Spree for all

Music fans can enjoy a bumper line-up of gigs across Renfrewshire in September with the announcement of this year’s Spree for All.

Spree for all

The programme, established in recent years as a ‘fringe festival’ to Paisley’s annual The Spree festival, will see live music events take place in the area’s towns and villages across 1 – 11 September.

This year’s Spree for All has been programmed by Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud and Alan McEwan, director of Brick Lane Studios.

The packed programme will see venues in Paisley host fantastic gigs and open nights across the 11 days, with something to suit everyone’s tastes at The Bungalow, The Cave, The Keg, The Old Swan and Rocknrolla’s.

There’s an afternoon of performances to enjoy at Johnstone Band Stand on Saturday 3 September before live music at The Trust Inn and Habbies Bar and Grill in Kilbarchan later that evening.

Lochwinnoch’s Lochbarr Centre will host a Village Live night on Friday 9 September, while Lochwinnoch Golf Club, The Three Churches, The Brown Bull and The Corner Bar will stage a variety of shows on Saturday 10 September.

There’s a packed weekend in Renfrew with live entertainment at the Victoria Bar on Saturday 10 September before performances from top local acts in Robertson Park from 12pm – 5pm on Sunday 11 September.

Alan McEwan said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved with what is going to be a fantastic Spree for All again this September. It’s great to be back working with artists in venues this year and we have a mix of indoor and outdoor shows for you to come and see free of charge across Renfrewshire.

“We have great artists such as Spiders on Mars, The M65s, Berry Tweed and The Chasers and North to Abeline to name a few – and also the wonderful Village Live youth project at our partner venues.

“I would like to thank Morag (Lochwinnoch Arts), Danny (Raptor Studios) and Ali and Jason (Erskine Arts) for helping make this happen.”

Pauline Allan, Events Manager at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming back the Spree for All events next month, which will once again provide a great accompaniment to The Spree festival in Paisley.

“The exciting programme offers something for everyone to enjoy and provides even more opportunities to get out and enjoy the wealth of talent we have here in Renfrewshire at our fantastic local venues.”

Full listings for the Spree for All programme are available online at www.thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all.

The Spree music and comedy festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council. This year’s events take place from Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 September, with tickets still available for top shows including Tinariwen, The Bootleg Beatles, Barbara Dickson & Rab Noakes, Horse McDonald, Altered Images, Susie McCabe and The Slow Readers Club.

The Wee Spree programme for kids and families will take place from Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 October to coincide with the mid-term break for Renfrewshire schools. Tickets for the Wee Spree events are on sale now.

For tickets and further details of shows at The Spree and Wee Spree, visit: www.thespree.co.uk.

This year’s event, brought to you by OneRen, will take place on Sunday 21st August 2022. The 10K Road Race is suitable for runners of all levels from novices to experienced club and international runners.  For families, friends and youngsters, there is the shorter Fun Run that takes in some of Paisley Town Centre’s most famous landmarks.

In 2019, 3500 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10K road race and Fun Run, and the 2022 event is sure to be another great one not to be missed!

Erskine Hospital return as our race charity this year, with donations being able to be made to them during sign up. Erskine provides unrivalled support to Veterans in Scotland, through four care homes and a Veterans Village, comprising of 44 cottages, an Activities Centre, five Assisted Living Apartments and 24 Transitional Supported Apartments.

Sign up now!

The Dughoose Ska Band

The first of 3 free gigs at The Bungalow starts tonight with Parliament of Owls and The Dughoose Ska Band.  This will be a high energy night of Ska, Punk and Soul from these two popular bands who are no stranger to The Bungalow. Doors are at 7pm. 

The Dughoose Ska Band

Tomorrow afternoon The Byres Road Big Band are playing at The Bungalow for the first time. They were booked to play way back just as the Covid Pandemic started and unfortunately the gig was cancelled. It is free entry, doors are 1pm and the band fires up at 2pm.

