Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Paisley is set for a special 90s themed fireworks spectacular as the town’s annual display takes place on Saturday 3 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016 MFG

Thousands are expected to turn out and see the skies above Paisley Abbey light up – and this year’s dazzling fireworks display will be backed by a soundtrack of popular hits from the 1990s.

The display will burst into life from 7pm with organisers recommending Bridge Street, Dunn Square and Gauze Street (section from Smithhills Street to Silk Street) as viewing points.

The funs starts in Paisley Town Hall from 2pm, with a series of free family activities throughout the afternoon – including activity workshops, animation sessions, face painting and a floor paint zone. There’s also the chance to meet cartoon character favourites with Pikachu, Minions, Superman, Batgirl, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell mascots all in attendance.

The 90s themed fun continues with iconic arcade games on the ground floor and a ‘silent disco’ – back by popular demand – for music fans of all ages.

There will also be a host of activity in the town’s County Square with fantastic funfair rides from 2pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a two-hour live DJ set packed with 90s classics from 5pm before the stunning fireworks display lights up the sky above the Abbey.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On two weeks later, on Saturday 17 November. The festive cracker will feature entertainment from Capital FM and performances from family favourites Funbox, Princesses of Pop and X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins, as well as the famous Reindeer Parade with Santa and much more.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2

A Dutch based company has been awarded the £1m contract to redesign the exhibitions for the Paisley Museum Reimagined project.

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2
OPERA Amsterdam will create the interior displays housing the museum’s internationally renowned collections as part of a major refurbishment and extension.

The museum is the signature project of Paisley’s heritage led regeneration strategy and is part of an £100m investment by Renfrewshire Council to transform town centre venues and cultural infrastructure over the next four years.

Opera
Award winning firm AL_A have already been appointed as architects for the ambitious £42m plans to transform it into an international-class destination.  Work at the A-listed building due to start in early winter this year, with an estimated completion date of late autumn 2022.

OPERA’S co-director Jo Pike says that the firm, which has worked with prestigious venues across the globe, including Kensington Palace and the British Museum in London, is excited about the ‘radical’ brief.

OPERA & Studio Louter
It will work in close cooperation with another Dutch based company, Studio Louter, and Jo, who heads OPERA with co-director Jeroen Luttikhuis, said: “There is so much here that really excited us, including the town’s rich history and heritage. The Museum Team have asked us to be bold, radical and ambitious in our approach to achieve something different.

“We are excited to work with the collection as it is very eclectic, from archaeology to textiles, to scientific instruments.”

More than double the number of objects previously displayed will go on show in 2022 with the opportunity to display parts of the collection never seen before.

The museum has the largest known global collection of Paisley shawls and also has art works by the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists, John Byrne and other key 20th century artists.

Jo says that her first visit to the town and museum was inspiring and says the community will also be involved in the project.

She said: “Paisley Museum Reimagined is about co-production, it’s a museum of the community and we are going to be working with them and hearing their stories and ideas because who better an expert than the people who’ve lived and worked here and have donated objects?

“That will inform a lot of how we approach the project and help formulate our ideas and designs.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, which operates the museum, said: “We are delighted to welcome on board an exhibition collection design team of such calibre as OPERA.

“Renfrewshire’s heritage and collections are globally significant and we want Paisley Museum to reflect the town’s bold and radical past as well as inspire future generations and be a valuable educational resource for our young people.

“It is the centrepiece of the work to transform the area’s fortunes by harnessing our unique cultural heritage to make us a destination and help quadruple museum visitor numbers to 125,000 annually.”
The £100m investment in Paisley town centre also includes projects to transform the interiors of Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre into 21st-century venues, a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street, new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields, and major investment in outdoor spaces and the town’s transport links.

The museum project is also being funded by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

paisley fireworks

Get set to relive all the classics at Paisley’s Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 3 November – this year with a 90s theme!

paisley fireworks

Remember, remember, activities will get underway from 2pm with plenty on offer for kids and families. Take a funfair ride at County Square (open 2pm – 8.15pm), play some iconic 90s arcade games, have your face painted or relearn the moves to Whigfield’s Saturday Night at Paisley Town Hall’s Silent Disco – back by popular demand!

We’ve also got workshops galore for kids, including a floor paint zone for wee ones, ‘I Love the 90’s’ lollipop making and animation sessions. All activity workshops are free, simply drop in to Paisley Town Hall to take part from 2pm – 6.15pm.

