Wanting to support St. Vincent’s Hospice, Linwood-based Enva employees, led by Craig Murray, set themselves the task of growing “muttonchops and whiskers” during the month of November in order to raise money for end-of-life patient care.

Workmates Vincent Kiernan, James Moran, John Fern, Paul Scott, Darren Scott, George Carragher, and Craig, set themselves individual challenges to see who could grow the best “mouser”. The guys enjoyed the challenge and now that all of their sponsorship has been counted they have raised an amazing £1068 for St. Vincent’s Hospice, Enva very kindly matched their efforts, so altogether the “Fuzzy Fundraising Team” raised £2136 – a fantastic achievement!

Kirsteen Murray, Chief Executive of St Vincent’s Hospice said “It has been a really tough year for hospice fundraising, with so many large-scale events being unable to go ahead due to COVID restrictions. It is thanks to the incredible efforts of individuals like this that we are able to be there for people in Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire when they need us most and for Enva as a company to double their workers’ contribution is incredibly generous .We are also grateful to all of the partners of those involved who put up with the growing pains!”

Did you know that by completing the College’s 12 week Prince’s Trust Team Programme you will have improved chances of moving into a job, education or other training?

Sounds good doesn’t it?

If you’re aged 16-25 and want to develop your self-confidence APPLY NOW to the Paisley Team starting online on Monday 17 January!

To find out more click:  http://bit.ly/wcsptteam 👍 or email beth.agnew@wcs.ac.uk

Tonight ‘The Shoppers Slot at 4pm it is Wild Card. Straight after that at 8pm young band Esquire will be playing a short set from 8pm then Emma Nailen will be performing at 9pm. Emma keeps herself busy running Third Wheel Music and Production studio in Bellshill.

She teaches guitar and vocals and band production. She has been working with the two boys from Esquire and has done a great job with them. Lucky for us she still finds time to get out and play live. The Sunday Northern Soul afternoon is back and starts at 3pm. On Monday Cammy Miller is in his usual slot at 4pm then on Tuesday Lee James does his Rat Pack Show at 3pm.

On Wednesday The Pre Fab Four are playing at 5pm. Lee James will be back for round two on Thursday at 3pm when he ‘Takes You Through The Decades’. Whew, I told you it was another bumper of a week, didn’t I?

 

A new band for The Cave is playing tomorrow at 8.30pm. They are called Off Ya Rocker and they are sure to get the usual warm welcome from all the Cave’s regular rock fans. On Sunday at 6pm Cherry Red 53 will be banging out some old-fashioned rock n roll.

Tomorrow afternoon The Bungalow have their first Big Band Session of 2022 and to kick it off it is Glasgow based jazz band The Bobby Deans Big Band which is run by Michael Deans, brother of the late Bobby Deans. Bobby Deans name is synonymous with big band music in Glasgow. The band is formed from some of the finest musicians available in Scotland and their setlist has all the big band classic sounds of Dorsey, Ellington, Millar, Basie, Kenton and Goodman while vocal contributions cover the classic artists like Sinatra, Darren, Fitzgerald and Holliday.

This is always a popular afternoon at The Bungalow. Because of the limited numbers, it is advised to get a ticket from The Bungalow Facebook events page. Doors open at 1pm, the band starts at 2pm and tickets are £5. 

Tomorrow night is UB40 tribute band One in Ten and it is a sell-out but there may be some hand backs so it might be worth passing by. One In Ten are a fully live eight-piece band performing a night full of pulsating reggae hits spanning over 25 years. Expect great songs from UB 40’s early hits such as ‘King’, ‘Food for Thought’ and ‘Red Red Wine’ through to some of their most recent work. All that with some foot-stomping 80’s Ska thrown in it all looks like a great live show. Doors are at 7pm. 

The Open Stage afternoon on Sunday starts at 3pm. Everyone is welcome to take to the stage as a solo, duet or band. A full backline is provided, and a sound engineer will be there to get a great sound for you. 

The Keg have Mya Brown, Paisley’s Young Artist of the Year 2021 playing tonight at 9pm. Mya is a singer/songwriter and music journalist, and she is sure to put you in a good mood and kick off the weekend in style for you. It is a bit of a home tie for Mya as she is a regular at The Keg’s Open Mic Nights.

Tomorrow night the atmosphere will be electric as Mark Theo McMillan returns to The Keg playing all your favourites tunes. Mark gets things going at 9pm. Johnny Barr says The Keg has the wildest open mic session in town. Maybe it’s about time we all piled in to check this claim out and see if it’s true. What I do know is local musicians get to showcase their talents and you get to sit back and enjoy live music. Make sure you are down early to grab a seat. All the action starts at 8:30pm.

