Paolo Nutini to play charity gig in Paisley Abbey to help culture capital bid
Paolo Nutini is to perform a huge charity concert in his home town's historic abbey to help its bid to become the UK's next culture capital.
Syrian refugees will be among the beneficiariers of the show in Paisley Abbey in October, which will be part of the annual Spree festival.
Nutini has revealed plans for the concert on 20 October after throwing his weight behind Paisley’s bid in November when he recorded a special video message.
Paisley is up against Perth in the race to be named UK City of Culture in 2021. A shortlist due to be announced in the summer and a winner due to be unveiled in December in Hull, when its reign - which is expected to be worth Â£60 million to the local economy - draws to a close.
Nutini's gig in the 850-year-old venue has been confirmed days after it was revealed that indie-rock outfit Frightened Rabbit would be staging a show at the abbey with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as part of the Spree festival.
Around 100 tickets for Nutini's 550-capacity show will be made available to community groups throughout Renfrewshire.
All proceeds from the show will go directly to five local charities selected by Nutini himself - The Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, The Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and some of the town’s Syrian refugee children.
Nutini said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the abbey since I was a wee boy. I’m proud to be a part of The Spree, I’m proud to be from Paisley, love is music and music is home.”
The star's support for the bid was revealed when his video message was broadcast to around 30,000 people at the switching-on off the town's Christmas lights.
He said: "“I’m backing the bid because Paisley is and always has been my home. I love the town and want to see it grow.
“It’s a town that needs the investment, but it knows what it’s going to do with that investment and I think the potential is really clear.
“I see the romance of the town – when you walk into the centre it’s got a beautiful composition.
“The bid is about building a structure that can tackle the more deep-rooted problems and it’s important we get behind that."Tickets for Nutini's show at the abbey go on sale via a ballot on Friday and are limited to two per person.
Jean Cameron, director of the Paisley 2021 bid, said: “Paolo’s support has been absolutely instrumental to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and we’re utterly thrilled he is playing this gig – it will be spectacular and we cannot wait.
“It is wonderful to see him helping us realise the bid’s aim to open up the benefits of culture to everybody in the town by supporting local charities and communities who face real barriers to accessing world-class cultural experiences.”