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Full children’s programme for this year’s Spree.

Paisley’s Spree festival is back for another year – meaning parents have loads to choose from to keep kids entertained during the October school break.

The nine-day festival runs from 10 to 18 October and will see a series of big-name music and comedy acts perform at various venues around the town.


But it’s not just for adults as the bill includes a variety of events for kids of all ages, with Lego, laughs, literature and more.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council and has been timed to coincide with the opening of the brand-new Brick Wonders exhibition at Paisley Museum, which will see some of the world’s ancient, modern and natural marvels recreated in Lego.

It follows on from the massive success of the Brick City exhibition earlier this year, which broke attendance records at the museum, and will run until February.

And to mark the occasion, The Spree will be holding several Let’s do Robotics with Lego drop-in workshops in the Spiegeltent in County Square.

The free events take place at various times during the day from Monday 13 to Friday 17 October and will allow youngsters aged from six to 12 the chance to build and program creatures that move.

There will also be three Kids’ Comedy @ The Spree shows, where top comics including Raymond Mearns and Billy Kirkwood will perform sets designed for the younger audience.

The shows will be in The Spiegeltent each day from Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 October at 12.30pm, with tickets costing £5 for an adult and child.

Other highlights include:
– a performance of Emily Brown and the Thing by popular children’s theatre group Tall Stories, in Paisley Arts Centre on Sunday 12 October
– free storytelling sessions in The Spiegeltent with popular children’s authors Alison Murray and Janis McKay
– a free bookbug event hosted by Renfrewshire Libraries in The Spiegeltent on Monday 13 October
– Paisley Arts Centre will host a showing of the Lego Movie on Monday 13 October


The full Spree bill includes performances by acts including King Creosote, Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire and Dougie MacLean, as well as comedians Russell Kane, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss.

Councillor James Harte, Convener of the council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “The Spree is now in its third year and has quickly become established as the area’s flagship cultural event.


“In the years ahead we will be using culture and events to help drive an ambitious programme of regeneration and bring people to the area.

“The hope is that The Spree will grow and grow as Paisley becomes firmly established as a key destination on Scotland’s festival calendar.”

For more information on any of these shows or to buy tickets, visit now.

For more information on Brick Wonders and to book a timeslot in which to attend, visit

Pictures 1) Emily Brown and the Thing / 2) Let’s do Robotics with Lego / 3) Raymond Mearns (kids’ comedy)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

phil and aly

Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain in concert with Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson Photographs.

Photographs from the Spiegeltent in County Square, part of The Spree Festival in Paisley.

In 1988, two  members from two of Scotland’s leading bands, “The Boys of The Lough” and “Silly Wizard”, came together to work on a television series. You could say ‘the rest is history’.

Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham enjoyed performing together so much that they decided to have a small tour that year. That was beginning of a remarkable working relationship and friendship that has endured and continued to thrive taking them all over the world.

Ross & Jarlath fortuitously formed at Celtic Connections 2012, following a double bill of the two frontline pipers’ trio line-ups, the pair have fast become one of the most enigmatic duo’s to emerge from Scotland, these young musicians are not only vastly talented but have created a sound that is bursting with energy.

A fusion of pipes and flutes the duo push the boundaries of what the instruments can achieve in a performance which is a vibrant mix of new and original compositions along with traditional tunes. [text courtesy of The Spree]

All photographs by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with


Top local talent to go head to head on The Spree stage

Local musical acts are getting the chance to appear alongside headline acts such as Edwyn Collins, Admiral Fallow and The Twilight Sad at this year’s Spree Festival in Paisley.

The cream of the area’s top talent will go head-to-head during a nightly contest on the Danny Kyle Open Stage.

thespreeThe Spree is returning after a successful debut in 2012 and will this year run alongside the Royal National Mòd, Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic culture and language, on its first-ever visit to Paisley.

The stage is a celebration of the life of the legendary Scottish singer-songwriter who was a passionate supporter of traditional music and a constant campaigner for its revival in Scotland.

The Danny Kyle Open Stage will run between Friday 11 and Thursday 17 October with the chance to progress to the final night showcase concert on Friday 18 October in the fantastic Spiegeltent in County Square. Each event will be broadcast live on

Each day at 5pm three successful applicants will take to the stage and be scored by a panel of industry experts.