Walk Lighter is a new support group aimed to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The group has been set up by Ciara Duddy, a primary school teacher based in Paisley. 
First walk: Saturday 5th February, Barshaw Park, 09:30 am 

“On the 21st September 2021 my life as I knew it changed forever. I lost my dad to suicide.

Throughout the darkness I have been trying to find connections, a support group, a safe space to meet others who have also lost a loved one to suicide. I found phone numbers for helplines, zoom meetings and forums but no physical group. This led me to think of others who are trying to find the same support…so therefore I decided to create my own. 

@walklighterglasgow will be an informal monthly support group meeting in Paisley. We can grab a coffee and walk with those who are experiencing the same confusion, heartache and fears. 

Let’s walk lighter… together ✨🌿” 

Johnny-Barr-Christmas-Gig

Not much to write about this week. At this time of year every venue usually puts on extra gigs and party nights to take you through the bells. The town should be full of live music and throngs of revellers in the streets ready to have fun. The Bungalow have cancelled all their gigs and it looks like things will be back soon but in this climate it’s difficult to tell. One metre distancing, all seated, and table service has made it impossible to operate a pub or venue and those that can stay open. It’ll be a struggle to make it work.

It looked like The Old Swan was having to fully cancel their New Year Party but a bit of moving and shaking by Jac McCaig the owner it looks like it is now two parties instead of one.  I spoke to Jac and here is what she said “Good news our NYE gigs are going ahead. Firstly, I’d just like to apologise for having to refund everyone’s NYE tickets it was the only way as we had sold 180 tickets and as from 27th December the capacity will be reduced down to 79, secondly, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who told me to keep their NY ticket money for the staff that was so so kind, 

I now have another plan for NYE but for us not to run it at a loss, we need to split the day into 2 sessions, and we’ve had to up the ticket price. You know this is the musician’s chance to get a bit more money and quite rightly so as they play for next to nothing. So, I’m proposing two sessions 

An afternoon with Maria McAveety Music & Lori live at 12-5pm with haggis, neeps & tatties and a half £5 or an evening with The Dead Flowers 5:30pm- 10pm also with haggis, neeps & tatties and a half £8”

She explained to me that this was the only way to come to some compromise and have some sort of celebration. It means that The Old Swan stays open, and the bands don’t lose their gig. If you phone The Old Swan on 0141-562-0908 the staff will issue everyone’s refunds and can sort out new tickets. 

The Cave Hogmanay Bash is full booked tonight. Wreckless are the band taking them into the New Year. I know they will play a blinder in their favourite wee venue and the atmosphere will be great. I might just pass by and peer in the window or that might be torturing myself a bit too much. Black Triangles are playing at Kennedys on Sunday from 6pm till whenever they stop.

The Keg have the perfect Neerday hangover cure and a great start to the New Year of 2022 with some light-hearted comedy compered by host Billy Kirkwood. Headlining is the master storyteller and regular headline act of Scottish comedy, Gary Little. There are more acts TBC and it kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets are £10.

It has been a rollercoaster of a year when we were all shut down, then opened, a bit then opened a bit more, then all but shut down again. To be honest I have hated it so much and another year of ups and downs will be torture for people who like me who want to get out and see live music, meet old and new friends and check out new talent. However, I can only look back at some of my best gigs in our Paisley venues of 2021 and here they are:

Wreckless at The Cave, The Dead Flowers at The Old Swan, Proposal at The Anchor, Nightfly at Kennedy’s, Horse at The Bungalow, Johnny Barr’s Open Mic Night at The Keg, Frankly the Smiths at Rocknrollas and Scunnart at CC’s. That’s mine what are yours? I wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope it is better than this one.

Glen Cinema documents 30.10.19-2323-2

Despite the ongoing COVID Pandemic the this year’s Glen Cinema Commemoration Service will take place at 10:30am on Hogmanay at the new memorial in Dunn Square.

Glen Cinema documents 30.10.19-2323-2

Tony Lawler, who has led the annual Commemoration Service since 2009, said, “The COVID pandemic will not stop us from remembering the the tragic events that unfolded on Hogmanay 1929, but we have to keep people safe, as such we will observe the 2 metre social distancing between households and everyone will be asked to wear a mask or face covering. However, the current restrictions mean that there will be no tea and sandwiches after the service this year.

