You know the first time I traveled Out in the rain and snow…

I was out on the road again with friends on Friday last week – with Paisley now being Scotland’s bid for City of Culture 2021 a few of us hopped on the Culture Bus and went visiting… On previous ‘Paisley 2021’ engagement tours, our very own Linzi Clark (@LinziClarkMusic) provided songs and entertainment – this time around we asked our Paisley 2021 Ambassador organisations to put on a show – and they didn’t disappoint!!

Under the banner of #shortlistshowcase we were provided with some amazing performances and cultural information. Let me provide you with a brief reminder of ‘Tour 5’…

First Stop was Engage Renfrewshire @EngageNews1 where Iain Cunningham of the Community & Voluntary Action Team presented his poem titled simply ‘Paisley 2021’ – a wee highlight for me is this part of the piece which considers the list of Paisley’s star turns:

The list is endless and no one can compare

Alexander Wilson, Robert Tannahill, Gerrard Butler, David Tennant too

Oh and Kelly -Marie to name but a few!

Not forgetting Sandy Stoddard a royal sculptor of note

Gerry Rafferty and Paulo Nuttini, We’ve got a right tae gloat!

It was then on to The Experience (@electrickarting) where the Team had decided to dress up in random costumes – as long as they started with a ‘P’ for Paisley…So we had pirates, painters, police, pharaohs and pink ladies – not to mention parrots and my personal favourite a piñata! They also had a brill band (called rather enigmatically ‘Sub-utopian Planning Board’) for some high octane entertainment – Ah…I love the sound of fuzz-boxes in the morning…

Third stop was at Boston Networks (@BostonNetworks) – time for some, brilliant singing, Irish dancing and drumming from their team – what a talented lot! Everyone was so welcoming and really up for a bit of cultural fun – thanks!

Then we arrived at ROAR (@RoarCommunities) where we were treated to some community singing and percussion playing – I was also coerced into a wee song too…I say coerced – what I mean was I jumped at the chance…

City Gate Construction – CGC (@PaisleyCgc) was next, where we met Jim Barrie, Timber Preservation Manager at CGC. Jim is a very talented artist and told us about why painting is important to him. They are a great Team at CGC and very supportive of the bid for 2021.

Stop number 6 was at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park (@Clydemuirshiel) where we met Michael who showed us his skills in wood turning and told us some amazing facts about the cultural & environmental approaches that are so much part of of the way of life in Renfrewshire.

It was then onwards to Linstone Housing Association @LinstoneHousing where we took part in some mosaic workshops. The efforts of my talented colleagues Yvonne (@yvonnef_ren) & Linzi, were okay(!) however the work of the volunteers was top notch – I’m hoping for an invite to the exhibition when it comes around!

We then had a couple more impromptu stops to see some brilliant piano playing by Alistair at the Fair Full café in Paisley and we also popped in to see the guys at Zambretto’s Restaurant.

And of course we had to drop in on Tommy and team at Loud n’ Proud. Cheers everyone!

Last stop was the Create Café (@createpaisley) – a place which is always fun to visit and the top talent taking part showed exactly why Paisley is a City of Culture. Thanks to everyone for a great end to a brilliant day

So Tour 5 was tiring…but it was fun! A special mention needs to go to the Street Stuff (@SMFCStreetStuff) team who not only put up the singing on the buses but also made sure we got there. Big thanks go to Cor Hutton of ‘Finding Your Feet’ – thanks Cor! – and Sofija Tkacenko both of whom were on their first tours – I hope both of you are up for another! Last thoughts go to what the theme of the next tour will be…I’m thinking ‘Rap Star’ starring  Natalie Orr (@Natalieo_ren) … a one woman ‘Sugar Hill Gang’… all together now – ‘I said a hip hop, Hippie to the hippie, The hip, hip a hop, and you don’t stop…’

All the best – speak soon!