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Paisley bands take over Scotland’s new year

Paisley will be bringing in Scotland’s new year – with not one but three local acts taking the stage at Edinburgh’s world-famous street party.

The town’s very own musical megastar Paolo Nutini will headline the Concert in The Gardens on 31 December, with a local act - the hotly-tipped Vegan Leather - already confirmed as support.

And Paisley indie-rockers Lemonhaze will open the massive gig after winning a nationwide competition to land a prized slot on the bill.

The contest saw a shortlist of eight bands chosen from more than 400 entries by judges including festival headliner Paolo, with more than 10,000 votes cast by the public.

And the Paisley connection to Edinburgh Hogmanay doesn’t stop there – with the festival bill including a special show paying tribute to work of the town’s 19th-century weaver-poet Robert Tannahill.

Acclaimed singer-songwriters Eddi Reader and James Grant will be joined by the Tannahill Weavers and Tannahill Singers for a show based on the work of ‘Scotland’s secret bard’, as part of the Scot:Lands event in various venues around the Old Town on 1 January.

The show is arriving in Edinburgh after making a sold-out debut at Paisley’s Spree festival in October.

Gianluca Bernacchi of the Vegan Leather said: “This will be the biggest gig we have done so far – we are all really excited for it, and to be playing with Paolo.

“We were growing up in Paisley when he first broke through and he is someone we really look up to, so it is really cool to be on the same bill as him.

“My family are actually from the same town in Italy as his family so we have met a few times through our parents.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the biggest parties in the world and to have so many Paisley acts there speaks volumes about what is going on in the town.”

Jean Cameron, Project Director of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, said: "Scotland boasts one of the most iconic new year celebrations in the world with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay – and to have three Paisley acts at the heart of that just shows the strength of the wonderful creative scene we have in the town.

“The Vegan Leather and Lemonhaze are two of our best up-and-coming acts, so it is great to see them share a stage with our best-known musical performer.

“It’s also great to see the work of Paisley’s Robert Tannahill being brought to life as part of the Hogmanay festival.

“This helps showcase the depth of Paisley’s historic and contemporary creative offer – and with the bid to be lodged in 2017 it couldn’t have come at a better time."

The Vegan Leather and Lemonhaze have both already played to crowds of thousands during major events in Paisley town centre – with the former on the bill for the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-on and Paisley 2021 bid anniversary last month.

That event featured a video message from Paolo outlining in his own words how he saw the bid benefitting his home town.

He said at the time: “Paisley has this real air of bohemia and is full of artists and free-thinkers, and for me it’s got to embrace that and not try to change that.
“I see the romance in the town – I see the real beauty in it.”