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

Paisley town centre will once again be at the centre of a scooter spectacular when the ever-popular ModStuff event returns to the annual Spree festival.

Burger and Keg in Paisley sponsor MOD event at Paisley Spree 2018

The annual festival-within-a-festival – run by LNP Promotions – celebrates all things Mod and Northern Soul, and will again take over the Spiegeltent in County Square on Saturday 20 October.

As well as all-day musical entertainment, the event will see around 70 scooters gather in County Square in the afternoon before riding out and around the town.

This year ModStuff will be sponsored by local bar Burger and Keg – based around the corner in Gilmour Street – who will be hosting three DJ nights from Friday 19 to Sunday 21, including the official ModStuff aftershow party on the Saturday.

Burger and Keg in Paisley sponsor MOD event at Paisley Spree 2018

This year’s scooter rideout – run in partnership with Paisley Vespa Club – will be raising funds for Renfrewshire Carers Centre, with Burger&Keg sponsoring competitions for the best scooters, including furthest-travelled and best-dressed.

ModStuff sees two Spiegeltent shows on the Saturday – a free afternoon one (12 to 5pm) featuring Lemon Soul, START! and Dexy’s Tribute Band, and a now-sold-out evening show with Absolute Jam, Les BOF! and The Signatures.

The Spree festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and 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 Goldey and Stuart Mitchell.

Gary Kerr of LNP Promotions said: “We are delighted to be bringing ModStuff back to The Spree once again – the event grows in popularity every year.

“The evening show sold out weeks ago but we would encourage people to come down for the afternoon and enjoy the free show and the spectacle of the scooter rideout.

“People will be travelling from across Scotland to take part and we are delighted to be raising funds for a great cause in Renfrewshire Carers Centre. We’d also like to thank Burger and Keg for their support.

“Between ModStuff and all the other Spree events happening the day, it’s set to be a great Saturday for Paisley town centre.”

Trevor Mills, owner of Burger and Keg, added: “ModStuff weekend is one of the highlights in the Paisley calendar and we are excited to be working alongside LNP, who have done a fantastic job growing this event with the help of the very supportive and thriving Mod scene.

“We have been granted a late licence over Spree weekends and will have our own DJ playing the classics Friday and Sunday as well as hosting NNE’s Strictly Vinyl ModStuff playing the music as it was originally intended on the old 45s.”

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

Paisley’s Spree festival is hitting the road – with the Spree for All fringe festival taking some of the area’s finest musical talent to all corners of Renfrewshire.

The events – taking place from 12 to 21 October – includes music, comedy, theatre and much more, totalling 87 shows over 10 days in 17 venues across five towns and villages.

Much of the main Spree action will take place in the iconic Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square, with big names such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi appearing in Paisley Town Hall.

But the Spree for All will also see the action spread into pubs and clubs throughout the area.

A series of free shows will bring some of the best musical acts in the area to Johnstone’s Hazel Bar (Fri 12 Oct), Linwood Bowling Club (Sat 13 Oct), Lochwinnoch’s Lochbarr Leisure Centre (Sat 13 Oct) and Renfrew’s Victoria Bar (Sat 20 Oct)

And there’s also a platform for unsigned talent through the Danny Kyle Stage – run in honour of the Paisley folk music legend by Celtic Music FM – which will be in Paisley’s Old Swan Inn each day from Mon 15 to Sat 20 Oct.

Other Spree for All highlights include:

– a series of three late-night DJ nights at Paisley’s Burger&Keg bar (Fri 19 to Sun 21 Oct), including the after-party of the ever-popular ModStuff show on the Saturday;

– Lochwinnoch’s McKillop Hall will host the Alistair McCulloch Trio and Howlin’ Radio (Fri 19 Oct), supported by Lochwinnoch Arts Festival and the local organising committee for Paisley’s Royal National Mod in 2022;

– local promoters Scottish Fiction will host a night in Paisley’s Bungalow Bar (Sat 13 Oct) featuring alternative rock acts Foreignfox, Mt Doubt, Acrylic and Home$lice;

– RockUs Community Choir (motto: ‘sing yourself happy’) performing a free afternoon show in the Spiegeltent (Mon 15 Oct);

– local singer Johnny Barr will bring his popular open-mic nights to Paisley pubs Burger&Keg (Weds 17 Oct) and Manhattan’s (Thurs 18 Oct);

The Wee Spree programme of shows for kids also includes Cosmpot – a kids theatre show which will tour Paisley town centre, Foxbar, Johnstone, Renfrew and Linwood over the October school week, while National Theatre of Scotland’s unique Do’s and Don’ts show will take the audience of a tour of Renfrewshire in a special truck.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council, whose head of marketing, communications and events Louisa Mahon said: “The Spree is now a fixture in an annual calendar which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s go-to destinations for major events in recent years.

