Way back in 2012, when someone said, “let’s hold massive four-day music and art festival smack bang in the middle of Paisley”, I imagine there were a few raised eyebrows. And when the Spiegeltent was built in the middle of County Square, it did garner a few curious glances. But from that first acorn, a mighty tree has grown, and seven years later, The Spree Festival encompasses a massive eight days filled with events for the whole family. There are loads going on all around town, with the Spiegeltent and Paisley Arts Centre hosting most of the big events. Here are a few of our picks from the Spiegeltent lineup.
Jerry Rafferty Song Book – 11 October
What can be said about the late, great Gerry Rafferty that hasn’t already been said? He’s one of Paisley’s proudest sons and his music is known all over the world. Listening to Gerry’s music played live in the Spiegeltent, among the streets he used to walk, is sure to raise goosebumps. Rafferty’s long-time friend and collaborator, Rab Noakes, will be joined on stage by Emma Pollock and Roddy Hart. You can’t really ask for much more than that.
Hue and Cry – 14 October
Hits from your dad’s record collection – don’t pretend you don’t love it. Band of brothers Pat and Greg Kane first broke through with their 1987 single ‘Labour of Love’. Reforming in 2005, the band has been delighting audiences up and down the country. It’s sure to be a massive party when the boys hit the tent! Build your hype on the night by singing ‘Looking For Linda’ on the train to Paisley. How apt.
P.P Arnold – 17 October
LA’s P.P. Arnold, born into a family of gospel singers, started performing in the 60s with Ike & Tina Turner, before Mick Jagger encouraged her to go solo. It’s not often the term ‘overlooked legend’ is appropriate, but Arnold is the textbook definition. Even if you’re not familiar with her solo work, you’ll have heard her tones all overloads of songs you know and love – she has worked with Dr. John, Nick Drake and The KLF to name a few. Her 2019 album The New Adventures of PP Arnold was recorded and produced by life-long P.P. enthusiast, OCS star and Paul Weller band guitarist Steve Cradock, at his Kundalini Studio in Devon.
Jerry Sadowitz, Make Comedy Grate Again – 19 October
Closing out the festival is one of my comedy heroes. I’ve been watching Jerry’s performances for as long as I can remember. Often controversial, always hilarious, Sadowitz is sure to be a massive draw at this year’s festival. If you get a chance, be sure to ask him about getting knocked out in Canada; I’m sure he’d love that…(don’t).
The Spree 11th till 19th October Various Venues across Paisley