It is one of the most infamous witch trials in history which saw Paisley the last town in western Europe to conduct a mass execution in 1697.

Four women and three men were sentenced to death after series of events which started when the  11-year-old daughter of a local laird mysteriously fell ill.

Christian Shaw suffered fits, similar to demonic possession, and accused several people of bewitching her.  Witchcraft was against the law in Scotland and seven people were tried as witches and executed at Gallow Green.

But as Paisley gears up to stage its annual Halloween Festival inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark witch history, retired academic Hugh McLachlan says history has treated Christian Shaw unfairly.

Hugh, who researched the 1697 trials extensively and is editor of ‘The Kirk, Satan and Salem: A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire’, says that far from being a malicious accuser, she was unfairly maligned.

Hugh, who first became aware of the case as a young research assistant at Glasgow University, said: “Christian Shaw has had a very bad press with the notion that she was a particularly bad, evil child who was able to fool the courts and local dignitaries for malicious purposes.

“This seemed to me be not very plausible and grossly unfair so my interest was aroused at the potential injustice.

“The alternative view point that she was suffering from a hysterical malady or mental illness seemed to me to be even less likely, so I researched the case.”

Hugh says the case was different from other witchcraft trials in that a child was the main accuser.

He also believes the story was influenced by what happened in Salem in Massachusetts just a few years later.

He added: “The actual evidence didn’t suggest that Christian Shaw was either mentally ill or malicious, but rather she was actually peripheral to the case.

“If you look at the accusations against the people who were charged with witchcraft, if you removed what they were said to have done to Christian Shaw, they would still have been executed.

“It wasn’t crucial to the case and it’s not clear if she even gave evidence at the trial.”

He says that he believes the story was influenced by a book later written on the case by local minsters.

He said: “When people consider her role in all of this, they weren’t considering her evidence at the trial but this book.

“It was written be local ministers who were very well aware of Salem witch trial and wanted to make a theological point. Witches renounced Christ and the fear of witchcraft centred on that and the Devil.

“But if the Devil existed, so did God, and they were trying to encourage atheists to repent.

“It was 1697 and they were looking to the turn of the century and it was a period of great turmoil.

“The local ministers thought the world was coming to an end.”

After the trial Christian Shaw’s story took another sensational twist when she became a prominent businesswoman who founded the Bargarran Thread Company along with her mother.

It transformed into the cotton company on which Paisley’s fame and wealth was founded.

Hugh added: “I think even today her role in the witchcraft trials is misinterpreted. I don’t think Christian Shaw was a malicious child and that she should instead be celebrated as a successful entrepreneur.

“Women often get a rough deal in history and are written out. This is only one interpretation, but the one that I believe. But I think the other stories should still be told, they live in contradiction and conflict with each other.”

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ returns on Saturday 27 October, with a Friday Fright Night on 26 October, and features an animated parade, sound and light installations and performances.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has been developed with the help of young people. It is celebrating their talents both as performers, as well as contributors to the management of the event behind the scenes.

Part of this is a new production starring a 50-strong cast of young people who will take part in a breathtaking aerial show.

For more information please go to www.paisley.is

We always use our Facebook Page or Group to post images of old Paisley and up to date events as well as stunning photographs of Paisley today.

We thought we would post these four together on the website so you can see the difference side by side, we will also post to Facebook later on so people can always find them.

Paisley Cross before the Cenotaph was built and now from a similar viewpoint (not exact but close enough). Please click on the image for the larger version.


Old Photographs are taken from the book Recollections of Paisley by Donald Malcolm, you can find the book on the following link. [amazon_link asins=’1840336420′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’paisleyscotla-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’72a7486e-c740-11e8-bc05-cd83c42f92c0′]


Anchor Mills when it was a working mill till today when it has been renovated and is part flats and part offices with a beautiful atrium at the centre of the main mill, next to the Hammills waterfall (not taken from the exact same place which would be the main bridge in today’s terms) Please click on the image for the larger version.