On the 31/12/29, 71 children died due to panic caused by smoke coming from a smouldering film reel. Since Hogmanay 2009, Paisley Buddies have been coming together at the Cenotaph in remembrance of the Children of the Glen.

Tony went on to say, “This will be the 12th year that Paisley Buddies have come together for the Commemoration Service. It is the first year where we will hold the service at the new dedicated memorial in Dunn Square. It is really important that we continue to remember the 71 kids that died on that tragic day. It’s our opportunity, both as individuals and, as a community, to offer our condolences to their families and loved ones. It is also and opportunity to show our continued support to the survivors and their families.”

The Commemoration Service this year, will take place at 10:30am in Dunn Square, Paisley poet Fred McNeill will recite his poem “Children of The Glen”, Paisley singers and songwriters, Carol Laula and Tom Urie will sing their song, “Hush Now, Happy New Year”, a song they were commissioned to write as part of the 90th Anniversary, followed by a prayer from Reverend Elspeth Mckay of Paisley Abbey.

Local people are urged to seek help if they experience domestic abuse over the festive period.

Reports of domestic abuse incidents often rise during the Christmas and New Year period, with abuse taking many forms: physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality or wealth. Women and men can be victims of abuse, and abuse can happen in all relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is urged to get help as soon as they can by calling:

-999 in an emergency, or 101 to report a crime

-0800 027 1234 for Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage 24-hour helpline.

Louise Moore, who works in the council’s women and children’s first team, said domestic abuse can happen to anyone.

“Most commonly, domestic abuse is perpetrated by men against women, but men can also be victims of domestic abuse and it can happen in same sex relationships too. There is no ‘typical’ victim of domestic abuse, it can happen at any time in a person’s life no matter what their background, beliefs or circumstances are. One in five women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.”

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of communities, housing and planning for Renfrewshire Council, said it is important people reach out during the festive period.

“We often see an increase in domestic abuse incidents taking place over the Christmas and New Year period. Abusers can use the festive period to further exert control over their partner, similar to how they may use finances, alcohol, mental ill-health or blame to control them.

“With the current coronavirus restrictions in place, we expect more people to stay at home than normal and this could exacerbate domestic abuse incidents. It also means fewer opportunities for victims to report the abuse.

“If you are a victim of domestic abuse, if you are a woman or a man suffering from violence in your home, please reach out and get support. The long-term effects of abuse can be hugely damaging to victims and survivors, so I urge you to get help and support that’s available.”

For more advice, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

You-Decide-4.10.21-1674

Renfrewshire’s brand-new community empowerment campaign #YouDecide has attracted more than 2,800 ideas for potential upgrades to be made in the area.

With £1.2million made available for infrastructure projects, communities have been putting forward their suggestions, such as new walking and cycling routes, drainage fixes and outdoor seating, as part of the Council’s drive to use local knowledge to improve its neighbourhoods.

In-person roadshows have been held in every town and village in Renfrewshire, visits have taken place with community groups, local partnerships and community councils, as well as online, social media and radio promotion to ensure that as many people as possible had the chance to submit ideas.

Council officers are now carrying out feasibility studies on each idea to identify if they are possible and the ones which are will be put forward to a public vote in early 2022 where local  people will choose their favourites.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Depute Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the campaign with over 2,800 ideas and I know the team are excited to see what has been suggested for each area of Renfrewshire.

“By empowering communities to submit exactly what they need in their area and then allowing them to choose which projects are taken forward, this will ensure that the upgrades made are exactly what is needed for residents in that community.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the shortlist of projects and would encourage everyone to take part in the voting process when it begins early next year.”

The Council will carry out the work on the successful ideas by the close of the project in 2023.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “This is yet another example of the Council working together with the community to make where we live a better place and it’s fantastic to see such a huge response to the campaign.

“There’s no substitute for local knowledge and I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with when the voting takes place next year.”

For more information on the project, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/YouDecide.

The ongoing project to build a new community theatre space in Paisley town centre has taken a huge step forward after an £800,000 funding boost was confirmed.

PACE Theatre Company are currently developing a new theatre in Paisley for children, young people and families – called Exchange – in a long-time vacant former nightclub opposite Paisley Gilmour Street Station.

And the project has now received the sum from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grand Fund (RCGF), after a successful bid from Renfrewshire Council on PACE’s behalf.

The £2.6m project – which will include a 300-seat main theatre plus other community and creative spaces – received planning permission in February 2020, and work has been under way since November of that year.

When open in March 2023, it will host near-200 PACE performances each year, plus professional touring shows, and creative learning opportunities, as well as offering an alternative venue to Renfrewshire’s thriving cultural community.

