and the people of Paisley a guide to what is on during the Spree event in October.

Keep coming back to www.paisley.org.uk for more on the Spree itself. Or please visit the brand new website www.thespree.co.uk

The Spree website should be live week commencing 6th August 2012. You can also visit the Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/thespreefestival

Tickets can be purchased from www.tickets-scotland.com or 08444 155 221 or from the Renfrewshire Council box office on 0141 887 1010