Young people in Renfrewshire have come up with a list of ten recommendations to improve youth mental health services.

More training on youth mental health in schools and young people being given the tools to help peers who may experience issues, are among ten proposals put forward by Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission.

The recommendations came after a survey of young people aged 11 – 22 across Renfrewshire, which revealed that 45 per cent believe there should be quicker access to mental health services.

Other findings revealed that half of young people speak to a parent or carer first if they are experiencing poor mental health and more than half –  57 per cent – believe the best place to get information is online,

Almost half – 49 per cent – of young people believe there should be a drop-in at school for young people experiencing poor mental health.

The proposals, which also included using Apps to bring resources into the 21st Century, were put to the Youth Generations Assembly in Paisley Town Hall. Pupils from every secondary school in Renfrewshire were asked for their feedback.

The final recommendations will be presented to professionals working locally with young people experiencing poor mental health. They will be asked to adopt these within their organisational practice.

Jade Lochhead, 23, from the Youth Commission on Mental Health, said: “Most of the members of the Youth Commission are still in school, so the recommendations very much reflect their experiences.

“Mental health a big issue for young people and it’s amazing that we get to have our say. I think the more young people who are consulted, the better. We will be the next generation to take things forward and opportunities like today mean we have a real voice.”

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “Young people have shown they are able to make decisions on issues which matter to them and want to play a key part in designing effective strategies to tackle these.

“We are committed to giving young people a voice and to understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Generations Assembly is a great forum for them to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what can be done to ensure all young people have positive mental health.”

Ambitious plans to realise the vision behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 have been backed by senior figures from Scotland’s cultural scene – in the week the ongoing legacy work takes several big steps forward.

Today is the last chance to see inside Paisley Museum ahead of a four-year £42m transformation into an international-class destination telling the story of the town’s pattern, heritage and people.

And yesterday saw councillors approve a number of measures to bring new life to Paisley town centre and harness the power of culture to change lives for the better, including:

– formal approval for a new cultural organisational development fund of £360,000 over the next three years to support the area’s creative sector to grow their operations and reach;

– transforming key outdoor town centre sites in Abbey Close and County Square by expanding capacity for major events and creating spaces which encourage residents, visitors and students to spend time;

– improvements to major road junctions to improve road safety, allow traffic to flow better, and open up key gateways to the town centre;

And the new measures have been backed by senior figures within Scotland’s cultural scene.

Gary Cameron, Head of Place, Partnerships and Communities, Creative Scotland commented: “We are delighted Renfrewshire Council have established the Cultural Organisations Development Fund.

“Local authority support is essential for developing arts and culture across Scotland, and we believe this fund will build on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and bring a range of cultural, social and economic benefits to the region.”

Support has also arrived from Dundee – a city which has already shown the power of culture to transform fortunes, culminating in the opening of the V&A museum last week.

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “The recent opening of V&A Dundee is the latest achievement in the long-term regeneration of the city where culture plays an integral part in this transformation.

“Our status as a UNESCO City of Design has been awarded because of the growth of the sector in the Dundee and the contribution this is making to our economy. Creativity is helping to create jobs and to attract tourists in ever great numbers.

“I am pleased to see how the legacy of the Paisley bid campaign is being used to focus on the future and tap into the power of the arts to bring about change for the good.”

The council’s leadership board also agreed to consider a report at their next meeting which would look at how the cultural legacy will reach towns and villages throughout Renfrewshire.

The investment in outdoor spaces and roads forms £10m of a £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years – to create homes for the increased events, festivals and cultural activity the area is already attracting.

That includes the Paisley Museum redevelopment, expected to quadruple current visitor numbers when it reopens in 2022, plus £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town’s Hall’s place at the heart of life in the area and turn it into a landmark performance venue.