“And we are delighted to be spreading the benefits around Renfrewshire, with a series of shows taking place in different towns and villages.

“The council’s events programme has already put £1.25m into the area’s economy this year – and with The Spree and the big winter events of Halloween, Fireworks and the Christmas Lights Switch-ons coming up in the next few weeks, that will rise further.”

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 Goldey and Stuart Mitchell.

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

A visit to Paisley’s Observatory gave theatre director Clare McGarry the inspiration for a new children’s show that will be touring locally next month.

Clare is the Artist in Residence at Paisley Arts Centre and had the beginnings of an idea to create a show for children that was set inside a teapot.

Then she was given a tour of the Observatory and saw a photograph of a group of the brightest stars in the Sagittarius constellation called The Teapot and that was a light bulb moment for Clare.

She explains: “I’d been toying with the idea of making a show set inside a teapot when, as part of my residency at Paisley Arts Centre I was given a tour of the Observatory.

“On the way up the stairs the tour guide paused to point out a photo of he Teapot constellation of Sagittarius. It felt like one of those magical moments when it was just meant to be and I love the idea there will be a link to one of the iconic buildings in the town.”

The show for five to eight year olds is called Cosmopot and tells the story of a young boy called Chip, who lives with his mum and has an impressive of space. One day Chip clumsily knocks over his mum’s precious teapot and it smashes to pieces.

That night Chip sees The Teapot constellation through his telescope and decides to build a rocket and travel into space and find a replacement teapot for his mum.

Clare reveals the names of two of the main characters in the show – Chip and Mrs Silver – came from children from Gallowhill Primary School.

Clare, who is also the lead artist in the Cosmopot continues: “The whole show takes place inside a teapot and encourages the audience to interact at various points of the performance.

“The inside of the teapot dome where the show takes place will be multi-sensory with the set design and visually spectacular lighting effects.

“Cosmopot is a truly magical experience for children as I believe live theatre like this should always be about firing young imaginations.

Cosmopot is presented by Paisley Arts Centre in association with Imaginate as part of Paisley’s The Spree festival and is funded by Creative Scotland

Cosmopot opens at Paisley Arts Centre on Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14 at 10.30am and 1.30m. The show then goes on to play Foxbar Community Centre on Wednesday, October 17 at 1.30pm; Tweedie Hall, Linwood, on Thursday, October 18 at 1.30pm.

The show also plays Renfrew Town Hall, on Friday, October 19, at 1.30pm and Johnstone Town Hall on Saturday, October 20, at 1.30pm and Sunday, October 21 at 10.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets costing only £4 are available online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts or by calling 0300 300 1210.

We love ModStuff here at Spree HQ, so we’re all kinds of happy to say that it’s coming back again for this year’s festival!

The team at LNP Promotions always bring a cracking line-up with them on Saturday 20 October, and it’s no different this year. They’ve also teamed up with the Paisley Vespa  Club to raise funds for the Renfrewshire Carers Centre with the Scooter Ride-out and Afternoon Show – so you’ll also be helping a very worthy local cause as well as having an absolutely top afternoon in the Spiegeltent…

LNP Promotions organises high profile gigs in Paisley to raise money in support of  many charitable projects (they’ve supported Loud ‘n’ Proud since 2013). Give them a like over on FACEBOOK.

Paisley’s own Gerry McGuire will be DJ for ModStuff, playing the best in Mod, Northern Soul and R&B all day and evening in the Spiegeltent, and this is your line-up of bands…

AFTERNOON SHOW (FREE)

LEMON SOUL

Lemon Soul rose from the ashes of punk (then 80’s indie) covers band The Lemons. Three new vocalists were recruited: Charlie McFadden, Stephanie Green and Julie Castro Standen (all from Paisley) and a new direction taken. To the surviving rhythm section of John Wilkie, bass and Tom Docherty, drums were added Ally Wilson, guitar, Jim McCann, sax and Grant Urquart, keys. Lemon Soul have been together for over two years building up their set and their gigging profile across the west of Scotland.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

START!

