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.

Tickets for a kids festival during the October school holidays have gone on sale with the programme announced for The Wee Spree.

The popular festival will take place 15-23 October to coincide with a mid-term break for Renfrewshire schools.

Shows announced include the return of family entertainment legends The Singing Kettle, dance parties for parents and kids, and a family ceilidh. Film screenings will keep little ones entertained and workshops on everything from animation to circus performance will interest older kids and teens.

Tickets are available to buy online from The Spree website, the OneRen box office and other event partners. Tickets can also be bought in-person at the InCube Shop at 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley.

The full programme of events and activities is available to view at www.thespree.co.uk/the-wee-spree.

The festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council and will follow The Spree festival of music and comedy which takes place from 1-10 September.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We’re looking forward to staging The Wee Spree again and I’m sure Renfrewshire parents will be keen to snap up these tickets.

“We’re spreading the programme across Renfrewshire venues to make it more accessible and providing families with free, or low-cost, high-quality entertainment and activity during the school break.

“It’s a good opportunity to head into our town centres and make The Wee Spree part of a day out enjoying what Renfrewshire has to offer.”

The Spree festival will take place from 1-10 September when Bridge Street, Paisley will host the iconic Spiegeltent and a great line-up of music and comedy acts. A Spree for All fringe festival also taking place 1-10 September promises music and comedy at venues across Renfrewshire. Details of both programmes are available at www.thespree.co.uk.

 

Rab Noakes and Barbara Dickson
Crowd at The Twilight Sad - The Spree 2021
Spree Mini Manoeuvres

Family fun in October

Wee Spree

Don’t miss Wee Spree activities over the October holidays

There’s lots of family fun to be had over the October holidays as The Wee Spree returns to Paisley.

The popular programme takes place from Saturday 9 – Saturday 16 October.

Music is at the heart of the programme with a Family Silent Disco and thrilling dance classes for early years and older age groups.

The Refs will entertain with fun warmups and obstacle courses, while the Comedy Club 4 Kids brings an exciting workshop to get kids learning hilarious jokes before a show for families from top comedians.

See all the great family events and ticket information on The Spree website.

See events


Arkleston pupils win gold award

Arkleston Primary School pupils

Arkleston kids are delighted their school has got their second gold UNICEF Rights Respecting School award.

Here’s what some of the pupils had to say.

Zohaib: “I am amazed at how much hard work and time that we put in and we have been recognised for it. I feel proud.”

Olivia: “I was talking to my mum about how I felt. I was writing letters to the council about climate change and now I feel proud of the whole thing.”


Learning about climate change

St Fillan's Primary School pupil

P6 pupils at St Fillan’s Primary School in Houston have been learning how to monitor the health and biodiversity of local rivers.

On a trip to River Gryffe, the pupils tested the water for salmon and invasive species. The samples they collected will be sent to the Smithsonian Museum in the USA to be analysed ahead of the COP26 climate change conference.

Adam, one of the pupils, said: “I enjoyed seeing all of the different species and I learned it is very important to keep fish safe so they can stay in our rivers for many years to come.”


Free school meal payments

Food

By Friday 8 October, we will make two payments to parents and carers of children and young people attending primary or secondary school who are entitled to a free school meal on the basis of low income.

If you’ve already applied for free school meals, you won’t need to do anything. For pupils in P1 to P4, you will only receive a payment if they are entitled and you have applied.

You can find out more about the payments on our website.


Rising gas and electricity bills

Woman on laptop

Gas and electricity bills rose at the end of September and it could put you into debt.

If you are struggling to pay for your gas and electricity, help and support is available from us. Email emu@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 07958 011104.

You can also get additional help and support from Home Energy Scotland. Call 0808 808 2282 or search for their website.

Energy advice


COVID-19 vaccines for 12 to 15s

Young woman

If your child is aged 12 and older, they can get the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine.

Information on clinic dates, including any drop-in centres, are available on the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website.

NHS website

Iona Fyfe

Paisley’s popular music and arts festival The Spree returned last night at the iconic Spiegeltent with Michael Rother and features a bumper line-up across ten days (7 – 16 October). More to come from The Bluebells, The Rezillos, Nick Lowe, Kathryn Joseph and Retro Video Club and other top acts coming to the fast-growing festival, which is now in its ninth year. For info go to thespree.co.uk

Iona Fyfe

Meanwhile our local venues have put together an amazing amount of gigs together for Spree for All the fringe event that compliments The Spree.  It kicked off last night in big style with The Marley Experience at The Bungalow and Grant Cherry’s Open Mic at The Cave. 