The various partners behind the UK City of Culture bid this year agreed to commit resource set aside to host had Paisley won to projects designed to deliver on the bid’s aims – and the report to councillors told how investment in culture is already delivering results for Renfrewshire including:

– a £1.25m economic boost and 70,000 attendees at major events so far this year alone, including the Paisley Food Festival, British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot Day/Weave;

– work to sell the area as a visitor destination through the paisley.is brand and website, pioneering work by the NHS to use cultural activity to tackle mental health issues, and a growth in creative business development across Renfrewshire;

Today will see bid partners taking to social media to celebrate the work achieved so far, using the hashtag #WhatPaisleyDidNext, and a number have already had their say.

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire said: “We know Renfrewshire’s cultural activity programme is already providing fantastic opportunities for developing local aspirations, reducing isolation and re-connecting people with Paisley.

“The plans for refreshed, re-imagined outdoor areas in the centre of the town will positively benefit all our social aims by providing a fantastic backdrop for an even wider range of cultural activities – attracting more visitors and local people for many decades to come.”

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce added: “We welcome this investment in the next stage of the journey to deliver the vision of the 2021 bid.

“Enhancing our key cultural assets and public realm will we believe drive visitor numbers and increase economic spend, presenting opportunity for businesses to capitalise on our growing profile on the national and international stage.

“Cultural development and the legacy fund will encourage creative organisations to upskill, build their operations and shine a spotlight on the reinvigorated vision for Paisley and Renfrewshire. “

Alan Clark, of the Creative Renfrewshire group – a network which shines the spotlight on creative and cultural activities across Renfrewshire, added: “I think the Creative Renfrewshire members would see real value in this investment in the local creative scene over the long-term.

“The new organisational development fund will allow organisations to build partnerships and create growth across the whole sector – we are all part of this together. It feels like this is the beginning of a long-term growth.”

Paisley is set for a ‘festival of family fun’ when The Wee Spree comes to town this October.

The popular programme of activities for kids will take place from 12-21 October with thousands set to be entertained during the school holiday period.

The Wee Spree festival, Paisley – Musician
Colin Hyson rehearses for The Wee Spree festival, with school kids Gordon McCallum, 8 (blonde hair, blue t-shirt) Callum Gemmell, 9 (glasses and check shirt), Holly Beggs, 9 (pink tshirt), Imogen Hunter, 9 (rainbow tshirt)

The festival coincides with The Spree festival of music and comedy set to take over the town centre and will be bigger and better than ever, marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.

The internationally celebrated Scottish Chamber Orchestra will bring their free Fun Day to the festival (18 October) and promise some ‘bewitching musical fun’ inspired by Julia Donaldson’s much-loved children’s story, Room on the Broom. Orchestra members will perform for a family audience before kids get the chance to try music and craft workshops and join a special multi-coloured orchestra themselves.

Chamber musician Colin Hyson visited Paisley this week to speak to P5 pupils Gordon McCallum, Callum Gemmell, Holly Beggs and Imogen Hunter from Williamsburgh Primary School.

Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, SCO Connect Director, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Wee Spree in Paisley, bringing Julia Donaldson’s much-loved book Room on the Broom to life through musical storytelling.

“Scottish Chamber Orchestra violinist Aisling O’Dea will lead an interactive musical workshop before performing Room on the Broom with three other SCO musicians. Afterwards, children can take part in themed craft workshops and try out our colourful musical instruments. This Family Day is the SCO’s first event in Paisley since 2015 and our first visit to the Wee Spree.”

National Theatre of Scotland will bring the fascinating DO’S AND DON’TS to Paisley (12-14 & 16-21 October) as part of Futureproof – a radical new festival of ten productions across the country marking Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. Developed in partnership with award-winning documentary theatre makers Rimini Protokoll (Germany) and local young people, this event will see the audience led on an exciting and unusual tour around Paisley on a mobile auditorium, with an accompanying soundscape provided by local choirs.

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 and German theatre-makers Rimini Protokoll and it is great that it is a part of the Paisley Spree Festival.

