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/

Local artists are putting their own stamp on the Spree Festival with a project to decorate the famous Spiegeltent venue.

Sign writers and a graffiti artist are working on a series of hoardings at County Square.

Artists Rachael Millar and Karina Duncan spruce up The Spree with their amazing hand painted signs around the famous Speigletent Paisley Spree 14th October 2017

Rachel Millar, whose signage work has been championed by Paisley star Paolo Nutini , says  it’s one of the biggest scale projects she’s ever worked on.

Rachel, who also created one of the art works which fronted the official documents for the Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture bid, said: “We’ve made great progress.

“The sheer scale of it was quite hard and it was tricky to put up the big massive bits of paper but we hope people will love the end result.”

This year’s artwork was inspired by circus poster from the 1920s and 1930s and the baroque artwork of the wood and canvas Spiegeltent itself.

Festival goers are being greeted by a seven metre sign reading  ‘Welcome to the Spree’ with another massive hoarding is covered in slogans.

Rachel is assisted by fellow sign writers Karina Duncan and Ciaran Globel, while graffiti artist Mark Worst is also decorating another of the hoardings in his signature style.

Mark is behind a series of murals across the town including a Kingfisher at Johnston Street and one of iconic music stars on the side of Paisley rock bar The Bungalow

Fellow artist Kevin Cantwell has also created smaller scale artworks on the High Street and at the Little Book Transfer at Gilmour Street Station.

The artists created the works to mark Paisley’s national festival, which runs until Tuesday October 24.

It takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021.

This year features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini at Paisley Abbey on Friday.

Other acts on the bill include James Grant at Paisley Abbey and singer songwriter Dougie MacLean.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “It’s wonderful to attract such big names from the national stage to the Spree Festival  as we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 but it’s also important to give a platform to local artists and creatives too.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. 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.

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Paisley 2021 album launch in the Spiegeltent on Monday October 23.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the event from Brick Lane Records features 12 great local acts including Linzi Clark and Christy Scott performing their specially written tracks celebrating the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Paisley Album Launch show take place?    

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.

One lucky reader can win a pair of tickets for the Brewband show at Paisley Town Hall this Friday.

Part of the annual Spree festival, the performance by the Marc Brew Company aims to challenge people’s perceptions of identity, and is as much of a music gig as it is a dance performance.

To win, simply answer the question below and email answers to brian@paisley.org.uk

  1. Where does the Brewband show take place?   

The Spree Festival runs until October 24 and features a fantastic bill of music, comedy, film, theatre and much, much more packed into various venues across the town.

It comes as Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021, with a decision expected from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this December.

For more information and tickets for the Spree go to www.thespree.co.uk or call the box office on 0300 300 1210.

 

 

Photographs from Frightened Rabbit’s sold out concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Paisley Abbey, part of Paisley’s National Festival, The Spree.

Renfrewshire teenagers are tuning up to take part in a unique a link-up with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) which could help them forge a career in the music industry.

Scotland’s national orchestra is staging a two-day Takeover event next week (23/24October) which ends with a special show in Paisley Town Hall as part of the annual Spree festival.

The free concert will include music chosen by Renfrewshire school pupils in advance of Takeover, and will feature works by Handel, Bach, Sir Henry Wood, as well as Greenock-born 19th century composer Hamish McCunn.

Guided by RSNO professionals, around 50 pupils from all 11 Renfrewshire High Schools will work on every aspect of planning and staging the gig.

International-class musicians will mentor their younger counterparts while other pupils will work on marketing, press and PR, as well as fundraising, learning and engagement and stage and orchestra management.

The link-up is taking place as part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The second stage bid was submitted on September 29th and a decision is expected in December.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 bid director said: “It’s fantastic to be able to give young people opportunities to get involved in cultural activity and all of the benefits that brings.

“As Paisley bids to be UK City of Culture 2021 it also shows that we can bring artists of international repute here for local creative talent to learn from.

“We’re delighted to be working with the RSNO  and the young people really are getting the chance to learn from the best in the business.”

RSNO Head of Learning and Engagement Samantha Wright said it was a delight to allow young people the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations.

She added: “Takeover provides a rare and valuable experience to those seeking to pursue a career in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know – we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or chief executive among our group.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info 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.

While he was alive, the late Paisley music legend Danny Kyle was a great champion of new talent.

His memory and influence lives on with the Danny Kyle Open Stage at this year’s Spree festival, which offers up and coming musicians the chance to shine.

