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Stunning Abbey show helps top off successful Spree

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Paisley’s Spree festival closed at the weekend after a nine-day arts extravaganza …and organisers reckon the festival is going from strength to strength.

The Spree 2014 saw around 60 shows across five venues around the town, including a specially-built Spiegeltent, with an estimated total attendance of more than 5,000.

This year’s bill featured music, comedy, theatre, film and even a hypnotist, as well as a well-attended programme of children’s shows to coincide with the October week.

Paisley Spree RSNO_053

The undoubted highlight was a one-off collaboration between King Creosote, Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the stunning setting of Paisley Abbey on Friday night.

The show was the most eagerly anticipated on the bill – with all tickets having been snapped up within days of going on sale in August – and it didn’t disappoint, with the orchestra adding a thick layer of sonic grandeur to the music of both artists.

Paisley Spree RSNO_010

Host for the night, broadcaster Vic Galloway, thanked festival organisers Renfrewshire Council and asked the crowd to wish Paisley all the best with its possible bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.

Roddy Hart described the gig as his ‘proudest ever moment as a songwriter’ and the reaction to both sets suggested the 400-strong crowd were delighted to be there.

Other musical highlights from throughout the week included Dougie MacLean, Withered Hand and Merrymouth (featuring Ocean Colour Scene’s Simon Fowler).

There was also plenty big-name comedy on the bill, with Russell Kane, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss all featuring, alongside two editions of the regular Buddy Good Laugh stand-up nights.

Paisley Spree RSNO_039

And the children’s programme proved popular, with the kids’ comedy attracting big crowds to the Spiegeltent, as did the free Let’s Do Robotics with Lego workshops, timed to run alongside the first week of the Brick Wonders Lego exhibition at Paisley Museum.

The festival was organised and promoted by Renfrewshire Council as part of a wider push to offer a varied cultural programme and use events to bring people into the area.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This was the third annual Spree festival and the event is now starting to firmly establish the town on Scotland’s festival map.

“We want to show people they don’t have to go to the city for a good night out – that we are able to attract quality acts to Paisley.

“Some of the feedback we have had has been fantastic – in particular the reaction to the Abbey show confirms we have a venue and a formula that is pretty special, and we look forward to building on that.

“The council has big plans to use Paisley’s superb heritage assets and cultural scene as the engine behind a wider process of regeneration over the next decade.

“We are grateful to everybody who came out and supported the event and we look forward to growing the festival in the years ahead.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Mod Paisley and The Spree

The Spree Launch

Mod Paisley and The Spree

Paisley set for unique festival double

Paisley is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors as the town gets set for a unique festival fortnight double.

The Royal National Mòd is coming to Paisley for the first time in its one hundred years-plus history.

Paisley will host the world-famous celebration of Gaelic language and culture from 11-19 October.

Running alongside the Mòd, from 10-20 October, The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival, returns to venues across Paisley.

(All photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography)

This year’s event includes a unique collaboration between Admiral Fallow, The Twilight Sad and the RSNO, plus live music from Edwyn Collins, Capercaille, and Donnie Munro, and comedy from Fred MacAulay and Craig Hill.

With more than 70 Spree and Mòd fringe events taking place over ten days, in addition to the Mòd itself, the town will have a festival feel, with a full kids’ programme, as well as workshops in everything from drama to Gaelic language and fiddle playing.

Council chiefs in Renfrewshire believe the combination of both events will deliver a significant boost to the ongoing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:  “It is an honour for Paisley to welcome the Mòd and the thousands of visitors and competitors who make it such a special event for the host town.

“I am sure that the welcome from the people of Paisley, and the town’s rich cultural, historical and architectural traditions will provide an appropriate setting.

“There’s something extra special this year for our visitors and our own community with the Mòd running in parallel with The Spree.   That combination offers a unique chance for people to try different performances and activities that they might not have done before. There’s something for everyone to appreciate, enjoy or take part in personally.

“The unique combination of Scotland’s oldest and newest cultural festivals will also support the continuing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

“As part of the council’s regeneration programme for Paisley town centre, we have significantly expanded our events programme.  Paisley’s Fireworks Display, and Christmas Lights Switch-On attract crowds approaching 40,000 people into the town centre.

“We’re seeing people coming back to live in the centre of Paisley.  There are recently-agreed proposals for retail and residential development to revive the iconic former Arnotts store.

“There’s a lot going on to boost Paisley and we have the perfect opportunity to showcase that to residents and visitors alike.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, Convener of   Mòd Phàislig said:  “We are very excited about the arrival of the Royal National Mòd in Paisley.