Tomorrow evening is Summer Festival 90’s Club Night which re-Lives the 90’s. Why don’t you join in on the fun celebrating all things 1990s. This is an era of music defined by The Stone Roses, Oasis, Pulp, Blur and many more iconic bands. Be prepared for a Now That’s What I Call the 90’s kind of night. Seems like yesterday but it was 30 years ago, so it now qualifies as long enough ago to be a nostalgic tribute night. It’ll be a memory jogger reminding you of not only the music but also it’s a time to remember Beanie Babies, Furbies, and Tamagotchis. Dressing up for the occasion is absolutely encouraged. The staff wants to see a crowd rocking up wearing sportswear, slip dresses, bucket hats, and combat trousers. It will be a fun night and really is a blast from the past and you’ll be sure to feel like you’ve been taken back in time and make sure to sing along on your trip down memory lane. Doors open at 7pm. 

On Thursday it is Introducing Night and The Bungalow welcome up and coming indie band Flair and young Paisley punks The Wee Reprobates to the stage for a night filled with young talent. Tickets are £5/3 students. Doors are 8pm.

At The Cave tomorrow night at 6pm is North to Abilene and in the later slot at 9pm it is Sad Ida. On Sunday from 6pm the Jim Keilt Blues Jam is back for their monthly get together. Just in case you didn’t know how A Blues Jam is run it is an inclusive night when everyone is welcome to take part and play with the house band. The jam is headed by someone in the band that is usually a local musician that has some following or reputation in the local scene. In this case of course it is the very popular and talented Jim Keilt. That band supply the “backline” for the jam including the amps, drums and PA system and if you don’t bring your own instrument Jim will sort you out. The session usually attracts some of the best players but anyone can join in. 

The Old Swan have Sin City in tonight from 7pm. Memphis are playing tomorrow in the ‘Shopper’s Slot’ at 4pm and Clyde are in their usual slot at 5pm. Lee James will be singing some swing on Tuesday and on Thursday he’ll be taking you through the decades. Both gigs start at 3pm. Mike Edwards is at The Keg from 9pm tonight then it is the turn of Peely Wally tomorrow night also at 9pm. Peely Wally are a  rock cover band who play nothing but classics from the likes of AC/DC, Metallica, Nirvana, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen to name a few.

Jenny and the Blockheads are at The Anchor on Sunday from 4.30pm. Unfinished Business will be playing at Kennedy’s Sunday 3pm. I saw them on stage at The Bungalow’s Sunday Open Stage afternoon having a jam and they were great fun. Well worth going to see.  

This week’s Open Mic sessions are: Abbey Bar on Monday with Dunky Hunter at 8pm, Jason Flood is the host at Gantry on Tuesday from 9pm; Johnny Barr will be at The Keg on Wednesday from 8.30pm. Have a great week and Keep Music Live.


Group shot Convener M McGurk with kids and staff at St James' summer club in Renfrew - 27 Jul 2022 (2)

Hundreds of children and young people are having a whale of a good time at Renfrewshire Council’s summer clubs.

Taking place across the area, the Summer of Fun clubs and activities are available both during the day and evening to help kids aged between 5 and 16 have a good holiday break.

Group shot Convener M McGurk with kids and staff at St James' summer club in Renfrew - 27 Jul 2022 (2)

From sports, art and crafts to field trips and wall climbing, children and young people have lots to keep them occupied over the six-week break. Those who go to an activity over lunchtime also receive a free healthy meal.

All the activities are supported by the council’s community learning and development team, Children’s Services, OneRen, St Mirren Football Club and Class4Kids.

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Communities and Housing Convener, Councillor Marie McGurk, visited St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, to see firsthand how the clubs were going.

She said: “Having time to socialise with friends and others of the same age is important for all of us, but especially for children and young people after the experiences of the last few years with lockdown and restrictions due to the pandemic.

“The Summer of Fun activities are part of a large programme that supports children and young people of all backgrounds to enjoy the holiday period. With funding from the Scottish Government, we have put additional activities into targeted areas to support low-income families. We also have our regular summer playscheme for children and young people with additional support needs (ASN) and provided our regular activities like StreetStuff and Duke of Edinburgh.”