Capital FM presenters Fat Brestovca and Des Clarke will then take to the balcony of Paisley Town Hall for a 2-hour live DJ set from 5pm packed with hits before the spectacular fireworks display lights up the sky above Paisley Abbey at 7pm.

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

From soaring through the air as part of a witches aerial performance, creating spooky parade floats and working behind the scenes, more than 700 young people are at the centre of Paisley’s Halloween Festival.

YoYP Champion Cllr Michelle Campbell with young people involved in the Halloween Festival

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, met with some of the volunteers, mentees and Youth Panel members as the town gears up to welcome up to 30,000 visitors to the annual extravaganza this weekend, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018.

Leading creative companies aerial dance outfit All or Nothing, parade specialists Bridgeman Arts and pyro experts 21cc, have been working with local young people, while a 20-strong Youth Panel has been helping to create the event in tandem with Renfrewshire Council’s dedicated Events Team.

There have been 1,200 creative learning opportunities offered by the spectacle, which is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Young people have attended masterclasses and workshops and are involved in every aspect, from performance to live event management and technical production.

Around 500 young people will also take part in a Mardi-Gras style parade this Saturday, which will start winding its way through the town centre at 6pm, passing lighting installations and haunting soundscapes along the way.

There will be a series of three separate aerial performances with flying witches suspended 120 feet above the Town Hall from 7pm onwards, making sure no one misses the spectacle.

Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell said: “Young people are at the very heart of this event and it’s been great to hear about all the different opportunities and experiences they’ve been able to access through taking part.

“As co-creators of the festival, they’ve been able to have their say on every aspect of the event, from the design through to the actual technical production.

“They’ve also been able to develop and showcase their skills through performing or behind the scenes work, and it’s been great to hear how the experience is helping to set many of them on the path to pursue related careers.

“The creative learning programme will help those who would like to become involved professionally in organising large-scale future events like this weekend’s festival.

“It’s also been wonderful to hear how many of the young people are also using the opportunity to be involved towards earning volunteer awards like the Saltire Awards and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.”

“Renfrewshire’s young people are very impressive and have blossomed being part of this event.”

Some of those taking part will also receive a special legacy ‘Spirit of Halloween’ award at Renfrewshire Council youth services’ Positive about Youth Awards in December.

Patrick Docherty, 16, is taking part in the aerial display and said: “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve had the opportunity to do things I would never have thought of.

“It’s good to be challenged and learning new skills has made me feel more confident. I’ve also made lots of new friends.”

There will be a packed programme of free family fun in the lead up to the parade, including themed workshops, a live stage and a funfair.

The full programme for the Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 is available at: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-halloween-festival-2018/

Paul Simon’s Graceland was performed in full by The London African Gospel Choir which has been critically acclaimed across the country.

This uplifting and amazing show has sold out venues and receives rave reviews from audiences.

Thirty years after its release, the Choir performed their own powerful twist on Paul Simon’s album, delivering from start to finish. The richness and harmony of the Choir’s rhythmic, evocative and empowering, voices created an overwhelming musical event, for anyone lucky enough to experience this special performance. Performed on Saturday night in front of a packed audience at Paisley Town Hall.

Photographs kindly taken by David Cameron, you can find more of his photographs here.

martha and the vandellas

Photographs of Martha & The Vandellas at the Paisley Town Hall October 20th 2018 The Spree.

martha and the vandellas

All photographs courtesy of David Cameron, you can visit his Flickr Page for lots more Paisley photographs here.

 

Switching on the Christmas lights is a dream come true, and this year it will be a reality for three lucky school pupils!

Aleena Albin from St Peter’s Primary School was one of the lucky winners last year, and helped Provost Lorraine Cameron switch on the Paisley Christmas lights.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, is once again inviting children of primary school age to design a Christmas card for 2018. Three winners will be selected with each winner having the chance to push the button to light up either Paisley, Johnstone or Renfrew.

The winning designs will also be printed as Provost Cameron’s official Christmas cards and sent out all over the world.

Provost Cameron said: “Thousands of people come to watch the Christmas lights being switched on and I need someone to help me with this really important job. I loved seeing your designs last year and I can’t wait to see what Renfrewshire can create this year.”

Entries must be received by Monday 29 October and can be handed into primary schools or posted to Christmas Card Competition, Member Services, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1WD.

theatre in truck

Paisley’s flagship annual cultural extravaganza The Spree gets under way today….helped by National Theatre of Scotland offering a truckload of chances to see the area as never before.

