Photographs of the Paisley Tango flash mob in the Piazza Paisley yesterday (Saturday 18th August) Taken by Ruth Walsh for

Get ready to raise a glass as Scotland’s biggest full-day whisky event comes to Paisley as part of The Spree Festival 2018.

The National Whisky Festival (NWF) will take place at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 13 October and will see two sessions of drams, masterclasses, food, whisky related arts, crafts and a fantastic programme of live music.

The Spree festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural calendar and takes place in various venues around the town from 12 to 20 October.

The National Whisky Festival sessions will start at Paisley Town Hall from 12pm – 3.30pm and 4.15pm – 7.45pm and by purchasing a ticket whisky lovers will be able to enjoy:

  • entrance to one of the 3.5-hour sessions
  • access to over 50 whiskies on the tasting floor
  • two £5 discount vouchers for use on purchases at the on-site bottle shop
  • a complimentary line-up of fantastic live music
  • your own NWF branded Glencairn crystal nosing glass to use on the day and take home
  • access to masterclasses (ticketed separately)
  • official festival programme

Colin Campbell, National Whisky Festival organiser, said: “The National Whisky Festival is a combined celebration of the best of Scottish culture and our national drink.

“The event at Paisley Town Hall will see a whole host of exhibitors and distilleries in attendance, each carefully considered to provide the most enjoyable experience of whisky tasting and entertainment on the day.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the festival to Paisley as part of The Spree Festival 2018 for a brilliant day of drams, delicious food and thrilling live music.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the National Whisky Festival to Paisley as part of this year’s Spree Festival.

“The Spree Festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural events calendar and has continued to go from strength to strength as it enters its seventh year.

“Hosting an event such as the National Whisky Festival shows Paisley’s ability to host large-scale events and we can’t wait to welcome visitors from all over to Paisley Town Hall to enjoy a celebration of whisky and the best of Scottish culture.”

Visitors to the festival will also be able to enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and street food vendors, a craft beer bar and an on-site bottle shop provided by the Good Spirits Company.

The inaugural National Whisky Festival took place at Glasgow’s SWG3 in January 2017 as part of the city’s Celtic Connections festival.

The Spree Festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and programmed by Synergy Concerts and Renfrewshire Leisure.

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will perform at a special Closing Gala show at Paisley Town Hall on Saturday 20 October alongside the London African Gospel Choir who will perform Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Black Sabbath guitarist and rock music legend Tony Iommi will also appear at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 12 October for a special show giving music fans the inside story of his career – called ‘Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander: A Life in Music’.

Other big-name acts coming to Paisley for this year’s Spree include The Orb, ex-Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür, Gang of Four, Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, Big Minds (made up of members of Big Country and Simple Minds), Vieux Farka Touré, The Wandering Hearts and more.

The Wee Spree will also be back as part of the festival with plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained during the October holidays.

Tickets for all shows (including the National Whisky Festival) are on sale now via The Spree Festival website. Visit

SHOPPERS must have thought they had walked through the doors of the intu Braehead mall on Saturday and landed in a galaxy far, far away.

They were met with the sight of characters from all kinds of films, TV shows and comics having a look round the shops.

Thousands of sci-fi fans turned out for the Film and Comic Con event being held in The Arena at intu Braehead.

Many fans were dressed in the costumes of their favourite sci-fi characters and they certainly caught the attention of shoppers in and around the malls.

They also flocked to hundreds of stalls set up in The Arena to snap up movie memorabilia and sought-after rare comics.

The event continues tomorrow (Sunday) when even more fans are expected to come along.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Where else but intu Braehead would Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Spiderman and Superman come for a weekend’s shopping when they visit planet Earth?

“This Film and Comic Con is one of the most eye-catching events we have at intu Braehead and we look forward to it every year.

“Shoppers just love to see the fans dressed in their amazing costumes and you just never know who you’re going to bump into!”

Singer, Harpist and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Musician of the Year 2017 Rachel Newton launches her fourth solo album ‘West’ in September 2018.  It was recorded in her late grandparents’ old croft house in Achnahaird, Wester Ross.

Always striving to achieve something different with each release, Rachel decided that she would make a completely solo album this time around, simply featuring her voice and acoustic and electro harps with no guest musicians. The album was arranged and recorded on a beautifully sunny week in July 2018. Rachel’s longtime collaborator and sound engineer Mattie Foulds travelled north to record it all, with Somhairle MacDonald joining them to take photographs and create the artwork. The spectacular views of the landscape from the house have influenced the music, with short improvisations named after the mountains threading their way through the album.