 

There are loads to get through so let’s have a look at tonight and all the way through to next Thursday then there will be more starting on Friday 15th of October. Tonight David McKendrick will be at The Old Swan from 5pm, March of The Mods which is of course rescheduled from March is at The Bungalow from 7pm: the line up is The Substitutes, The Heeby Jeebies, Skaledonia and Start. There is a live singer at Zambretto from 8.30pm, Midnight Moses will be rocking out at The Cave from 9pm then going late from 9.30pm at The Keg it is Sara ‘n Junbug. 

 

ModStuff is back with again this year tomorrow from 12pm at The Bungalow. The line up in the free afternoon gig is: The M65s, The Redstarts and Lemon Soul. The evening (ticketed) gig’s bands are: Parliament of Owls, Solid Bond and Absolute Jam.  

Epic are playing at The Old Swan from 4pm followed by Kirk Strachan at 8pm. The Cave has Monkey Business from 6pm and in the later slot at 9pm it is Splendid Suns. Charlie Gorman will be solo at Zambretto from 8.30pm. Thunder Road is at Harvies from 9pm then at 9.30 at The Keg it is Johnny Barr and Firebaws. 

 

On Sunday, Village Live a youth music initiative will be on stage at The Bungalow from 2pm. Jumbo Gibson is at The Anchor from 4.30pm then later at 6pm Nightly is playing at The Cave followed by The Aftershow with Grant Cherry from 9pm. The Old Swan has Wreckless on at 6pm. You have two great comedy nights to choose from. First it is Scott Gibson at The Bungalow doors 7pm then later at 9.30pm it is Mark Nelson at The Keg.

Iona Fyfe

On Monday The Casual Swans are at The Old Swan from 4pm. The Danny Kyle Night is at The Bungalow with a fantastic line up of: Award winning Iona Fyfe, Watt Nichol and Doreen, Charlie Harrigan and Gavin Paterson’s All Star Skiffle Band which includes Alastair McDonald, Joe Quinn, Lajo Gillette and Iain McRury, doors at 7pm. There is an Open Mic with Dunky Hunter at The Abbey from 8pm and Mya Brown is at The Keg from 9.30pm. 

 

Tuesday at 2.30pm is a Swing Afternoon at The Old Swan, Hip Hop Night at The Bungalow, doors 7pm. Fire Exit and Support are at CC’s, doors 7pm. At 8pm there is a Special Spree Quiz at The Keg and Andy Lindsay’s Open Mic at The Anchor. 

 

On Wednesday Zoe Tait will be playing at The Old Swan from 5pm and later at 7pm The Bungalow are having a Choir Night with Rockus from 7pm. 2Sevens and The Kaplans are at CC’s, doors 7pm and Johnny Barr will be at The Keg from 8.30pm to host their open mic.

 

Thursday Jim Keilt will be fronting the jam session at The Old Swan from 5pm then at 6pm in The Cave it is Chloe McNeil followed by Zoe Tait at 7pm. The Bleeders and Scunnurt will be playing at The Introducing Night in The Bungalow, doors 7pm. CC’s are hosting Folk Wi The Patter with Shaun Moore, doors 7pm. Open Mic at Gantry is 9pm then finally live band TBC at The Keg from 9.30pm.

 

Check out each venue’s Face book pages for ticket info and start times etc.  

Don’t miss Wee Spree activities over the October holidays

There’s lots of family fun to be had over the October holidays as The Wee Spree returns to Paisley.

The popular programme takes place from Saturday 9 – Saturday 16 October.

Music is at the heart of the programme with a Family Silent Disco and thrilling dance classes for early years and older age groups.

The Refs will entertain with fun warmups and obstacle courses, while the Comedy Club 4 Kids brings an exciting workshop to get kids learning hilarious jokes before a show for families from top comedians.

See all the great family events and ticket information on The Spree website.

Jordan Stewart
Wee Spree logo

Paisley is set to host a festival of family fun as The Wee Spree returns this October.

The popular programme of activities for kids and families will take place from Saturday 9 – Saturday 16 October, with plenty for everyone to enjoy during the school holidays.

Wee Spree logo

The Wee Spree events will also coincide with the return of The Spree music and arts festival in 2021 – one of the centrepieces of Renfrewshire Council’s major events programme which has made Paisley a key cultural destination in Scotland in recent years.

Shows at The Wee Spree will take place at venues and locations around Paisley, including the Methodist Central Hall and the Tannahill Centre.

Music is at the heart of the programme as Silent Knights bring pop tunes and classic sing-alongs to the Family Silent Disco (Monday 11 October). Indepen-dance will then present two Dance Your Socks Off sessions for early years before older age groups get the chance to freestyle to popular dance tracks and trends with a TikTok Moves class (Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14). There’s also new-born – 18-month baby and parent activities with BuddieBeats Music Makaton & Sensory classes (Sunday 10).