Convener M McGurk with a kid under a rainbow parachute at St James' summer club in Renfrew - 27 Jul 2022 (1)

Summer of Fun daytime activities are taking place in Gallowhill, St Paul’s, St James’ (Renfrew), Woodlands and Glencoats primary schools as well as West Johnstone Campus and the King George V in Renfrew. Most places are booked out.

StreetStuff will be at different areas each Monday to Saturday. Visit https://renfrewshire-cld.class4kids.co.uk/term/4 for information and to book.

Young people aged 10 to 16 living in Erskine, Foxbar and Glenburn can also go to local activities each night. Visit https://renfrewshire-cld.class4kids.co.uk/term/7 for information and to book.

Renfrew Pipe Bands
Renfrew Town Hall - blue (1)
braehead potter

It’s a kinda magic the way Braehead shopping centre plans to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital charity.

The mall is hosting a Harry Potter Weekend with lots of wizard activities to raise much-needed funds for life-changing projects and services for children in hospital and their families.

braehead potter

The Harry Potter Weekend at the Braehead mall takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29, 30 and 31, between 10am and 6pm, in the central atrium.

Witches and wizards of all ages are invited to come along to the fun-filled weekend and take part in some magical arts and crafts.

Families can have their photograph taken in front of a green screen and thanks to some Hogwarts’ magic, when the pictured is emailed to them, the backdrop will make it look like they have paid a visit to Hogwarts.

Anyone taking part is asked to make a minimum of a £1 donation for each activity to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

William McGowan, Head of Partnerships and Events, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said: “We can’t wait for our Harry Potter Weekend, at Braehead and look forward to bringing the spirit of Hogwarts to the shopping centre.

“We are incredibly grateful to Braehead for their continued support and generosity.

“We rely entirely on fundraising and donations to fund our life-changing hospital projects to make sure that young patients and their families receive the extra special care they deserve.

“Funds raised through our magical Harry Potter Weekend activities will help to continue our charity-funded play and events programme, family support services and wellbeing support for NHS staff, giving children and their families the best possible hospital experience.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “We hope lots of Harry Potter fans will come along to our special weekend dressed as their favourite characters from the books and films.

“Not only will everyone had lots of fun, they’ll also be helping a very worthy cause. Now that is something magic!”

british sign language

Are you interested in learning some basic British Sign Language? We are running various classes in Renfrewshire and the surrounding area. If you would be interested in joining us in a fun, safe and relaxed environment, you will get the chance to work with our Deaf BSL tutor Graham and Communication support worker David who will ensure flowing communication all round.

british sign language

You will learn about the basics of this beautiful language while finding out much more about deaf culture. These classes are designed for people that haven’t studies BSL before and to give you a taste of the language. There are no qualifications, so there are no exams, so you get to learn at your own pace without any pressure Just click on the link below and sign up for a new block of classes. We can’t wait to see you all. Please try and encourage as many people to come along as you can. Please feel free to share this post far and wide https://renfrewshireboxoffice.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows


Get ready for a bit of Reggae tonight at The Bungalow from Riddemption a multi-national collective and a mix of youth and experience. Riddemption have a mission to deliver UK based original roots rock reggae that pays tribute to the forefathers and queens of the genre that have gone before them. Formed in 2019, the collective brings together the best available reggae minded talent in Scotland and solid original Riddems. Riddemption have so far released Three Eps and two singles. All are recent studio projects built around their traditional Riddim versions


The band, along with various regular and guest singers have so far created a real buzz in the UK and are working hard to reach as many new fans as possible to pay their dues and keep roots rock reggae alive in a full band setting. Doors open at 7pm and you can get tickets on entry. 