Rachel released solo albums The Shadow Side in 2012 , Changeling in 2014 and Here’s My Heart Come Take It in 2016. Here’s My Heart Come Take It was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award 2017. Rachel was awarded Instrumentalist of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2016 and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year in 2017.

Rachel is a member of The Furrow Collective and The Shee as well as projects such as The Elizabethan Session and the upcoming Lost Words Spell Songs.


Thursday 4 October – Paisley Arts Centre. Show 7.30pm Tickets £10/£8  Tel. 0300 3001210

Visitors to Paisley are in for a treat this Saturday as the annual Paisley Busking Day takes centre stage.

Organised by Loud n’ Proud and sponsored by Paisley First, there will be bands and solo artists as well as instrumental acts performing throughout the town centre from 10am until 4pm.

So if you are heading to Paisley for the Jurassic Bricks LEGO ® Brick Dinosaur Trail, popping into town before St Mirren’s first home game of the new season, or simply taking time out to enjoy our wonderful shops and cafes, this will be music to your ears!

Paisley Busking Day this Saturday, 4th August from 10am to 4pm!

Rock music legend Tony Iommi has been added to the bill for Paisley’s Spree Festival – where he will give music fans the inside story of his career as one of heavy metal’s most influential figures.

The Black Sabbath guitarist will appear at Paisley Town Hall on Friday 12 October for the show – called ‘Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander: A Life in Music’

The Spree festival is one of the highlights of Paisley’s annual cultural calendar and takes place in various venues from 12 to 20 October.

A Spree festival spokesperson said: “When we think of guitarist Tony Iommi we think of heavy rock and of his innovative dark riffs. We think of the beginning of heavy metal.

“This show will give us a fascinating insight into the life and career of a man whose influence on the history of popular music cannot be overstated – a key innovator and a true rock star in every sense.”

Black Sabbath have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide since forming in Birmingham in 1968. Their most recent album hit number one US and the UK, and 1.6 million people saw the band perform during their last world tour.

Besides releasing three solo albums, Tony has been inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, wrote a New York Times bestselling autobiography, has received two Grammy Awards and Birmingham’s Broad Street added his star.

Evening host Phil Alexander has been an editor, broadcaster, presenter and producer. As editor of Kerrang! he transformed the magazine into a multi-platform brand by launching the Kerrang! branded TV, radio, website and awards. He later became editor-in-chief for MOJO, and Global Creative Director of Kerrang! Magazine and Rock Music Media.

The Spree festival is run by Renfrewshire Council. Other big-name acts coming to Paisley for this year’s Spree include Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Orb, ex-Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flur, Gang of Four and Big Minds (made up of members of Big Country and Simple Minds).

Ticket for all shows (including Tony Iommi in conversation with Phil Alexander) are on sale now via

Paisley’s popular Halloween Festival will be one of the major events as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

The town’s two-day fright-fest, which will take place on 26 and 27 October, is supported by the Year of Young People event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate which has awarded just over £48,000 to the festival.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

The Year of Young People 2018 is a Scottish Government initiative consisting of a year-long programme of events and activities which aim to inspire all ages through young people (8-26 years) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

The funding that has been secured will help deliver an enhanced parade and finale on Saturday 27 October inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark and deathly 17th century witch history which will see around 500 local young people take part and will, for the first time, include floats designed by young people.

The popular parade, creatively led by Bridgeman Arts and 21CC, will culminate in a spectacular new aerial performance, ‘The Flying Witches’, involving a cast of 50 young people especially for YOYP2018 and led by All or Nothing – one of Scotland’s leading aerial dance theatre companies.

This activity will be driven by a specially assembled youth panel made up of 20 young people from across Renfrewshire who will take a lead role in helping design and deliver the event working in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, youth services, creative and community partners, and embedding the event’s collaborative approach

A key element of the programme which is being directly supported by the additional funding is the creation of a Youth Training Programme. Around 180 young people, many from lesser-heard communities, will be given experience and skills in areas such as creative performance, costume, make-up, technical production, marketing and, event design and delivery through a series of taster sessions and masterclasses, in order to build their experience while positively impacting on their confidence and broadening their skillset.