“It is a very exciting project which is also part of our bigger Scotland wide Futureproof festival celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. We are delighted to be part of the Paisley Spree and the Year of Young People 2018 and working alongside our partners Renfrewshire Council and Renfrewshire Leisure.”

Paisley’s strong tradition of commitment to Gaelic music and culture will be celebrated during the festival when the popular local Fèis Phàislig bring their ‘ceilidh trail’ and music workshops (13 October), while Paisley Arts Centre hosts a free Gaelic singing and music workshop with Gillebrìde MacMillan (18 October) ahead of his ‘Paisley Connection’ evening performance celebrating the Paisley Bard, Donald MacIntyre.

Family celebrations of music are at the heart of the programme’s opening weekend with the Sprog Rock (13 October) andMini Manoeuvres (13 October) shows letting families have ‘a gig experience’ together.

Cosmopot (13-21 October) is a new multi-sensory show for pre-schoolers from Paisley Arts Centre’s Artist-in-Residence, Claire McGarry, and the free and popular Bookbug (15 & 16 October) from the Renfrewshire Libraries team lets toddlers enjoy songs, rhymes, music and stories.

Youngsters can try out a variety of Circus Skills (16 October) from hula hooping and juggling to tightwire with the team from Glasgow’s Aerial Edge and families can get active together with two sessions of Family Yoga (19 October) led by Renfrewshire Leisure.

The free Comedy Club 4 Kids (19 October) puts some of the best stand-ups and sketch artists on the circuit in front of an audience of kids. Entertainment of another kind comes from the Computer Xplorers (20 October) who will teach kids how to create their own games using coding skills and augmented reality.

The Wee Spree and The Spree festivals are organised by Renfrewshire Council.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Wee Spree is always a huge hit with families and this year’s October week looks amazing. We have had great fun designing the programme with all of our venues and artists and we are delighted to see places booking up fast. We have music, comedy, storytelling, acrobatics and song, all taking place in the heart of the town centre – 10 minutes from Glasgow City Centre by train. So, for anyone looking for ways to fill the October holidays – we can guarantee a great day out at this year’s Spree festival.”

The Spree festival is now in its seventh year. Acts appearing this year include Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, London African Gospel Choir, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, The Orb, Gang of Four, Wolfgang Flür (ex Kraftwerk), Big Minds, The Wandering Hearts, Tracyanne & Danny, The Pastels, Vieux Farka Touré, The Leisure Society, Duke Special, Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert, Gillebrìde MacMillan, Des Clarke, Janey Godley and Stuart Mitchell.

A Spree for All fringe programme will celebrate live music from local acts in Paisley and across the wider Renfrewshire area.

Details of full programmes and ticket information for The Spree, The Wee Spree and the Spree for All are available online at www.thespree.co.uk or from the festival box office at 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley PA1 1DG.

Renfrewshire’s major events programme has created a £1.25m boost for the local economy so far in 2018 as the ongoing work to use the area’s cultural and heritage story to transform its future continues to deliver results.

More than 70,000 people have come to the area from across Scotland and beyond to attend big days with April’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival, May’s British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot/Weave festival in July, each attracting five-figure crowds.

Those three events alone created more than £850,000 of local spend plus almost £400,000 of spend by visitors to the area – boosting the coffers of local businesses.

This year also saw Scottish Opera bring a unique outdoor production of Pagliacci to a specially-erected tent in Seedhill Playing Fields for five sold-out nights in July, which also attracted a five-figure crowd and Scotland-wide profile.

The figures are listed in a report going before the council’s leadership board next week updating members on progress with the wide-ranging Paisley 2021 legacy plan.

The council and its partners have agreed to use the resources set aside during the town’s UK City of Culture bid to host the title had Paisley won on projects which will deliver on its vision and aims, and create long-term economic, social and cultural benefits for the whole area.

