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Paolo in Paisley

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Jeff Smith Jeff Smith | 10:58 UK time, Friday, 20 August 2010


Once a upon a time, Paolo Nutini worked in his dad's fish and chip shop in Paisley, Scotland and dreamt of playing at the big town hall.

Well, on Tuesday this week, I got to sample his fish and chips and his dream came true - we broadcast him performing at Paisley Town Hall as part of a very special Radio 2 In Concert.

It was a few months ago that we came up with the idea of taking an artist back to their hometown to perform, and bringing Paolo back to Paisley was the ideal way to kick off the series. He's the sort of artist that's tailor-made for Radio 2; his music has a timeless, melodic quality and we know that he's going to be around for many years to come.

The show was broadcast last night at 8pm within Radio 2 In Concert, our weekly 2 hour live music programme presented by Jo Whiley and executive produced by Sarah Gaston.

Throughout the day of the show Jo, producer Bequi Sheehan and our live music and interactive teams toured around Paisley, back to that family chippy, his favourite record shop and recorded a songwriting masterclass for our Great British Songbook in front of 50 music students from the University of the West of Scotland.

We got lots of extra material to reflect Paolo's home town as an accompaniment to the live show. Listeners can enjoy it all over again on BBC iPlayer and watch the full performance as well as the footage we filmed around town on the Radio 2 website.


On the same night, we worked with colleagues at BBC Introducing who helped us find potentially the next two big names in music from Scotland to support Paolo: new bands Aerials Up and Admiral Fallow . They really did us proud and delivered two blistering sets that seriously warmed up the already expectant crowd who clapped along to every song.

Twenty journalists attended the gig, resulting in really positive media coverage for both bands. Speaking to the Evening Times ahead of the gig, Admiral Fallow's Louis Abbott said:

"It's an amazing thing that a little band like us can be given an opportunity to play with someone as widely respected at Paolo Nutini. The BBC has given us massive support of late and we're very glad to be working with them again."

It all went so well, we're already planning our next trip to take another artist back to their hometown. I just hope we can find as distinctive a venue as Paisley Town Hall and as decent a chippy as Paolo's!

Jeff Smith is Head of Music, BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music

Watch Admiral Fallow and Aerials Up performing on the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park 2010.

BBC Introducing supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar bands and musicians. If you're making music and want to perform at a major festival, upload songs at


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