13 October 2017
A musical tapestry celebrating the links between Paisley and India features at this year’s Spree festival.
The performance sees three leading Scottish musicians – piper Ross Ainslie, musician and composer Angus Lyon and singer-songwriter Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code) – team up with Indian counterparts Smita Bellur, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan, for a special collaboration fusing musical traditions from both countries.
Ross Wilson and his fellow performers have just arrived in Scotland after performing the same show last week at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, with which The Spree has been twinned, thanks to support from the British Council’s UK/India Year of Culture 2017 season.
Ross said, “People can expect something genuinely new – we bandy around the terms unique and special but this is a genuine fusion of styles people won’t have heard before.
“As musicians we have been outside our comfort zone but we have learned a lot and really grown together. Last week we performed this show in a 15th-century Indian fort to 3,000 people and the energy was palpable – it couldn’t have been any better.”
The Scottish leg is being recorded for BBC Scotland’s Travelling Folk programme and for broadcast on Wednesday 18 October and is accompanied by a digital tapestry, where school pupils from both countries will work together on an art project to be revealed later in the year.
Headline acts this year include a homecoming charity show from the town's musical megastar Paolo Nutini in Paisley Abbey (Oct 20), and a unique collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Oct 16) in the same venue.
The festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council, programmed by Active Events, and supported by the British Council and EventScotland.