The Bobby Deans Big Band will be back at The Bungalow tomorrow afternoon.  The band performs music from many well known artists: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller and many more. The line up of 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, 5 Saxes, Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar and Singers is in keeping with the traditional bands from the swing era. The band has performed at many venues across the UK has spread across the country. Doors are at 1pm and it is free entry.


The Bungalow which is synonymous with Punk Rock converts itself nicely into a comfortable candlelit jazz bar. Tomorrow night get ready for a night of live jazz. You don’t need to be a Jazz enthusiast to enjoy the evening, simply sit back and savour the stunning atmosphere and pieces you’ll hear. Have a gin cocktail and enjoy some great music where everything will be flickering by candlelight to create a magical atmosphere. The music is provided by two great local acts, Evelyn Laurie and Leana Zaccarini and The Moonlighters. You can be guaranteed a night of fantastic musicianship and a bit of banter from both Evelyn and Leana. Doors are 7pm. 


Wednesday is Sma’sh Hits night and the evening is intended for musicians who are interested in meeting other artists to collaborate, share practise and nurture talent. Whether you want to perform, network, or simply enjoy the music; everyone is welcome. Doors are 7pm. The Bungalow Introducing Night line up on Thursday next week is Angrego, Guns for Hire and Joseph Craig Miller. Doors are 7pm and tickets are £5/3


Dean Freeman and Emma Nailen are at The Old Swan tonight from 7pm and tomorrow The Old Swan has a cracking all-dayer in store from 2pm. The line up includes: support acts, The Festivals, Dean Freeman, Emma Nailen and the headliner is Strictly UB40. Strictly UB40 were founded in late 2013, Members of the band have played with a who’s who of UK reggae and ska, including Steel Pulse, The   Specials and The Selecter. The band have received acclaim from UB40 themselves for their stagecraft, amongst them founder member and saxophonist Brian Travers.  This is a day not to be missed. Clyde are back in their usual slot at 5pm on Monday and Lee James will be performing on his Swing Show on Tuesday and a Songs Through the Decades Show on Thursday from 3pm. 


The G33’s will be playing at The Cave from 6pm tomorrow and at 9pm they have a band TBA. On Sunday starting at 6pm it is Emergency Exit. Kennedy’s continue their Live Sunday Sessions at 3pm 

The Anchor has Ragamuffins on at 4.30pm. Drty Luv will be performing at The Keg from 9pm tonight and tomorrow night at the same time it is Mike Edwards. 


This week’s Open Mic sessions are: Abbey Bar on Monday with Dunky Hunter at 8pm, Jason Flood is

the host at Gantry on Tuesday from 9pm, Johnny Barr will be at The Keg on Wednesday from 8.30pm. Have a great week and Keep Music Live.


Stephen Dock and Jude

“After 4 weeks using my bike, I had gone from using my car daily to once per week – it was then I decided to ditch the car altogether.”

When Stephen Dock spotted Renfrewshire Council’s Not Far? Leave the Car campaign, it was the push he needed to make a huge change in his life – and it’s one he’s not looking back from.

Recently, he’d been considering using his bike to commute to Inverclyde where he works as a student nurse but hadn’t quite worked up the courage to take the plunge.

Stephen Dock and Jude

The Council’s new campaign was the driving force behind his decision to ditch the car for his bike and set a positive example for his two young sons, Jack and Jude.

Stephen said: “I found the campaign to be very motivational as it adds another good reason to cycle, walk or use public transport, and being able to see what I have achieved on a daily basis is rewarding.

“I thought I would do a test run of not using my car at all and mainly use my bike and public transport when required to see how it went.

“Commuting for me involves cycling to the train station, getting the train and then cycling to the hospital. I use the bus on occasion, but the majority of the time is cycling.

“My bike still allows me to do the nursery and school run, have days out using the cycle path and visit family and friends.

“After 4 weeks, I had gone from using my car daily to once per week and it was then I decided to ditch the car altogether.

“The end result is now that I have sold my car and now only use my bike and public transport.”

Having initially embraced the campaign as a way of getting healthier, Stephen has been surprised at how easy it has been to travel on his bike and on public transport in Renfrewshire.