The top three artists are then invited back to the final-night showcase and receive a live session on Celtic Music Radio, with the winner also being awarded with a slot at the 2014 Spree festival.

Rikki Kyle, son of Danny Kyle, said: “I am excited the Spree festival is holding a Danny Kyle Open Stage in Paisley. My dad would be very proud it had come to the town.

“He loved the town and was so involved with Sma’ Shot Cottages. He helped come up with the idea of restarting Sma’ Shot Day in the eighties to get the local community involved in showcasing their talents.

“In the nineties he also set up the ‘Gies A Break Club’ which went down a storm at festivals throughout the country and is now known as the Danny Kyle Open Stages.”

Other musical acts already announced for The Spree include Rachel Sermanni, Miaoux Miaoux, Capercaillie, Donnie Munro and Horse McDonald, while Craig Hill and Fred MacAulay and more will provide the comedy.

With huge amounts of interest in these Open Stages, acts are invited to apply to take part by downloading the application form from and returning it by Thursday 3 October to

There will be over 70 Spree and Mòd fringe events over 10 days in October. For further information on The Mòd visit


First Set of Spree acts revealed

Some of Scotland’s top music and comedy acts are on their way to Paisley to perform at national arts festival The Spree later this year

The Spree, Paisley’s national arts festival, is back for 2013 after making its debut last year…and is set to be even bigger and better.

thespreeThe Spree (10 – 20 October) is back in the town for a second year after its successful debut in 2012, and will wrap around the Royal National Mòd (11 – 19 October), Scotland’s premier celebration of Gaelic culture, on its first visit to Paisley.

Much of The Spree action will again take place in the spectacular setting of a Spiegeltent in the town centre, with other shows in Paisley Abbey.

Royal National Mòd events will take place in a wide range of venues across the town, including the newly-refurbished Paisley Town Hall, and the Abbey.

The first batch of musical acts to be announced for The Spree include…

– traditional music stars, Capercaillie, celebrating their 30th year, who will play Paisley Abbey on Friday 11 October;

– a rare acoustic performance from Donnie Munro, who will treat fans to Runrig favourites and solo material in the Spiegeltent on Thursday 17 October;

– Highland-born folk-noir balladeer Rachel Sermanni, with special guest Colin Macleod, in the Spiegeltent on Saturday 19 October;

– Fife-based folk-popsters The Fence Collective present: The Pictish Trail and Friends, in the Spiegeltent on Friday 11 October.

As has already been announced, there will also be a unique combination between Admiral Fallow and The Twilight Sad with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in the Abbey on Monday 14 October. An initial allocation of 100 tickets were snapped up within minutes of going on sale last week.

Comedy fans will have plenty to keep them entertained, with two Best of Scottish Comedy nights on the 12th and 19th. Produced in association with The Stand comedy club, acts include Gary Little, Raymond Mearns, Bruce Morton and Susan Morrison.

There will also be a literary element, with free book readings from Scottish novelist Denise Mina and music broadcaster Vic Galloway.

Tickets for all shows will be on sale from from tomorrow (Tuesday 16 July) at 9am. Details of more music and comedy acts will be announced in the next few weeks.

And Paisley is set to be a hub of activity throughout the month, with Iomall a’ Mhòid (Mòd Fringe) events combining to add a real festival feel.

The Mòd festivities will kick off on the evening of Friday 11 October with a torchlit procession down Paisley High Street before the Mòd flag is unfurled.

This will be followed by An Comunn Gàidhealach’s official opening ceremony in Paisley Town Hall and a cèilidh dance with Paisley accordionist Grant MacFarlane, a finalist in BBC Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition.

The following day (Saturday 12 October) will see the start of the competitions, as well as sports tournaments involving football and shinty, before one of the highlights of Mòd week – the Fiddler’s Rally, led by the Bearsden Fiddlers, in the Abbey.


That night there will be a cèilidh dance in the Town Hall, with a top act from the traditional music set to be announced.


Mòd Phàislig will be releasing updates on other activities between now and October. Keep an eye on for more details.

The Spree is being run in partnership with Event Scotland, Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

An Comunn Gàidhealach is bringing the Mòd, an historic and culturally-significant festival, to Paisley for the first time.