The funding will also support the delivery of a volunteering and internship programme that will see a creative internship and a number of volunteer roles for young people in the council’s events and marketing team as well as mentee opportunities with arts and cultural professionals.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Paisley Halloween Festival to expand its offering as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. It will be fantastic to see young people getting hands-on experience and participating in the design and delivery of a fun event within their local community. It is a great opportunity for them to showcase their own unique skills and bring a new perspective to the festival, further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

Paisley’s Halloween Festival is one of the town’s most popular calendar events. Inspired by similar festivals which take place worldwide in places such as Salem and New Orleans, the ambition is to heighten awareness of the festival on the Scottish, UK and world stage as a must visit attraction not just for locals but visitors and tourists as well.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley’s Halloween Festival is always a popular event for the town with thousands of people coming into the town centre to experience the full spectacle of the event.

“It’s fantastic that this year’s festival will be a highlight event as part of the Year of Young People 2018 celebrations. This provides an excellent opportunity to realise our ambitions of co-production and co-creation of our events in collaboration with young people – this is a key part of our Event Strategy 2018 – 2021.

“This collaborative approach and the various training programmes being delivered will also help our young people develop their skills enabling them to think more about career opportunities in the creative sector that they may not have otherwise considered.”

All of the additional youth activities taking place as a result of the funding tie in with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 core themes – participation, education, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration, and culture.

Further information about the event programme for Paisley Halloween Festival will be released at a later date.

To keep up to date on all events taking place in Paisley and Renfrewshire please visit

Come along to a fantastic day of free family fun in the heart of Paisley.  This is the sixth year the TAG Street Party has been run with thousands of people popping in throughout the day each year.  This year, ECF Paisley ( and Connect Church are partnering to bring you an even bigger and better event. We are continually working on ways in which we can serve the community that we are part of. With both churches being based near Paisley Town Centre, we love putting on an event that celebrates Paisley and encourages community.
The TAG Street Party is one of the ways that we love to do this. It includes a BBQ Cafe, a Kids Creative Centre (open 11.30am – 3.30pm), Bouncy Castles and Assault Course, lots of Games, Facepainting, Balloon Modeling and Psalm Reading. Don’t forget to get a selfie with TAG the bear! The best part: Everything is Free!
Date: Saturday 11th August
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: County Square, Paisley
Cost: Everything is Free

FANS of the ITV2 Love Island show can watch the series finale on Monday night on a big screen at their very own beach party.

The event is being hosted at the indoor beach that’s been created in Soar at intu Braehead this summer.
Everyone is invited to come along and have some fun as they watch the finale of the hugely-popular TV show.

There will be music, beach games and giveaways, food and drink sampling, sofas and pink flamingo pool floaties to sit on, as well as a photo booth.

The Summer Beach Party, on Monday, July 30, begins at 6pm with loads of fun activities until the show starts at 9pm.

Kellie Lauder, intu Braehead’s assistant marketing manager said: “Love Island is probably one of the most talked-about TV shows just now.

“And what better way to watch the series finale that to get some of your friends together and have a beach party, as we eagerly await to find out who this year’s winners are.”

Having sung about the fact her home town’s “streets are paved with hearts of gold, award winning singer songwriter Lisa Kowalski from Paisley is off to see if she can strike gold on the streets of London.

Lisa has bagged a spot in the Mayor of London Gigs10 busking competition which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and runs from 21st of July. There are prizes up for grabs which include Gibson guitars, recording sessions at a London studio, a trip to Europe and many other career development opportunities.

Having already dashed down to the induction day earlier this month, straight on the night bus after a Saturday night gig in Glasgow, Lisa is off to the capital for 5 days on the 21st to perform to the public at various locations. 21st July is also International Busking Day and Lisa will start off her round of performances with an official busking slot at Westminster Underground station.

The competition performance period runs from 21st July to 5th August but local music commitments such as Mugstock, Butefest and a gig for local charity Include Me 2 Club on the 26th at G2 mean that Lisa must gig as much as possible in the time available to her. The winners are decided by a judging panel but there is also a wild card act who makes it to the final based on the votes of the public, both those who see her perform and those who vote online.  Lisa would be very grateful for votes from her local supporters, as she competes in the over 18 category with performers from all over the UK.

“I will be singing my heart out in London and continuing to raise awareness of  music from Paisley. Although we didn’t quite win UK City of Culture last year, I’m still doing my bit to draw attention to the town and to the wider Scottish grass roots music scene”.

The public can give her their vote by visiting and looking up her picture/ profile on the web page. Voting commences on 21 July and you can vote once each day throughout the competition.

After all the excitement, Lisa will be returning to Paisley to start recording her second EP and independently release her next single.