BuddyBeats

The ever-popular film screenings will return as Dance HQ presents Dance Along – The Lion King and Trolls World Tour (Monday 11 and Tuesday 12), while kids will also get the chance to unleash their creativity through Cinemor77’s Spooktacular Animation Workshop (Tuesday 12).

Youngsters can learn to walk on stilts, spin poi and staff, juggle and much more as part of a two-day Circus Camp (Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14) with the team from Scotland’s only touring contemporary circus company Circus Alba.

Budding comedians can practice their jokes as the popular Comedy Club 4 Kids workshop returns to The Wee Spree (Friday 15), before performances from comics Stephen Halkett, Rosco McClelland and Mr Fibbers’ later that afternoon.

Funbox at The Spree 2019

There will also be live performances as festival favourites FUNBOX presents: Back to The Spree with two fantastic shows (Friday 15 October), while THE REFS come equipped with cones and whistles to entertain with playful, easy to follow warmups and obstacle courses (Saturday 9).

Funbox portrait

Drop-in to The Wee Spree Arts, Crafts and Science Hub at the Methodist Central Hall to enjoy activities from local artists and experience the excitement of the Glasgow Science Centre right here in Paisley, as the Centre’s on tour team showcase their interactive mobile exhibits (Saturday 9 and Saturday 16).

Experience a walkway of magical soundscapes at Paisley Abbey Gardens as Cryptic presents Katie Anderson’s Sound Horn (Friday 8 – Sunday 10), comprising six fascinating outdoor sound sculptures which visitors can enjoy safely and at their own leisure. The sculptures will then head to Castle Semple Visitor Centre, Lochwinnoch, the following weekend (Saturday 16 and Sunday 17).

Arm endurance - Provided by Glasgow Science Centre

And while out and about in Paisley town centre, kids can write their own story or have one crafted for them by writer Luke Winter with Stories While You Wait at the Story Wagon in County Square (Friday 15 and Saturday 16).

Families can also enjoy a number of pop-up circus and street performances in Paisley town centre from Circus Alba & Oceanallover (Saturday 9 & 16).

Plus, from Thursday 14 October, music lovers can take a Tour of Paisley’s Musical History by downloading a fantastic walking tour app. Led by Art Boss’s team of young producers, the tour will explore the medieval scores discovered in Paisley Abbey Drain, the town’s historic punk past and much more.

Tickets for The Wee Spree are on sale from 10am on Wednesday 15 September and can be bought online via www.thespree.co.uk.

The Spree is Paisley’s annual arts festival with events taking place from Thursday 7 – Saturday 16 October in the fabulous Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in the town centre.

Top acts on the bill for this year’s main Spree programme include The Twilight Sad, Nadine Shah, Arab Strap, Michael Rother, Kathryn Joseph, Nick Lowe, Retro Video Club and The Rezillos.

Organised by Renfrewshire Council, The Spree is programmed by Regular Music and has received funding support from Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, managed by EventScotland.

For more on the festival and ticket information, visit The Spree website.

Halloween

Renfrewshire Council has today announced that all large-scale Council-run events will be cancelled until the end of October in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision means that the following events will no longer take place: Renfrew Gala Day; Barshaw Gala Day; Johnstone Fire Engine Rally; Renfrewshire Doors Open Days; The Spree festival; and Paisley Halloween Festival.

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will be marked this year – but in a different way. A programme of online events will take place on Saturday 4 July to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers, as well as the invaluable contribution of today’s key workers across Renfrewshire.

All Council-run events after October will continue to be reviewed in line with national guidance from the Scottish Government and public health advice, with a further decision on the staging of Paisley Fireworks Spectacular and the Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew Christmas lights switch-on events expected by June 30.

The Council announced in March that its spring/summer events programme, including the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are hugely disappointed to have to announce this news today but, given the ongoing public health and government advice, it’s the safe and prudent action to take.

“Since we announced the cancellation of our spring/summer programme, festivals and events in the UK and further afield scheduled up until October have continued to be cancelled. The current advice on mass gatherings and events is expected to be in place for some months to come, along with significant physical distancing restrictions.

“Our events programme is regarded among the highlights in Renfrewshire’s annual calendar – and we’re rightly proud of the economic and social impact it brings for our communities. As with many of our Council services, and sectors of our local economy, we want to be in a position to restart and support recovery as soon as possible – but only when the public health advice recommends it is safe to do so.

“Despite the cancellation of our large-scale events until the end of October, we will still celebrate Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day – but in a different way. The online programme of events will allow us to honour the historic victory of local weavers and thank the key workers in Renfrewshire today, who are doing a fantastic job on the frontline to support us all during this unprecedented time.”

