Raf­ferty play high­lights cul­ture boost for town

Evening Times - - NEWS -

ARTIST and play­wright John Byrne is work­ing on a stage mu­si­cal in­spired by the mu­sic of his long­time friend Gerry Raf­ferty.

Byrne, who is best known for his work Tutti Frutti and the Slab Boys, grew up with the late singer-song writer in their na­tive town of Pais­ley.

The show, Un­der­wood Lane, ex­plores the friend­ship be­tween two teenage boys who form a band to­gether and tack­les the re­li­gious di­vide in the west of Scot­land.

It will fea­ture some of Raf­ferty’s best known songs, Stuck in the Mid­dle with You, What­ever’s Writ­ten in Your Heart, Baker Street, Night Train and Can I Get My Money.

The writer said he would like to stage it in his home town if Pais­ley wins the UK City of Cul­ture ti­tle in 2021. He spoke as the town marks two years since launch­ing its bid for the ti­tle.

Byrne, 77, said: “Un­der­wood Lane is ba­si­cally about two guys in Pais­ley who are ex­actly the same age as each other, in their late teens ... they don’t know each other be­cause one goes to a Protes­tant school and the other goes to a Catholic school.

“But they know they are made for each other play­ing in a band.”

He added: “The script of Un­der­wood could stand alone with­out any mu­sic in it.

“I didn’t write it to ac­com­mo­date any of the songs -- I just wrote it as a play. But it’s the songs that make the thing a com­plete work of art”.

Byrne saw Raf­ferty shortly be­fore he died and read the eu­logy at his fu­neral.

Mean­while, the forces be­hind the City of Cul­ture 2021 bid, said­lo­cals have found a new pas­sion for Pais­ley which, has led to fresh op­ti­mism and con­fi­dence.

Sharon McAu­lay from the Pais­ley-based STAR Project, said: “The im­pact of the bid so far has been huge.

“When we were short­listed at­ti­tudes lit­er­ally changed overnight.”

Massed choirs in the town cen­tre give an emo­tional send-off to Pais­ley’s bid to win the UK City of Cul­ture ti­tle in 2021

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.