“There’s a special celebration to start the proceedings with a torchlight parade through the centre of Paisley starting at 7pm on Friday (October 11) from the top of the High Street and culminating at Paisley Town hall where the Mòd flag will be unfurled.

“Organisations, businesses and members of the public in Paisley have showed tremendous support to the local organising committee as we have been preparing to host The Mòd.

“Now it’s time for the town to see at first-hand this world-class cultural festival.”

John MacLeod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “The opening of The Royal National Mòd, Gaeldom’s biggest national festival celebrating Gaelic language and culture is almost here, and we are delighted that the town of Paisley is hosting this special event.

“This has been an important year for Gaelic in educational and social terms and we can now confidently face the future in the knowledge that our language and culture will continue to prosper in the care of the new generation of Gaelic speakers.”

Information and booking details on all the events is available at www.thespree.co.uk and www.modphaislig.org

Photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with Paisley on the web.

Photographs of, Ealasaid MacDonald,   Convener of   Mòd Phàislig   Emma Creighton, 11, Councillor Jim Harte, Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Spokesperson, Sarah England, 10, and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan are pictured outside the Spiegeltent in the  centre of Paisley as the town prepares for a unique festivals fortnight  with The Royal National  Mòd and The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival.

Emma and Sarah will be performing at the  Mòd as part of RJ’s, the Renfrewshire Junior Gaelic Choral Association

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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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SpiegelTent Paisley Photographs

SpiegelTent

Paisley Photographs of the Idolize SpiegelTent – the perfect cabaret and music salon

European SpiegelTents are hand-hewn mirrored pavilions that have been used as traveling dance halls, bars and entertainment salons since the early 20th century. Built of wood, mirrors, canvas, leaded glass and detailed in velvet and brocade, every SpiegelTent brings its own personality to an event or performance.

Very few of these legendary ‘tents of mirrors’ still survive but one’s coming to Paisley. Our SpiegelTent, Idolize, is a baroque beauty who will grace County Square during The Spree and add her own charms to our music and comedy.

All Photographs by Ian McDonald for Paisley Photographs

For more information about The Spree Festival please visit www.thespree.co.uk/venue/spiegeltent

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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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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

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The Spree Festival Houston, we have a sell-out

The Spree Festival

A show by one of Scotland’s top musicians is attracting international interest to a new Paisley festival.

And such has been the interest in the performance by Roddy Frame that ticket buyers from Houston, Renfrewshire, to Houston, Texas, have made the show a sell-out.

The show, in Paisley Abbey on October 27, will be one of the highlights of The Spree, Paisley’s national festival, which takes place from 25-28 October.

Organisers of the inaugural festival, which also features a range of music and comedy acts, are delighted at the response to the Roddy Frame performance which has also attracted gig-goers from Germany and Japan, as well as across the UK and Ireland.

“It’s brilliant to be part of this new festival and to learn that so many fans are willing to travel so far to see the show,” said Roddy Frame.  “I’m also looking forward to performing in a working abbey – that will be a first!”

Lisa Whytock, who is programming the Spree, said:  “We are really excited to see that news of The Spree has spread so quickly across the world.”

The concert goers from Houston in Scotland and Houston in the USA are both long-standing Roddy Frame fans.

Scott MacKay from Houston, Renfrewshire, said: “I was delighted to learn of The Spree festival in Paisley as I have travelled to gigs and festivals all over the UK and it is brilliant to see this level of talent on my doorstep.

“I have also seen Roddy Frame on three previous occasions and it is great that he is coming to see me this time rather than me travelling far to see him.”

Jeffrey Barlow, from Houston, Texas, said:

“Since my first chance to see Roddy perform live (in London, 2002) I’ve tried to attend as many shows as I can. For me The Spree is worth a trip ‘across the pond’ to enjoy the energy, passion, and genius he delivers when performing live.

“This will be my fifth trip to the UK, and eighth live show to see Roddy.

“I saw his concert in Glasgow at the Old Fruit Market in 2006 and have wanted to return to Glasgow since then.  Another reason for making the trip is that my birthday falls on 28 October, so for me this all too rare live show from Roddy is like a birthday gift.”

The four venues to host the events include a specially erected Spiegeltent at County Square, Paisley Abbey, Wynd Centre and Paisley Arts Centre. Roddy Frame’s concert will be held in Paisley Abbey.

Tickets are now on sale for the festival and can be bought through Ticket Scotland and Renfrewshire Council’s box office-  www.tickets-scotland.com / www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/thespree.