LEADERS of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture have praised the support of Paolo Nutini as he took to the stage in his home town for a special performance.
The pop star turned the 850-year-old Paisley Abbey into a music venue on Friday night for a two-hour gig in front of just 550 people.
The show, which topped the bill on the town’s annual Spree arts festival, was arranged in support of the culture bid and to raise money for local charities.
Around 50,000 people applied for tickets to the show which the 30-year-old described as a dream come true having wanted to perform in the Abbey since he was a child growing up in the town.
During the gig Nutini said he felt nervous but described the crowd as fantastic.
Afterwards he said: “It was scary biscuits but I loved it and it’s so good to be home.”
Nutini has been a keen supporter of Paisley’s City of Culture bid, and earlier this month said the town had shaped his life.
“Paisley offered me and my family a life, way back, and it has continued to do so,” he said.
“When I think of Paisley, I think of everything that has shaped my life.”
He added: “There’s been a lot of different Paisleys that have meant something different to a lot of different people and they’ve all had a different energy each time.
“People regularly tell me what Paisley meant to them, I just love that vibe.”
Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron thanked Nutini for his support and helping to raise the profile of the bid.
She said: “Paolo has been a big supporter of his home town’s ambitions – tonight’s gig was an incredible experience in one of our unique venues and showed the world Paisley knows how to host a party.
“Our bid aims to open up world-class cultural programming to every section of our community and tonight Paolo helped us show how great that could be in 2021.”
Around 100 tickets from the show were given to Renfrewshire community groups, with £20,000 raised from the show being split between five local charities.
Paisley is competing for the City of Culture title with Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with the winner to be announced in December.