Renfrewshire Council is continuing to plan its major events programme in Renfrewshire for next year, whilst monitoring the latest government and public health advice.

The Council advises everyone to continue to follow the national guidance on coronavirus set out by the Scottish Government and to consult www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus for up to date medical advice.

For the latest local updates, visit our ‘Information, help and guidance on Coronavirus’ webpage here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Paisley Halloween Festival

Paisley’s popular Halloween and Spree 2019 festivals delivered a £1.2million economic boost to Renfrewshire.

That’s according to the findings of independent assessments into the two October events, which also showed record numbers of people attended the festivals in 2019.

Paisley Halloween Festival

One of the largest events of its kind in the UK, the Dark Circus themed Paisley Halloween Festival attracted 41,000 people across the two-days – up 17% on 2018. The event was delivered alongside internationally-acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou.

More than 350 costumed performers and community groups took part in the Mardi Gras style parade, the centrepiece of the festival, which wound its way through the town centre. The parade also featured fantastic, giant lion and elephant floats, ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, to delight the gathered crowds.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Twenty six percent of attendees to the Halloween festival were from outside Renfrewshire demonstrating the popularity and stellar programme of the free, family-friendly activities on offer.

The Paisley Halloween Festival was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for the 2019 event.

Brickz4kids

The festival delivered £824,250 to the local economy with local businesses benefiting from the high number of visitors in the town that weekend.

Paisley Halloween Festival scooped the Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals and will now go on to compete in the prestigious national final on March 5, 2020.

Glasvagas

The Spree also delivered impressive results for the area. More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out to enjoy the diverse range of acts in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

The numbers also add up, with a £411,000 total economic boost from the 10-day music, arts and cultural festival.

Paisley Halloween Festival

The Spree 2019 saw record ticket sales with music and comedy fans being treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

The festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

There was also a packed Wee Spree programme for kids during the school holidays with 2,822 people heading along to enjoy the events – the highest number of attendees on record for the event.

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to Spend Local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It was phenomenal to see such great numbers coming along to Paisley’s Halloween Festival and to Spree and now this report shows the positive impact these major events have on the local economy and local businesses.

“We’re continuing to work with partners to offer a fantastic calendar of events to attract residents and visitors from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and major events are an important part of our plans to use our culture and heritage to drive footfall and cement our status as one of Scotland’s top visitor destination.”

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out for The Spree festival as figures show record attendances at this year’s events.

The festival, which is now in its eighth year and is organised by Renfrewshire Council, took place over nine days from 11-19 October.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Music and comedy fans were treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

This year’s opening night also saw a fitting tribute to one of Paisley’s favourite musical sons – A Gerry Rafferty Songbook with Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Rab Noakes, who thrilled a sell-out crowd with a set spanning the musician’s rich career.

Most of the shows at this year’s festival took place in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – with a bigger tent than in previous years allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

There was lots of fun for families as the Wee Spree programme of kids activities took place during the school holidays and saw over 2,000 youngsters enjoy events from music and circus skills workshops to cinema and comedy.

This year also saw the return of the popular Spree for All fringe programme, which was extended across Renfrewshire and saw 2,500 people attend events across Lochwinnoch, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Renfrew and Paisley.

Paisley also played host to an all-day festival within-a-festival on the opening Saturday with LNP Promotions’ ModStuff celebration in the Spiegeltent, which saw the spectacle of over 100 scooters ride off around the town from County Square.

The Spree is a centrepiece in Renfrewshire Council’s annual major events calendar, which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years.

This year’s festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This has been another fantastic year for The Spree as we’ve seen record attendance figures and more fans coming out to enjoy their favourite acts and musicians at the festival.

“The Spree has grown in recent years to become a popular fixture in Scotland’s festival calendar, attracting a wealth of local and international artists and bringing more and more visitors from across the country to see what Paisley has to offer.

“The extended programme of amazing events across towns and villages in Renfrewshire will also boost our local economy and will go some way to benefiting local businesses.”

Mark Mackie, Director of Regular Music, said: “We are proud to have been involved with Renfrewshire Council in programming this year’s The Spree festival in Paisley and are delighted that the concerts were so well attended and enjoyed by everyone that came along.”

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to spend local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club this year at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

The Spree festival marked the start of Renfrewshire Council’s winter events programme, which continues with the Paisley Halloween Festival (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October), Paisley Fireworks Spectacular (Saturday 2 November) and Christmas Lights Switch-On events in Paisley (Saturday 16 November), Renfrew (Saturday 23 November) and Johnstone (Saturday 30 November).

To find out more about each of these events, visit www.paisley.is.