Other key strands of the legacy plan referred to in the report include:

– the push to promote the area as a visitor destination continues through the area’s new destination brand and website www.paisley.is, which has already smashed its first-year target for views;

– a new arts and culture in health steering group led by the NHS is now up and running, and has secured funding to expand its pioneering community connectors programme allowing GPs to ‘prescribe’ creative activities to patients suffering from social isolation;

– work to build the area’s creative business sector, which has already – thanks to the work of the council’s business incubator InCube – seen a sharp rise in the numbers of creative businesses seeking funding and support in the past few years;

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid did a huge amount to lift the town’s profile, reputation and self-confidence, but it was only ever one part of a major plan designed to use culture and heritage to make us a destination and drive new footfall.

“We said that journey would continue – and the numbers attending major events in the area are one of many ways we can now demonstrate that. To have £1m pumped into the local economy so far this year will have had major benefits for traders throughout Renfrewshire.

“We’ve also a new fund designed to build capacity among local creative groups as well as investment to transform key outdoor spaces and transport links as part of the £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years.”

The next events taking place in the area are The Spree festival, which sees nine days of music comedy and more at various venues in Paisley from 12 to 20 October, and the Paisley Halloween Festival on 26 and 27 October.

Plans to bring new life to Paisley town centre by transforming key outdoor areas have been revealed, as the ongoing £100m investment in the town’s venues and infrastructure moves forward.

Renfrewshire Council is leading the investment as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

Work to turn key venues including Paisley Museum and Town Hall into 21st-century facilities hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year is well under way – and will be complemented by a £10m investment to improve the outdoor streetscape and transport links.

The plans – aimed at driving new footfall and boosting the evening economy by growing the area’s already-successful events programme and creating more attractive spaces to keep visitors, students and workers in the town – include:

– unlocking the enormous potential of the area around Abbey Close by creating a larger and more flexible events and gathering space around the Abbey, town hall and river, including improvements to the Abbey Green;

– a new and improved town gateway in County Square – creating a decluttered town square to welcome visitors and expand events capacity, and create a more attractive space for pavement cafes and people to dwell;

Details have also been revealed for major improvements to the town’s transport infrastructure, with upgrades to key road junctions at Mill St/Glasgow Rd, Mill St/Lonend, Canal St/Causeyside St and Renfrew Rd/Mill St/Incle St.

The aim is to improve traffic flow and road safety, while linking the town centre to its surroundings by making it easier to walk or cycle into the heart of the town and creating a better sense of arrival for people visiting Paisley’s attractions.

The projects will go to public consultation next year, followed by a detailed design phase. There will also be a feasibility study to look at further-reaching longer-term changes to the town’s road system.

The council last year set aside £10m for the above public realm projects but wants to top that up by applying to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Councillors on the leadership board will be asked to approve that application when they meet next Wednesday (19 Sept), where they will also be updated on other projects in the £100m investment.

That includes the £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections, and the £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by becoming a landmark performance venue.

The museum is planned to close later this month and reopen in 2022, and the town hall will close at the end of the year and reopen in 2021.

Other projects coming in the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub offering library services on the heart of the High St, and a refurbishment of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Our £100m investment in Paisley town centre is the backbone of everything which will happen in the next stage of our regeneration journey, the benefits of which will be felt around the whole Renfrewshire area.

“Over the next few years, we will transform our unique and much-loved venues into 21st-century facilities to host the expansion of events, visitors and activity the area will be at the centre of – we are also this week revealing plans to grow the capacity of Renfrewshire’s independent creative sector through a new fund.

“We have already seen investment in culture deliver results – with visitor numbers and attendees at our already-successful major events programme on the up, and the UK City of Culture bid boosting the town’s profile, reputation and self-confidence.

“And put simply – it’s the way we have to go. Changes in the way people shop mean town centres everywhere have to reinvent themselves. We cannot turn the clock back but we can create a vibrant destination around our unique culture, heritage and events, and that is what we are doing.

“The public realm projects we are revealing details of today are key to that – they will create key outdoor spaces allowing our already-successful major events to be even bigger and better.