For further information on The Spree visit

the spree

Paisley Spree is a triumph
Six months of planning, 24 events and nearly 3,000 people made last weekend’s new national festival, The Spree, a triumph.

The music, arts and comedy festival launches Paisley’s Year of the Mod and showed just how well the town is suited to holding major cultural events. Next October, the Spree will wrap round the Mod; making Paisley the focal point for Scottish music, drama and comedy.

the spreePeople from Tokyo, Texas, Ireland and throughout the UK visited Paisley to see artists such as Roddy Frame, Damien Dempsey and Karen Matheson, Fidil and Chemikal Underground. They also enjoyed some rip-roaring comedy: Craig Hill’s outrageous Jock’s Trap!, lunchtime improvisation, kids’ comedy and Saturday night’s Best of Scottish Comedy in association with the Stand comedy club.

A Spiegeltent was shipped in from Holland and local people watched on in amazement as this spectacular venue was erected in Paisley’s County Square within 24 hours.

There were four partners involved in funding and delivering the project; Creative Scotland, Renfrewshire Council, EventScotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:

“The Spree was a great success. We were proud to welcome so many visitors to Paisley and, of course, Renfrewshire’s people got the chance of a great night out on their door step.

“The Spree shows us all how a real town setting like Paisley does can add to a festival’s character. The Abbey and the Spiegeltent were fantastic venues, the town’s people welcomed our visitors in the best Paisley spirit and the atmosphere around the town lively and friendly.”

the spree

The Spree organisers worked closely with local organisations such as: Reid Kerr College, who assisted with the photography and radio interviews; the University of West of Scotland, who are working on the festival evaluation; Loud ‘n’ Proud, a local youth charity who help develop young musicians in Scotland; and PACE Youth Theatre.

The festival ended yesterday with a full day of Celtic Connections that included a flavour of the Danny Kyle Stage. Previous finalists such as Breabach and Craig Jeffrey entertained a full Spiegeltent audience who were then treated to a Scottish exclusive performance by Francois and the Atlas Mountains.

Amanda Moulson, Renfrewshire Council’s Town Centres and Events Manager added:

“The Spree has had a great impact on Paisley and has placed us firmly on Scottish events map; proving that great things can happen in towns as well as cities. We’re happy to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended a Spree event and who supported the festival in its first year.

“Paisley can prepare for an even a bigger Spree next year as we welcome the National Royal Mòd.”


Paisley Photographs of the Idolize SpiegelTent – the perfect cabaret and music salon

European SpiegelTents are hand-hewn mirrored pavilions that have been used as traveling dance halls, bars and entertainment salons since the early 20th century. Built of wood, mirrors, canvas, leaded glass and detailed in velvet and brocade, every SpiegelTent brings its own personality to an event or performance.

Very few of these legendary ‘tents of mirrors’ still survive but one’s coming to Paisley. Our SpiegelTent, Idolize, is a baroque beauty who will grace County Square during The Spree and add her own charms to our music and comedy.

All Photographs by Ian McDonald for Paisley Photographs

For more information about The Spree Festival please visit

spree launch

The Spree Festival Paisley Launch

A new Scottish national music and arts festival will kick off in Paisley on 25th October, running until 28th October and includes a line up of artists such as Roddy Frame, Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Damien Dempsey and comedian Craig Hill as well as a full day of Celtic Connections on the Sunday. This photocall and interview opportunity will be held the day before for print or broadcast on Thursday, 25 October.

In the pictures below: In the specially imported and very colourful spiegeltent, called Idolize, kids from PACE Youth Theatre joined Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, and Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of the council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, to mark the occasion.

The kids from PACE were wearing Spree orange t-shirts and the councillors even got their hands on the over-sized cut out guitar, fiddle and microphone. The kids will also danced with voile ribbons in Spree colours to add a touch more colour to an already colourful picture.

Location of the Spiegeltent, County Square, Paisley, PA1

All Paisley Photographs taken by Ian McDonald for Paisley on the web.

