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Following the crowds in Paisley heading towards Paisley Abbey. On the same month, March just past, that the crocus burst out in the city parks I saw a sign for the Unboxed event in Paisley which would be taking place in various locations throughout the UK week by week.
It was a projection lightshow centered on Paisley Abbey, with several screenings during the hours of darkness each night over several days. I picked a dry clear night and headed down on one of the first evenings it was on as I thought it would make for good photographs... and even if it didn't I could wander around Paisley at night afterwards, something I haven't done for several years.
It started quietly enough with a sizable crowd watching and was entertaining for what it was, attracting loads of children and families, for this early evening showing around 7:00pm. Paisley Abbey with all its dark nooks and crannies however was not ideal as a projection screen, whereas a blank flat wall would have been much better as you couldn't really follow the story properly- about the creation of the earth... fireballs... the age of the dinosaurs etc.... for a free show though it was quite impressive although I would probably have enjoyed it more as a young child rather than a slightly cynical jaded older adult. It was also very. very loud... sound wise... for supposedly dramatic effect to back up the visuals ...but also, no doubt, a cunning ploy to tempt anyone else in the town, dogs, wildlife, farm animals and humans, with working ears within a ten mile radius, who might not have known it was on....to flock inwards towards it like moths to a flame.... which started to piss me off a bit...
The light show itself was fine and fairly spectacular but the accompanying blasts of music sounded much better from a distance as I soon found out later.
Some nice effects on show though. To avoid the general mass of the gathered crowds nearby I picked a quieter spot off to the side with only a few folk in this vicinity. The week before I'd had Covid but was now testing negative. I'd received my three vaccine injections so it was much milder than it would have been, just like a cold for a few days but without a stuffed up nose, hardly any sneezing or coughing, and no sore throat. I didn't want it again though as I probably caught it on public transport, where more than a few people got on maskless.
Another lighting effect.
What I presumed was the volcanoes and lava event. I have to admit I couldn't really follow the story much at all, just patterns of different lighting and garbled noise mostly to my sensitive listening devices and began people watching around me instead. Always a bad sign in a show.
Paisley is an interesting town anyway with many fine period buildings so I drifted away at this point as the light show was just about over anyway although there would be another performance later as it only lasted 30 to 35 minutes each time.
Standing beside Paisley Town Hall. Due to it's 'Paisley Pattern' textile mills ( an indirect inspiration for singer Prince and his record label) and it's worldwide thread, cotton and fabric industry Paisley was once home to wealthy industrialists who build many grand buildings in the town and made it one of Scotland's largest and most prosperous. Mind you it's a similar story for practically every village, town, and city I've visited over the decades who all seem to have specialized in some unique manufacturing industry or other before everything was dismantled from the 1960s/1980s on-wards. It's no longer as prosperous as it once was in its heyday... but then again... the general mass of the working class population, at any time in history, never seem to get much of the riches generated anyway, and the housing stock and living conditions, during it's so called 'golden era of wealth' often didn't match up as compared to earlier decades this has definitely improved. Aged housing stock and crumbling slums a fairly common sight back then...UK wide....in the 1960s to the 1990s but there's very few of that type of housing estate left now... visually at least.
Abbey Mill district and the river at night in Paisley.
A river walk in Paisley.
"Christ on a cross! What's going on here? What's all that wailing and commotion about!?" a puzzled Roman centurion asked.
Back windows of Paisley Abbey. An earlier, more subdued, version of a light show and thankfully a silent one after the sound tsunami and tortured eardrums on the other side of this building. I could also follow what was going on in this one... without any musical accompaniment. Jesus admiring some woodwork construction ( well, he was a carpenter after all) with a former 'lady of the evening shadows' looking on... as in M.M.
Winter evening in Paisley. Like bagpipes the Unboxed music was better appreciated at a distance rather than standing right beside a speaker.
Renfrewshire House council buildings.
Open Plaza. Paisley Town Centre.
White Cart Water. Paisley river walk at night.
Plazza Shopping Centre. With two z's I'm now just noticing.
Paisley Grammar School on the way back to the car. Founded by royal charter in 1576, making it one of the oldest schools in Scotland, this building dates to 1898 and although still fully used today a brand new secondary school is supposedly in the pipeline within the next five to ten years.
A last look at Paisley Town Hall.
Paisley Abbey back wall.
Paisley's open plan public areas at night.