“At the same time, Paisley already has large populations of students and workers, and a growing number of visitors – this investment will support traders by creating more attractive spaces which encourage them to spend more time and money here.

“And the improvements to the transport infrastructure will make the town easier to get around and through, while we look at a longer-term masterplan to improve the road system further.”

Historic buildings and locations across Renfrewshire opened their doors this weekend to thousands of visitors as part of Doors Open Days.

Ope Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Part of a worldwide event with over 50 countries taking part, Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Days is a celebration of the fantastic design and architectural history of the region.

Popular heritage buildings – such as the John Neilson Institute and the Russell Institute welcomed hundreds of visitors through their doors.

Those interested in the weaving history of the area had the opportunity to visit the Sma’ Shot Cottages and the Kilbarchan Weavers Cottage, and Paisley: The Secret Collection was also open, giving the public a chance to see thousands of objects reflecting Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture.

Paisley Police Office welcomed the public to their grounds – there was even a chance to learn some CPR skills; while Paisley Abbey offered visitors a stunning view of Paisley’s skyline from the tower.

There was something for everyone, with the RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve allowing visitors a chance to get up close with wildlife, and several walking tours around Renfrewshire focusing on the rich history and heritage of the area.

For the first time, members of the public were invited inside the mysterious Abbey Drain exclusively for Doors Open Days. The 90-metre-long medieval structure was first discovered in 1879 and then rediscovered in 1990. Over 1000 people applied for this unique opportunity, with tickets allocated through a ballot for 15 minute long tours of the drain led by expert Bob Will from GUARD Archaeology.

Paisley Museum and Art Galleries hosted a Museum Memories film evening in advance of the planned closure later this month to prepare for a £42m refurbishment, and hundreds of people took to the Gleniffer Braes on Sunday as River City star, Tom Urie, and a series of local acts kept the crowds entertained all afternoon.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron also took the opportunity to visit various places across Renfrewshire.

Provost Cameron said: “Doors Open Days is a fantastic opportunity to visit those places across Renfrewshire we don’t normally have the chance to see.

“I was delighted to see so many people out enjoying themselves and taking part in the brilliant activities on offer.

“This year I was pleased to welcome visitors in to the Council Chambers, and to see such a great community turn out at the Discover Gleniffer Braes event. Photos of the Gleniffer Braes event taken by Brick Lane Studios.

“We are so lucky to have a wealth of culture and heritage on our doorstep and it’s important we continue to take advantage of the amazing opportunities right here in Renfrewshire.

“Our annual music, comedy and drama festival ‘The Spree’ is just a few weeks away and will kick off a season of exciting events across Renfrewshire. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.”

The Spree festival takes place between 12-20 October and has yet another bumper line up ready to entertain locals and visitors.

Information on who’s playing and how to buy tickets is available at: www.thespree.co.uk.

For information on further events set to take place across Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or www.paisley.is

Paisley Museum and Central library are due to close later this month as part of a major investment in the town’s venues. Here’s a Q&A on what that means…

You can find out your answers here https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/culturalservicesupdate/

The 2018 winner of Scotland’s national music prize, the Scottish Album of The Year (SAY) Award, was tonight (Thursday 6 September) announced as Young Fathers for their album Cocoa Sugar.

At a ceremony presented by co-hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan at Paisley Town Hall, the audience of music industry professionals from across the UK, engaged music fans and Scotland’s consistently strong mix of creatives celebrated as Young Fathers emerged as the winner, scooping the £20,000 first prize.

 

The band also received an exclusively designed, album-inspired commemorative award, created by the winner of The SAY 2018 Design Commission, Geri Donnelly of Obsidian Ore.

 

Band member, Alloysious Massaquoi was ecstatic, sayingWe want to thank everyone who voted, it’s fantastic for Scotland and diversity in music. This is a total surprise and an honour for us to win it twice and make history. We are obviously a multi-racial group who stand for openness, kindness, and love.”

