Paisley Abbey was one of the highlights of the evening, as you entered the warmly elaborate setting, waiting being wowed by a unique one-off set from Selkirk’s Frightened Rabbit playing in conjunction with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The stunning venue was one of the draws for this headlining Spree gig, as the Scottish headliners indulged fans with a mix of old favourites and one (at least) never-heard-before track.
Supported by the anti-climactic and oddly-placed Wallis Bird, performing on her lonesome, there was an initial disappointment. Charming, Irish, she performed a short acoustic set ahead of the Scot rockers with songs such as River of Paper and Control, edging towards the likes of Kate Nash and KT Tunstall, and unexpectedly filled the Abbey with her music. Albeit disappointing, she clearly had talent and technically held her own, but perhaps required accompaniment
However, as the main event arrived, the fans seemed stunned and moved as they listened to heart-rending tracks such as Poke, Floating in the Forth and the closer, Keep Yourself Warm within this renowned abbey, with a heritage of over 850 years. Singer Scott Hutchison led the evening along with the conductor and composer John Logan, who were aptly applauded and given a standing ovation. With a light show that provided the opportunity for every nook and crevice of the abbey to shine, as well as a surrounding orchestra that floored this venue with wall-to-wall sound, this well-attended gig was really one of its kind, despite a few disappointments.
Unfortunately too far away to connect with their audience, the gig was not perhaps as intimate and delicate as it was anticipated to be. However, it was evident from their fans’ reaction that it was still no less than fantastic. They were not only aided by the dazzling Royal Scottish National Orchestra but they were set amidst a historically prolific landmark. It was one for the memory banks and one that showcases the potential for Paisley, and it’s cultural scene.
Photos courtesy of Nigel Deayton.
For more on The Spree and the remainder of it’s programme click here.