START! were formed in January 2016, brought together by a love of all things relating to Mod.

They play a fantastic set of tunes from The Small Faces, The Kinks, 60’s soul and tunes from the Mod revival of the late 70s. Start! have been building their reputation with plenty of gigs around Glasgow, Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. Most of the band come from the Paisley area and are delighted to be playing Modstuff in their home town.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

THE DEXY’S TRIBUTE BAND

The world’s only Dexy’s Midnight Runners Tribute band. This is not a couple of guys with midi files, this is a full blown, 8-piece HUGE sound, faithfully re-creating the halcyon days of all incarnations of Kevin Rowlands imagination including a 3 piece horn section, banjo, accordion, organ, piano, guitar, bass, fiddle, and drums. Once seen never forgotten, and a fistful of songs that will take you back to the days when you were Searching For the Young Soul Rebels!!! Now for the caper.

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

EVENING SHOW (£12.50)

BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE

THE ABSOLUTE JAM

The Absolute Jam capture the authentic raw energy and sound of The Jam – from their early punk roots, to topping the charts in the 80’s. The band play a full range of songs from The Jam’s back catalogue – everything from In The City, Going Underground, Town Called Malice, Eton Rifles and The Modern World to album tracks and B sides.

They are guaranteed to please both the avid Jam fan as well as those only familiar with the hits. This is one show you do not want to miss. That’s entertainment!

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

Les BOF!

After years as a musical enemy number one of the town council of Marseilles, Laurent Mombel estimated that his talents were ignored and wrongfully punished. In exile in the United Kingdom, Laurent, put himself about to find the musicians of Garage that were most endowed within their neighbourhoods – unfortunately they all were occupied and thus decided to make do with a few old tearaways met in the wild regions of Scotland – Thus Les BOF! were formed and after that, a series of concerts left them in the not very enviable situation of premier garage rockers of French language in Great Britain.

‘BOF!’ literally translates as ..don’t care!’ or ..not interested!’ but do not see there a group for which one would not have to be interested, but rather a group universally rejected by the established order – a situation, we are sure, you all know too well and with which you can only sympathize. Vive Les BOF!

Follow them on FACEBOOK.

The Signatures

The Signatures Northern Soul Band have established themselves as the UK’s leading live Northern Soul Band. Bringing their own brand of power and energy which has made them one of the best live acts around, The Signatures put their own expression to may classic and rare Northern Soul numbers creating a true balance between authentic but modern in sound. The Signatures can be seen at ModStuff with UK soul artist Stefan Taylor, fronting the band.

The band can be seen at many scooter rallies across the UK, along with hosting Northern Soul nights in collaboration with many Northern Soul/ Motown DJ’s.

The Signatures as a backing band have worked with Orginal Northern Soul Artists such as Dean Parrish, Tommy Hunt, Brenda Holloway, Tobi Legend. 2018 seen the band working further with Dean Parrish & Tommy Hunt as well as working with Chairmen Of The Board, Bobby Brooks Wilson (Jackie Wilsons son) Ruby Andrews, Spyder Turner as well as UK soul vocalists Stefan Taylor & Paul Stuart Davies.

FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK.

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.

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 www.thespree.co.uk

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 thespree.co.uk

Legends of Motown, rock and dance music head-up a stellar bill of acts that will play this year’s The Spree Festival in Paisley.

The festival of music, comedy, theatre and arts – now in its seventh year – will take place between the 12 and 20 October and will welcome Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, famous for tracks such as Dancing in the Street, Jimmy Mack and Heatwave, to Paisley Town Hall alongside the London African Gospel Choir who will perform Paul Simon’s Graceland on 20 October.

Paisley returns to its punk roots by welcoming the Gang of Four to the iconic Spiegeltent in the town centre (19 Oct) bringing their unique mix of stripped-down punk rock, funk and dub.

Renfrewshire Leisure have programmed a number of shows for the festival including favourites Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (20 Oct) and Gaelic singer and ‘the Bard’ from SonyStarz Outlander, Gillebrìde MacMillan and friends who will perform compositions from Donald MacIntyre ‘The Paisley Bard’ at Paisley Arts Centre (18 Oct).

