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Paolo Nutini performs culture bid gig at  Paisley Abbey 

Charity show in front of 550 fans topped the bill at the annual Spree arts festival.

Music: Paolo Nutini has been a vocal supporter of Paisley's UK City of Culture bid.
Music: Paolo Nutini has been a vocal supporter of Paisley's UK City of Culture bid. © Geoffrey Robinson/Rex Features

Paolo Nutini boosted Paisley's UK City of Culture bid with a special performance in his home town.

The 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 at the 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 for the show which the singer described as a dream come true.

Nutini, 30, has wanted to perform in the Abbey since he was a child growing up in the Renfrewshire town.

Afterwards he praised the crowd and 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.

He said: "Paisley offered me and my family a life, way back, and it has continued to do so.

"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."

"It was scary biscuits but I loved it and it's so good to be home."
Paolo Nutini

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.

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