The Spree festival Paisley, is a brand new music, arts and comedy festival taking place in Paisley from 25 – 28 October 2012. For the first time ever Paisley will have its very own Spiegeltent in County Square.
Visit the fantastic brand new website

The Spree is a new four day festival taking place in Paisley across four different venues, Paisley Abbey, Paisley Arts Centre, The Wynd Centre and a Spiegeltent based in County Square. Thursday 25 – Sunday 28 October 2012!

The festival encompasses music, drama, dance, comedy and has something for everyone to enjoy… Roddy Frame, Karen Matheson, Damien Dempsey, Francois and the Atlas Mountains and comedian Craig Hill headline the festival.

From lunch time comedy clubs, Roddy Frame performing live in Paisley Abbey to Craig Hill performing in the Spiegeltent this really will be a fabulous four days of complete entertainment.

Tickets can be purchased from or 08444 155 221 or from the Renfrewshire Council box office on 0141 887 1010

Event Listing:
Thursday 25th October 2012
  • 10.00 -11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 -2.00: Who’s lunch is it anyway? In association with The Stand to be held in the Spiegeltent £5 PER TICKET
    This improvised comedy show will have you in stitches. Marvel as Stuart Murphy & Garry Dobson weave comedy magic from your suggestions
  • 5.00 – 6.00: 5PM Club Reid Kerr College performance – two acoustic acts FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 6.00 – 7.30: Panel event to be held in Paisley Arts Centre FREE
  • 7.30 -10.00: Paisley Underground presents Chemikal Underground – Human Don’t be Angry supporter by Miaoux Miaoux to be held in the Spiegeltent £12/£10 TICKETS
  • 7.30 -10.00: Karen Matheson Band (Gaelic singer, lead in Capercaillie) and Dick Gaughan TICKETS £18/£16, event to be held in Paisley Abbey

Friday 26th october

  • 10.00 -11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE to be held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 -2.00: Who’s lunch is it anyway? In association with The Stand held in the Spiegeltent £5 PER TICKET
  • 5.00 – 6.00: 5PM Club Reid Kerr College performance – two acoustic acts FREE held in the Spiegeltent
  • 6pm: Create in association with Hit the Road held in the The Wynd Centre TICKETS £2
  • 7.00 – 9.00: Craig Hill, comedian held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £14.50/£13
  • 9.30 -11.30: Damien Dempsey album tour (West of Scotland excl) £12/£10 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent

Saturday 27th October

  • 10.00 – 11.00: Gaelic workshops – trio of musicians FREE held in the Spiegeltent
  • 12.00 – 2.00: Loud and Proud present ‘The Wee Band’ and ‘The Acutones’, plus special guest singers held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £10/£8
  • 2.00: Kids Comedy Club in association with The Stand Comedy Club held in the The Wynd Centre. TICKETS £5
  • 2.00: Seminar held in the Reid Kerr College FREE
  • 3.00 – 5.00: Pace Youth Theatre held in the Spiegeltent TICKETS £10/£5
  • 7.00: Fidil and Bard Band £12/10 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent
  • 7.00: Roddy Frame plus support £18/16 TICKETS held in the Paisley Abbey
  • 8.00: Mairi Morrison, Gaelic influence, just recorded album and Alasdair Roberts, Indie and Folk £12/10 TICKETS held in the Paisley Arts Centre
  • 9.30: Best of Scottish Comedy in association with The Stand -Bruce Devlin, Raymond Mearns , Keir MacAllister, James Kirk. £10/£8 TICKETS held in the Spiegeltent

Sunday 28th October

  • 2.00 -5.00: – Danny Kyle stage in association with Celtic Connections
    Breabach – recently nominated as Best Group at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and Scots Trad Awards simultaneously in 2011

    TICKETS £10/£8 held in the Spiegeltent

  • 7.30: Francois and the Atlas Mountains, indie and folk (Scottish Exclusive) plus special guests. TICKETS £12/£10 held in the Spiegeltent

This listing is by no means the final listing and is subject to change, it is purely there to give visitors and the people of Paisley a guide to what is on during the Spree event in October.

Keep coming back to for more on the Spree itself. Or please visit the brand new website

The Spree website should be live week commencing 6th August 2012. You can also visit the Facebook pages

Tickets can be purchased from or 08444 155 221 or from the Renfrewshire Council box office on 0141 887 1010