The famous Spiegeltent will also host electronic music legends and ambient house pioneers The Orb (15 Oct) and former Kraftwerk member and German musician, Wolfgang Flür (13 Oct).

There will be a real eclectic feel to the Spiegeltent bill this year with Vieux Farka Touré (16 Oct), described as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara’ and son of the Grammy-winning Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, alt-country and Americana group, The Wandering Hearts (14 Oct), rock bands The Leisure Society and Duke Special (17 Oct), Scots super group Big Minds featuring members of Simple Minds and Big Country (18 Oct), and a fantastic double-bill with Traceyanne & Danny (ex-Camera Obscura) and The Pastels (13 Oct).

The popular Comedy Night will return to the tent with Des Clarke, Janey Godley and Stuart Mitchell (12 Oct) and the revelry continues with The Spree Ceilidh (12 & 19 Oct) which has the added bonus of being a free event.

The festival also sees the return of the ever-popular ModStuff and scooter ride-out (20 Oct) by LNP Promotions at the Spiegeltent with the proceeds going to local charities.

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. Highlights include a musical fun day hosted by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an exciting and unusual tour around Paisley with the National Theatre of Scotland supported by a soundtrack from local choirs. A full programme for The Wee Spree is available on The Spree website.

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

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 18 July are available from the festival website at www.thespree.co.uk and from festival ticketing partner Ticketweb.

Local organisations from across Renfrewshire have enjoyed performances by some of the top names at this year’s Spree festival thanks to a community tickets scheme.

Foxbar Mens Shed meet Dougie MacLean inThe Speigletent at Paisley Spree 18.10.17

The Men’s Shed is among the local groups to benefit with a visit to watch singer songwriter Dougie MacLean’s gig at the Spiegeltent venue, where they also got to meet the man himself.

Dougie MacLean at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

The group sees men of all ages meet weekly in a social setting at the Foxbar Youth Centre where they build bird houses, plant boxes and bird feeders, tend to community allotments and undertake guided walks all over Renfrewshire and beyond.

It was set up by Shelter Scotland’s Foundations First Project, funded by the STV Children’s Appeal and offers a personalised service to support families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to find, keep or improve their home.

Volunteer coordinator Janice MacNamara said: “Coming together at a gig like this makes such a difference to the men. It’s a social thing as some of them don’t have any family, so it’s another night out. Meeting Dougie too was just brilliant, we were chatting away about Paisley.

“Different men of all ages come to our group for different reasons – some come through bereavement because they’ve lost their partner and we also have men who maybe have mental health or addiction issues, though they are all free from drugs and alcohol when they come.

“No questions are asked about anybody, it’s about sharing skills and helping each other and it’s been great for all of them to get together in this way.”

Community group tickets also made available for this year’s Spree festival include 100 given out for Paolo Nutini’s sold out Homecoming gig at Paisley Abbey on Friday October 20 .

Sixty were given to local community groups through local charity Engage, with another 40 distributed to looked after children through Renfrewshire Council’s social work department.

Other groups who benefited across the festival include the Star Project, Paisley and Renfrew YMCAs, Street Stuff and Haven Recycling.

As the Spree continued this week, top comics Tom Urie and Janey Godley teamed up for a special night of music and laughter at the Burger & Keg Live Tent at Paisley Abbey.

Tom Urie at The Burger and Keg Tent at Paisley Spree 2017 18.10.17

Another raft of aspiring musicians including Anton and the Colts, Kieran Sinclair and Friends and Bobby Deans performed at the Danny Kyle Open Stage at the Spiegeltent, while the Spree For All fringe festival hosted live music at a string of venues across the town centre, including at the The Old Swan Inn.

Other upcoming highlights include the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall on Friday, singer songwriter James Grant’s show at Paisley Abbey on Saturday and the RSNO takeover at Paisley Abbey on Tuesday, where talented Renfrewshire school children will perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree allows us to take culture to every corner of Renfrewshire.

“The aim of the UK City Culture 2021 bid is to allow us to open the benefits of culture and the arts to all. The community groups tickets initiative at the Spree festival allows us to support local charities and communities in this way and give them to access cultural experiences they would otherwise be unable to.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters and more info can be found at burgerandkeg.co.uk.

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

Details of the Spree for All can be found at its Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SpreeForAllPaisley/