This round of the Scottish Government’s Capital Grant Regeneration Fund will see more than £25 million of funding shared between 22 locally-developed projects across Scotland that tackle inequalities and promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic.

PACE chief executive Grant Mason said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for their investment in this project, which we believe will be transformative for young people, the local community, and for the regeneration of Paisley.

“The award will allow major works to begin early next year and takes us significantly closer to the completion of Exchange.

“The support of Renfrewshire Council throughout this process has been invaluable, with their vision for Exchange’s potential to create a vibrant cultural landmark and community hub for Paisley mirroring our own.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “Our officers have been working with PACE since 2019 to assist with their funding applications, and we are thrilled for them the Scottish Government have recognised the quality of the project by making this significant award.

“PACE have been at the heart of the area’s creative community for decades, and when it opens Exchange will allow them to harness the power of culture to change the lives of future generations of Renfrewshire’s young people.

“This development complements our wider vision to bring new life to the town centre by finding new cultural uses for vacant buildings, as well as our £100m investment in our own heritage venues and outdoor spaces, including the ongoing transformations of the museum and town hall.

“The news also arrives as we prepare to open our Future Paisley exhibition in the new year, which will tell the story of how Paisley’s approach to culture-led regeneration can make it a leader for towns everywhere.”

PACE had already received £420,000 from Renfrewshire’s share of the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund to fund initial work to the building, and to produce developed designs to allow their application to the RCGF to be made.

The project is bringing back into use a long-time vacant historic building in a prime location, which will allow it to come off the Buildings at Risk register.

As well as the main theatre, Exchange will also host a small-scale 80-100-seat flexible studio theatre and creative learning space, plus a community creative play and workshop space.

There will also be a family-friendly café/bar with informal performance area, dressing rooms, reading snug, and exhibition space for young visual artists.

The space will be fully-accessible, autism-friendly, and co-designed and developed at every stage with a group of ‘young architects’.

Sustainability is a key priority for the project, designed with the aim of creating a green, carbon neutral, theatre for the future that’s financially and environmentally sustainable with 100% LED theatre fixtures.

It is expected Phase II will be complete by December 2022, but PACE are calling on businesses and individuals to support the project by donating to their Million Pound Wall campaign, to reach the fundraising total required to complete the third and final phase of work.

https://www.pacetheatre.com/exchange/millionpoundwall/

The Bungalow has a 4-band line up tonight of high energy Alternative/Punk/Ska including Fire Exit, Skaledonia, Sequence 369 and Scunnurt. Looks like a ‘roof-raiser’ Doors are at 7pm and tickets are £8.  

Tomorrow night is a rescheduled gig due to the delay caused by earlier Scottish live music restrictions. They say there are tributes, then there are The Phonics. Once described by Kelly Jones himself as “Awesome” 

The Uk’s No1 tribute to Stereophonics head to Paisley to perform a mind-blowing set with all the classics that you will know and love, which will include Have a Nice Day, Bartender and the Thief, Dakota, Maybe Tomorrow, Handbags and Glad Rags. The Phonics have toured consistently for 5 years all over the Uk and continue to do so, leaving audiences speechless by the amazing attention to detail they create  in getting as close as you can get to that unique sound of Stereophonics. Be sure to get in early for this show as this is going to be yet again a remarkably busy night. Doors are at 7pm and tickets are £9. 

A Wonderful Life screens on Sunday at 12pm followed by The Christmas Special Jam Session from 3pm. 

Paisley Music Awards are on Tuesday. Find out who the winners are next week. 

On Thursday, The Bungalow are having a Northern Soul & Motown Extravaganza night with Republic of Soul, an eight-piece Soul band from Glasgow. This lot will set the venue ablaze with their fabulous repertoire of floor fillers and wall-to-wall NS classics from artists like; Al Wilson, Freda Payne, Gloria Jones, Jackie Wilson, Jimmy Radcliffe, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Isley Brothers and so much more.  A soul night not to be missed folks. Starts at 8pm and tickets are £10 on the door.   

The Old Swan have young singer songwriter Zoe Tait in tonight from 5pm followed by End of a Century at 8pm. New to The Swan tomorrow is The Festivals in the ‘Shopper’s Slot’ at 4pm. 

They are followed by two-piece band Esquire and singer songwriter Emma Nailen. Cammy Millar will be playing on Monday at 4pm. At 3pm on Tuesday the Rat Pack Session is on with Lee James. 

The Pre-Fab Four are starting at 5pm on Wednesday and Lee James is back on Thursday at 3pm with his Through the Decades Show. 