The free event at the Spiegeltent throughout the 12 day Paisley extravaganza will be broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio 95FM on Liz Clark’s show ‘Travels with my Auntie Liz.’

The top three acts from a total of 15 will compete in a final showcase on Sunday 22nd, with the successful acts offered opportunities including a supporting live stage slot with a more established act and studio time.

Acts taking part this year include Fallen Arches, Rebekah Kirk, The Connections, Bobby Dreams and Lisa Kowalski.

Liz Clark, who was a close friend of Danny’s before his death in 1998, said competition was fierce to perform on the stage, first made famous at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival.

She said: “The acts all get a twenty minute slot to strut their stuff. To get on stage people have to be out there gigging and trying to get their foot on the ladder.

“Danny always encouraged people and believed in everyone being given a chance, When he was alive he used to recommend up and coming acts to folk clubs festivals.

“It’s a free event and is always great fun.”

Danny’s son Rikki Kyle says his dad would be delighted with the legacy he left.

He said: “He used to run a ‘Giez a Break’ club at festivals to give new acts a leg up and it’s something he was very proud of. He would love the fact that the open stage is still doing that in his name in his home town. It’s a great legacy to leave.”

The first event runs from 5-6pm on Saturday 14th, followed by Monday 16th-Wedenesday 18th with the final showcase on Sunday 22nd.

Some of the acts will also take part in The Spree for All Festival Club at The Old Swan in Paisley town centre. The open stage event there will run for the duration of the festival and will feature solo acts, jamming sessions and poetry readings with details found daily on the venue’s Facebook page.

Paisley’s national festival runs from Friday 13th October until and takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021

This year’s event features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini.

Other acts on the bill include indie rockers Frightened Rabbit, and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean .

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info 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.

The Spree for All is gearing up to build on its debut last year and is returning even bigger and better than ever.

The fringe event for Paisley’s national arts festival The Spree promises a packed programme of live music, poetry readings, comedy and more.

The launch comes as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Paolo Nutini will headline this year’s main Spree event with a sold out homecoming gig at Paisley Abbey, while indie rock band Frightened Rabbit and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean are also part of the line up.

The Spree for All, organised by local music charity LNP Promotions and sponsored by Paisley First, sees local bars, cafés and restaurants  host a string of live gigs across the town from 14-22 October.

There will be a Family Zone in the High Street on both Saturdays during the event with music, magicians, balloon artists and face painters.

Interactive theatre company Mischief La-Bas will also be adding to the fun with their wacky performances.

LNP co-founder Tommy McGrory said:  “They are street artists who will perform as The Elvis Cleaning Company and also perform a pedestrian Grand Prix. They dress up in moustaches and goggles with plastic cars, it’s great fun.

“It’s all happening in and around Paisley.”

Music lovers should also check out the Burger & Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close.

The 150-capacity venue will host top names including Paisley’s Tom Urie, who will appear alongside comic Janey Godley on Wednesday 18 October.

Other comedy acts include Burnistoun’s  Rab Florence, supported by Scotsquad’s Darren Connell (Saturday 14th), the team from ICW Wrestling (Monday 16th) and the Thinking Drinkers alongside Billy Kirkwood (Thursday 19th)

Other venues include the Cave, the Gantry, The Anchor Bar, the Bull Inn, Hamishes Hoose, Zambretto, The Old Swan Inn and the Wee Howff.

The Abbey Bar, Bar Pre and the Bungalow  will also host events, while CC’s features  the H-Arts Drama and Performance groups and  comedy from Gary Little & friends on Friday October 13, as well as poetry readings.

Tommy McGrory  added: “The Spree for All is the coming together of the people who put on live music and more around the town. It’s got pretty big this year and there’s something for everyone in the town. This year the quality and diversity of the programme is even bigger and better.”

The event also features also a youth stage at Paisley Cross on both Saturdays featuring local talent from 1pm – 5pm.

The Spree for All Fringe is sponsored by Paisley First, the non profit organisation set up to deliver a Business Improvement District in Paisley Town Centre.

Chairman Ian Henderson said: “Paisley has a vibrant cultural scene and we are delighted to support Spree for All in their efforts to take The Spree to venues across the town centre.

“We are hoping to encourage as many people as possible to visit the town and take a fresh look at all Paisley has to offer.”

For a full Spree for All programme of events go to: http://www.thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all/

For tickets and further  information on the Spree main festival, go to http://www.thespree.co.uk/ or call the Box Office on 0300 300 120.

Information on the Burger and Keg events can be found at https://www.burgerandkeg.co.uk/