The seventh year of the Spree (12 to 21 Oct) sees 87 shows in 17 venues in five towns around Renfrewshire over ten days – with music, comedy, theatre and much more.

theatre in truck

Big-name headliners include Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi in conversation about his legendary career (Fri 12 Oct) and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the London African Gospel Choir performing Graceland (Sat 20 Oct), both at Paisley Town Hall.

The iconic Spiegeltent in County Square will host musical acts The Orb (Mon 15th), Traceyanne and Danny and The Pastels (Sat 13th), ex-Kraftwerk man Wolfgang Flur (Sat 13th), The Wandering Hearts (Sun 14th), Vieux Farke Toure (Tues 16th), The Leisure Society and Duke Special (Weds 17th), Big Minds (Thurs 18th), and Gang of Four (Fri 19th).

The festival also includes Rimini Protokoll and National Theatre of Scotland’s Do’s and Don’ts (12-14 and 16-21 Oct) – offering a unique experience touring the area in a mobile auditorium inside a remodelled truck, backed by the soundtrack of a local choir.

The show is presented by award-winning German documentary theatre specialists Rimini Protokoll and is part of NTS’s Futureproof festival, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, and some of the young cast were on hand to help launch the festival yesterday outside Paisley Town Hall.

Other Spree highlights over the next 10 days include a sold-out comedy show with Des Clarke and Janey Godley (Spiegeltent Fri 12th), Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (Paisley Arts Centre, Sat 20th), the ModStuff festival-within-a-festival (Spiegeltent, Sat 20th) plus a visit from The National Whiskey Festival (Paisley Town Hall, Sat 13th).

Do’s and Don’ts is part of The Wee Spree programme over the October school holiday – with a list of (mostly free) shows for kids offering everything from comedy to ceilidhs, plus video game design, circus skills workshops and a dancealong to The Greatest Showman.

There’s also the Spree for All fringe festival, which includes the daily Danny Kyle Stage for unsigned acts in the Old Swan Inn, and taking top local musical talent to venues in Johnstone, Renfrew, Linwood and Lochwinnoch, as well as the pubs and clubs of Paisley town centre.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council as part of a major events programme also including Paisley Halloween Festival (Sat 27 Oct) – listed as one of the top Halloween events in the UK.

The council’s head of communications, marketing and events Louisa Mahon said: “This year’s Spree will be the biggest and best yet as our events continue to grow and attract more visitors to the area.

“The bill has something for everyone – from world-renowned musical talent to a diverse programme for kids of all ages, to some of the best local acts at a venue near you.

“We are also delighted to building partnerships with organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland and bringing some of the country’s finest performers to the town is helping cement Paisley’s place as one of Scotland’s go-to cultural destinations.”

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, said: “DO’S & DON’TS has been co-created by the young people of Paisley as part of our Futureproof festival, marking the Year of Young People 2018, and I am delighted that it is part of the Spree programme.

“It was important to the National Theatre of Scotland that, as part of Futureproof, we had the opportunity to work with the Paisley 2021 Legacy team, and we are incredibly grateful to our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure for making this uniquely special co-production possible.”

For tickets and full line-up info, see thespree.co.uk and nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof

ramh provost cameron

Charity RAMH teamed up with Renfrewshire Council employees to stock up their Re-use Superstore.

Located in Johnstone town centre and run by RAMH’s Lifeskills service, the store offers low-cost household items for sale as well as work experience and training for those wanting to boost their skills.

ramh provost cameron

Stephen McLellan, RAMH Chief Executive, was at the store to receive the collection from Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

Stephen said: “We believe firmly in supporting people recovering from mental ill health. That’s why we started the Re-use Superstore to give people the practical things they need at a low cost.

“Having the store as a place people can gain confidence as well as skills and experience to support them recover and help them to feel capable of finding suitable employment is also a big part of what we do each day.

“The collection received from Council staff will help use stock up our store ahead of the winter season.”

Provost Cameron said: “People always need low cost household items, whether it’s a new cutlery set, winter clothes or some toys for the kids.

“Giving away furniture, soft furnishings and electrical goods that you no longer need is a great way to help support others to keep their homes cosy and warm at a low cost.”

The collection was held during Challenge Poverty Week, which aims to highlight the reality of poverty and demonstrate what needs to be done across Scotland to address poverty.