The Keg have Gordon’s Alive tonight at 9pm and tomorrow at the same time it is Johnny Barr. Blind Panic are back in Paisley, and they are playing at The Anchor on Sunday from 4.30pm. Stephen Henry is at Whisky Joes tonight from 8.30pm. Nightfly are at Kennedy’s on Sunday at 3pm. 

Fresh from sold out shows the Reflex Boys aim to bring you a party night to remember at Rocknrollas tomorrow night. The night will be full of Christmas songs and then of all the classics making it one hell of a night. Wham! Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Yazz, Soul II Soul, Black Box are all in the set. Madness, The Jam, The Cult, The Cure they are all there too. If you have not sorted your works Christmas Night Out yet get in early. Doors at 7pm and tickets are £7. 

The Cave’s weekend of live music starts tonight with Midnight Moses at 9pm then tomorrow Cherry Red ‘53 are back with some old-fashioned Rock n Roll also at 9pm. The Sunday Sesh includes Dirty jewels at 6pm followed by The After Party sing along with Grant Cherry at 9pm. 

Open Mic Nights this week are Dunky Hunter at The Abbey on Monday from 8.30pm; Stevie D 9pm on Tuesday at Gantry. Wednesday is The Keg’s Open Mic with Johnny Barr and starts at 8.30pm.  

Considering all the Covid chat this week it still looks like the town will be busy with the Christmas nights out. So, if you want to get a seat at a live music night get there early.  

POPULAR coffee shop Jamaica Blue opened its first casual dining concept in Scotland at the Braehead Centre, yesterday. (Thursday)

photos by Mark Gibson

The name, Jamaica Blue comes from the majestic Blue Mountains of Jamaica – one of the best coffee producing regions in the world.

It’s from there the café sources the exclusive coffee beans for their famous Blue Mountain and award-winning Jamaica Blue signature blends.

The world-class beans used in their coffees are expertly roasted to bring out their unique flavours. Once these beans reach the Braehead Jamaica Blue cafe, highly-trained Baristas work their magic, using their expertise to brew the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Jamaica Blue, in the centre’s lower mall, also takes pride in offering a diverse range of high-quality dishes, freshly made on the premises. Their contemporary menus feature an exciting array of classic dishes with a twist, including satisfying salads, open flatbreads and their famous all-day brunches.

Nerissa Bancroft, operations manager for Jamaica Blue UK, said: “Jamaica Blue’s foundations are built on two simple beliefs that guide us in everything we do. Firstly, a belief in sourcing the very best coffee, and secondly, only using fresh, premium ingredients to deliver contemporary café dishes with a twist.

“We’re thrilled to be opening at Braehead and excited to share our high-quality coffee and delicious menu with foodies visiting the centre.”

Braehead centre director, Peter Beagley said: “If people want to enjoy the tasty dishes and fabulous coffee made from beans especially sourced for Jamaica Blue, then the only place in Scotland they can do that is in Braehead.

Shoppers can do a lot more than just shop when they visit Braehead as we offer people a superb variety of cafes, sit-down and takeaway restaurants.”

SHOPPERS at the Braehead Centre are being given the chance to remember in a special way loved ones who have passed on.

The mall is hosting a Salvation Army Christmas Tree of Remembrance, with people being invited to write the name of a departed loved one and a message on a Christmas decoration and hang it on the tree.

The eight-feet high tree is in the upper mall and the Salvation Army will be on hand between 9.30am and 4pm every day this seek until Saturday, December 11.

There is no charge to hang a decoration on the Tree of Remembrance, but shoppers can make a donation to the Salvation Army with cash or by contactless card payment.

Captain Matthew Brown, of the Salvation Army based in Erskine, Renfrewshire said: “This year, many families won’t have everyone around the Christmas dinner table that they used to.

“The Tree of Remembrance gives people, the chance to remember a loved one who has passed away by putting their name on a Christmas tree decoration.

“Christmas in particular is the time of year when our thoughts turn to those who are no longer with us.

 “There are times when we need to be able to make some physical expression of how we feel inside about losing someone we love. The Tree of Remembrance gives us the chance to do just that.

“We’d like to thank Braehead for allowing us to have our Christmas tree in the shopping centre and be able to reach so many people.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “The Tree of Remembrance is a wonderful way of remembering loved ones we have lost.

“We’re glad we can help the Salvation Army reach many, many people who will be coming to Braehead this week and give shoppers this opportunity to reflect for a moment and remember family and friends who are no longer here.”