 

Formed in Edinburgh in 2008 by Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham ‘G’ Hastings in 2012, they released their introductory mixtapes, Tape One and Tape Two. The trio then signed to Big Dada and released debut album, ‘Dead’, in 2014. Following an extensive world tour the band begin work on their sophomore album, ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’, which was released in 2015. Their album, ‘Tape Two’ won the Scottish Album of The Year in 2014 and four years later, the band now add their third studio album, ‘Cocoa Sugar’ to their repertoire.

 

Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “A huge congratulations to Young Fathers for winning 2018’s Scottish Album of the Year Award. ‘Cocoa Sugar’ is a fantastic, world class record, which showcases the band’s incredible song writing talent and musicianship. Having previously won The SAY Award for ‘Tape Two’ back in 2014, as well as The Hyundai Mercury Prize in the same year for ‘Dead’, they continue to go from strength to strength, defying expectations and creating some of the best music to have come out of Scotland. A truly well-deserved win from an outstanding, crucially important Scottish act.”

Alan Morrison Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “This second victory for Young Fathers is so well deserved for a band who have gone from strength to strength since they first stormed the SAY Award stage in 2014. It’s their most accessible release yet, with pop hooks and soulful vocals emerging from their trademark monsoon of global beats. Congratulations also to all the nominees who made this such a bold and diverse year for Scottish music.”

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We have had a fabulous night at this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Awards here in Paisley and I would like to offer a massive congratulations to the winner Young Fathers and to all the artists who made this year’s shortlist. This year’s awards have showcased once again the incredible breadth and diversity of Scotland’s thriving music scene.”

 

“Hosting the SAY Award is a perfect fit for Paisley, long-established as a music town, and has put us firmly on Scotland’s major events map – I can’t wait to see what’s next.“

 

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL commented: “Congratulations to all of the artists shortlisted for this year’s SAY Award.  Scotland produces a consistently strong musical output across a variety of genres and this event plays a key role in championing a diverse range of Scottish artists.  We are very proud to support the SAY Award once again in 2018.”

 

Throughout the night guests were treated to outstanding live sets from some of Scotland’s most exciting emerging artists, including Hairband (chosen by last year’s SAY Award winner, Sacred Paws), multi-instrumentalist from Orkney, Erland Cooper, the timeless and unique sounds of Megan Airlie and the dynamic and unapologetic Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, who was selected by TicketWeb

 

As well as Young Fathers claiming the first prize, the nine other Shortlisted albums (listed below) each won a £1,000 prize and bespoke commemorative award including a soundwave from each of the albums’ lead tracks.

 

BABE – ‘Kiss & Tell’

Best Girl Athlete – ‘Best Girl Athlete’

Franz Ferdinand – ‘Always Ascending’ (Public vote winner)

Golden Teacher – ‘No Luscious Life’

Karine Polwart With Pippa Murphy – ‘A Pocket Of Wind Resistance’

Kobi Onyame – ‘Gold’

Mogwai – ‘Every Country’s Sun’

Out Lines – ‘Conflats’

Siobhan Wilson – ‘There Are No Saints’

 

The Shortlist was chosen by a highly-respected panel of judges who rigorously listened to and considered each album as an artform. Gathering in Paisley on the night of the final ceremony, the panel deliberated and chose the winning album moments before it was announced publicly. Judges include Derek Robertson (Editor-in-Chief at Drowned in Sound), Davy Wales (Performer Development Specialist at PPL), Sarra Wild (DJ/Promoter), Stephen Allen (Head of Learning and Partnerships and curator of ‘Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop’ at National Museums Scotland), Mark MacKechnie (Promoter at Riverside Festival / Electric Frog / Melting Pot), Bob Last (Co-founder, Fast Product), Caroline MacLennan (Director at HebCelt Festival), Rhiannon Mair (Producer with projects including Laura Marling, Bryde, Emma McGrath and Kimberly Anne) Rose McDowall (Musician, Strawberry Switchblade), Lynne Ramsay (BAFTA winning film director) and David Martin (Creative Director at Hidden Door Festival).