“The fact that I no longer have the car has opened my eyes to how easy it is to still get through my week without relying on a car.

“I was a bit apprehensive at the start of this journey wondering about how to get big shops done and how safe the roads would be on a bike, but these have totally gone now and I have found the cycle network around Renfrewshire very useful and easy to navigate.

“I’ve also loved the added benefit of saving money, getting healthy, being a role model to my sons and helping the environment – so I don’t see me reverting back anytime soon.

“I think I have now made the leap and changed my behaviours for good”

With Jack and Jude travelling for free on buses as part of the Scottish Government’s free bus travel for under 23s scheme, it’s been easy for Stephen to travel without a car and even more so as Jack’s excited to get on his bike at every opportunity.

“I have two sons who have really had to get involved as I used to drive them around, but my oldest son Jack, who is 9, now cycles with me when we need to go places and I do my best to keep up!

“My youngest son Jude is 2 so isn’t quite big enough to cycle with us himself yet, but he goes into a kids seat on the back of my bike and loves it so much that it’s now his preferred mode of transport.

“When we need to use public transport for longer journeys, Jack and Jude both travel for free on buses, so we save on costs and it’s great to travel together as a family in sustainable way.”

Not Far? Leave the Car rewards people for taking sustainable journeys with points that can then be exchanged for discounts or freebies from more than 100 local businesses in Renfrewshire.

Stephen’s racking up the points every day and the campaign has encouraged him to visit more local businesses in Renfrewshire as he looks to spend local whenever possible.

“The app has been very easy to use and I like that it confirms which activity you have been doing, gives me a daily snapshot of how active I’ve been and also a summary of how much CO2 I would normally have used. The options to redeem points or donate them to charity is clear and very simple to do as well.

“I haven’t actually exchanged my points yet but when I do, I will be rewarding myself with a nice coffee using the Renfrewshire Gift Card as I was pleasantly surprised at the number of businesses that accept it.

“I have visited local businesses as my days out with the kids are mainly around the Renfrewshire area so we spend local where we can and everywhere is relatively easy to get to without a car.

“We do enjoy heading into the town centre or to the local parks so always stop for a coffee or ice cream as well.”

More than 750 people like Stephen are now signed up to the campaign and are getting healthier and being rewarded for leaving the car at home.

The free app works just like a sport or fitness watch and participants can choose to track their journeys themselves or do this automatically, with all sustainable journeys rewarded with points.

To sign up for free, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/leavethecar.

evolve project Logo_green_May22

New Funding for Seedhill’s Parks and People 

RIG Arts and ROAR are starting a new project to bring life into Seedhill’s Parks

RIG Arts and ROAR – Connections for Life today announced a new round of funding of £11,792 for Seedhill parks projects, ‘Park Life!’. This round of funding was led by RIG Arts with participation from ROAR – Connections for Life from the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund from the Scottish Government, distributed by Engage Renfrewshire

evolve project Logo_green_May22

‘Park Life!’ will work with local people using creative activities to explore what improvements they would like to see in their parks, specifically Mckerrell Street Play Park. This comes after the chute in the park, the only usable piece of play equipment bar a small climbing frame, was recently removed. 

“We’re really excited to be expanding our work in Seedhill, bringing more investment for the local community and hopefully starting a process to get the play parks looking a bit better” says Rebecca Livesey-Wright, Project Coordinator at RIG Arts. “Much needed improvements to the play parks are something we’ve heard from lots of people in Seedhill during our EVOLVE project and we’re pleased that this funding might help us to generate some ideas for what could be done.” 

Cassie Forbes CEO, Roar-Connections For Life said, “We are absolutely delighted to be working with our partners RIG Arts on this project in Seedhill, an area of which will flourish with this opportunity to enhance the whole environment and will bring the community closer together.” 