Residents can support the store by bringing in working, clean and complete household items to RAMH Re-use Superstore at Houstoun Court Shopping Arcade (across from the town hall) Church Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DT.

jason moran
JASON MORAN – THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS (only Scottish performance is at Paisley Town Hall)
James Reese Europe and The Absence of Ruin
Bravery, race and the explosive arrival of jazz in war-torn Europe as Jason Moran creates an original response to the extraordinary story of James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfighters.
jason moran
 
‘We won France by playing music which was ours and not a pale imitation of others, and if we are to develop in America we must develop along our own lines.’
James Reese Europe (1919).

The renowned composer, pianist and visual artist Jason Moran – ‘shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz’ (Rolling Stone) – celebrates and reflects on the legacy of James Reese Europe (1880-1919), an iconic figure in the evolution of African-American music who introduced France to the sound of jazz in the closing year of World War 1. 
 
Jointly commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the Kennedy Center, Washington; and Serious, the performance will take place on Sunday 4 November at Paisley Town Hall7.30pm.
In this multi-dimensional performance, members of Moran’s long-established trio, The Bandwagon (described by the NY Times as ‘the best rhythm section in jazz’) and a highly talented group of young British players, will perform new music by Jason Moran inspired by James Reese Europe’s original compositions. In this new commission for the final year of 14-18 NOW, the performance will also include contributions from filmmaker John Akomfrah and cinematographer Bradford Young,
 

The musicians include talented young players from the extraordinary pool of talent that marks today’s British jazz scene.  The UK musicians are all young British players from the Tomorrow’s Warriors stable – Ife Ogunjobi (trumpet); Joe Bristow (trombone); Hanna Mubya (bass trombone, tuba); Mebrakh Johnson, Kaidi Akinnibi, Alam Nathan (reeds) plus the long-established tuba player Andy Grappy;  and the rhythm team that has been at the heart of Jason Moran’s music for many years, Tarus Mateen (bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums).

James Reese Europe and The Absence of Ruin follows other recent projects, created by Moran, that have offered a profound and entirely contemporary insight into the creative world of key figures in jazz history, including Fats Waller and Thelonious Monk. His most recent UK performances included a two-night residency at Tate Modern with his long-term collaborator, performance artist Joan Jonas, and a duet with fellow pianist Robert Glasper at a sold-out Royal Festival Hall.
 
Alongside the concert performances, UK teacher and tuba player Andy Grappy is creating new arrangements of Europe’s music to be played by locally recruited ensembles of young people, playing before each concert.  The project also links into the British Library’s symposium, ‘Revisiting the Black Parisian Moment: transnational black military, musical and intellectual histories, 1918-19’ on October 26; and the project is developing a dedicated website/blog – jasonmoranharlemhellfighters.com.
 
Background
On New Year’s Day 1918, James Reese Europe – an iconic figure in the evolution of African-American music – landed in Brest with the 93d Division’s 369th Infantry Regiment. Alongside their achievements in combat, Europe’s crack military music ensemble popularised the new spirit of jazz to a war-torn French nation fascinated with black culture. Nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters, the 93rd Division’s 369th Infantry Regiment from New York first garnered notoriety for its world-class band, led by acclaimed composer and bandleader James Reese Europe. Made up of top musicians from the United States and Puerto Rico, the band famously played a swinging, yet initially unrecognisable, version of the Marseillaise upon disembarking for the first time on French soil. Documented as marching across No Man’s Land playing Memphis Blues, Europe’s band – along with other black regimental ensembles – toured France in between tours of the Western Front, sparking an enduring fascination with black culture.
 
The 369th received equal acclaim for its performance on the field of battle. Two soldiers of the 369th, Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts, were the first American soldiers to receive the French Croix de Guerre. The regiment served for 191 days and ceded no ground to enemy forces. While they returned to the United States as national heroes, The Harlem Hellfighters had not been permitted to serve under American command during their time on the Western Front. Throughout 1918, the regiment served under French command, wearing French uniforms. Following a posthumous award of a Purple Heart in 1996, in 2015 President Obama awarded the Medal of Honour to Henry Johnson. 
 
On the 17 February 1919, the 369th Infantry Regiment famously marched up Fifth Avenue and into Harlem before some 250,000 onlookers. A spirit of determination, inspired by the war, surged throughout black America. James Reese Europe himself came to an untimely end later that year, murdered by one of his fellow band members, widely reported across the USA. 
 
‘Jazz may be American music, but it is African American Music’
James Reese Europe
 
JASON MORAN – THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions,  Serious and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.  Producing partners are Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin and the Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany and Renfrewshire Leisure.