This new round of funding will be used to provide creative-led mental health support informing physical improvements to McKerrell Street Play Park. Specifically, the areas that the project will focus on are: 

  • Intergenerational Health Walks 
  • Wellbeing-Led Creative Workshops 
  • A Community Wellbeing Event 

If members of the public would like to get involved in this activity, they can email Rebecca on rebecca@rigarts.org or Lauren on info@rigarts.org 

RIG Arts, Studio 7, Tobacco Warehouse, 11 Clarence St, Greenock, PA15 1LR 

Scottish Charity: SC042242

RIG are currently delivering EVOLVE in Seedhill – an ambitious creative programme to support residents to rebuild and recover from the pandemic; identify local priorities; build resilience; unlock potential; create a sense of place; celebrate local identity and renew pride in the area through an integrated arts approach to community empowerment. To date, we’ve delivered 5 successful Fun Day Events in McKerrell Street Play Park with project partners Williamsburgh Housing Association and One Ren, and events partner ROAR, as well as a long-term series of workshops for a range of ages, and further creative engagement delivered by our Artists in Residence.

The 2022 Cycle Arts Festival will take place over the first week of August 2022 (1st to 7th)   on  the traffic-free path that travels between Paisley and Lochwinnoch. It’s a week-long calendar of events geared towards encouraging everyone to visit this unique cycle path with arts exhibitions, live events and cycling activities. The festival will take place along 7 miles of the National Cycle Route 7, a cycle path that is designed for both walkers and cyclists.

“At this festival we have a stunning array of community developed projects that really highlight the talented artists and creative communities we have in Renfrewshire, the Cycle Arts Festival has an outdoors organic slant asking us to examine and celebrate our remarkable natural environments in Renfrewshire both urban and rural”  says Rikki Payne, Arts Manager at OneRen, the local charitable trust providing cultural, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives.


Katie Rowland, Art and Diversity Coordinator for Sustrans Scotland said:  “Sustrans is delighted to support this brilliant festival which showcases the creativity and talent of people who live in Renfrewshire. It’s very much a community event and we hope people who live both locally and further afield will come along, see for themselves and make use of this this brilliant, traffic-free section of National Cycle Network Route 7 in the process.”


Place Partnership at OneRen in collaboration with local arts and community partners, Sustrans and Cycling  UK have developed this unique Outdoor  Arts Festival for Renfrewshire. 


The Festivalfestival presents a series of outdoor arts and environmental engagements which link to local places and communities to celebrate and recognise the value of our unique environments. The festival pushes boundaries of creativity in terms of what kind of activities can be delivered outside.


There’s something for everyone to experience with a range of installations, activities and performances to discover as you make your way along the path.


At Kilbarchan local artist Phillipa Tomlin creates a permanent art installation created in collaboration with local residents. It combines uplifting poetry and a permanent mural, inspired by and exploring our connection to nature, the pigeons and other birds that live along the cycle route.


 Dance Artist Rod Heaslip creates ‘Strawboys’ – a vibrant and energetic outdoor pop-up performance at Elderslie and Lochwinnoch blurring the lines between traditional and contemporary dance and music.


 Come along to have your bike looked over to get it up and running with Dr Bike! At Dr Bike, your bike will be checked over by a trained mechanic, who will make any on-the-spot adjustments and fixes that need doing right there and then, free of charge.

The Cycle Arts Festival and the Cycle Arts Renfrewshire wWebsite are projects funded by Place Partnership based at OneRen, with Sustrans and Cycling UK.  The Place Partnership project in Renfrewshire is funded by Creative Scotland and Renfrewshire Council through Future Paisley – the radical and wide-ranging programme of economic, social and physical regeneration using the town’s unique and internationally significant cultural and heritage story to transform the future.


To learn more about Cycle Arts Festival Renfrewshire, click here. [link to cycleartsrenfrewshire.co.uk]

Link to Facebook: www.facebook.com/Cycle-Arts-Renfrewshire

Link to Instagram: www.instagram.com/cycleartsrenfrewshire/

Link to Twitter: www.twitter.com/CycleArtsRen