News - September 2010

Well here we are again and its business as usual despite the continuing recession with all three band websites getting updates even as we speak. Cold Flame are about to return to live action at the beginning of September following the chaps traditional summer break. In the first half of 2010, the chaps performed mainly rock and blues shows with several acoustic soirees thrown in mainly around the North of England and the Midlands with an emphasis on the band's original material. Guesting with the band on some dates was flautist Mark Parkinson whenever the band performed the music of Jethro Tull. The band also played a couple of festivals including Middlewich Folk Festival in June. Photos from this event taken by our man Paul Carter have now been posted on the band's acoustic myspace site. This pattern is set to continue for the rest of the year.A complete list of all the latest confirmed Flame dates for the next few months can be found on all three official band sites as well as Ents24 and Northwestbands both of which also include summary details on Cold Flame. This includes a special acoustic performance at The Picturedrome in Holmfirth on October 29th where the band will be supporting the premier UK Genisis tribute band Regenisis. More details at Given the band's commitment to bringing their music to all corners this is as good an opportunity as any to highlight that the chaps can be booked for all manner of engagements and performances by contacting the band direct on myspace or alternatively by emailing or

New Acoustic line up - now we are five.
Following the success of recent festival and corporate shows, the band are pleased to announce that the current acoustic line up is being expanded as of September 2010. Joining the nucleus of Patrick, Paul and Rob are Glossop percussionist Vince Walton and Joanne Atherton on violin and backing vocals. With the band now becoming a five piece, the acoustic line up will vary in format dependant on the type of performance though primarily we will be looking to play more festivals and corporate shows. Now to introduce the new players.

Vince Walton - percussion
Vince needs no introduction to fans of the Flame having been the band's drummer from 1991 - 1994. Additionally Vince can be heard on both Pat's solo albums - Tinker Tailor Worker Whaler and The Sands of Time. Vince's background is varied having played with several Derbyshire bands over the years most noticeably Landing Party [folk rock] and The Mambos [jazz/blues]. In addition he has guested with many north west bands playing in a variety of genres. For some time punters have advocated the use of percussion within the acoustic line up. Vince being local, available, interested and sharing similar musical influences seemed the obvious candidate. Rather than allow Vince's drum kit to gather dust he has during the last few months been dragged back to Flame HQ joining the band on several electric and acoustic gigs and with his experience and versatility was the ideal choice as percussionist for the acoustic line up. As yet Vince has still rejected any suggestions that he might sing live...maybe he is just a little shy.

Joanne Atherton - violin, backing vocals.
Joanne Atherton is a freelance violinist performing around the UK, including performances with the British Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lancashire Sinfonietta and Elemental Opera. She was resident this year at Dartington Summer School, playing in their Festival Orchestra under Diego Masson and Sir Charles Mackerras and has led the Hallé Youth Orchestra and Young Musician.s Symphony Orchestra. She has also had masterclasses with Ernst Kovacic and Malcolm Layfield in addition to working with Steven Isserlis, Ed Gardner, Emma Bell, Peter Donahoe, Alexander Polianichko and Felix Schmidt amongst others.Joanne began studying the violin at the age of eleven, and quickly joined the local youth orchestra, working her way up to orchestra leader. She then went on to learn with Ian Flower and joined the Hallé Youth Orchestra in 2002. She took on the role of orchestra leader in 2004, culminating in a joint performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring at the Bridgewater Hall with the Hallé proper. After completing an honours degree in music at the University of Manchester she was accepted to the RNCM, graduating in 2009 with a Post Graduate Diploma in performance with distinction, studying with Steve Wilkie. During her time there she was involved with the Baroque Ensemble under Pauline Nobes, and took lead roles in New Music projects as well as playing jazz and classical repertory. She has also had masterclasses with Ernst Kovacic and Malcolm Layfield in addition to working with Steven Isserlis (cellist), Ed Gardner (conductor), Emma Bell, Alexander Polianichko (conductor) and Felix Schmidt (cellist) amongst others.Joanne first came to the attention of Flame guitarist Rob when he worked with her on some Indian orchestral shows earlier this year.The link was cemented when Joanne guested with the band in June 2010 at the Middlewich Folk Festival teaming up with Paul to give the acoustic line up a rather unique two violin sound blending folk rock and classical styles together.

New Studio Recordings
The plan for this year was to release two new studio albums - one acoustic and one electric. Sadly things have not quite worked to plan due to unforeseen circumstances at studio HQ. Currently there are a number of semi completed tracks and rhythm tracks in the can completed some months ago. Hopefully the band will be able to return to this studio project during the Autumn.



David Simpson 1965 - 2010
vocals/ piano/ organ/ guitars/ piano accordion and song writer.

It is with the deepest sadness that we have to inform you of the recent death of Cold Flame musician David Simpson following a short illness. David was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2009, for which there is no known cure. He died on April 15th this year at Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire spending the last few months of his life with close family. He was 45 yrs old. Our thoughts remain very much with his family and most particularly his wife Susan and his children.

David was without doubt one of the most popular musicians ever to perform with Cold Flame - a true character with a strong personality once met never forgotten. On behalf of the band who were all very close to David, I would like to reflect briefly on his contribution to Cold Flame both on and off the field of play. Joining initially as a keyboard player back in 2004, his versatility as a singer/multi instrumentalist together with his endearing camaraderie and quirky eccentricity quickly established David as an essential member of the band. David had spent years playing as a folk musician in the Tameside area of Lancashire and from time to time also performed with a number of local rock and blues bands but it was only when joining the Flame that his love of all kinds of music and particularly the music of Jethro Tull gave him the real opportunity to musically express himself more fully both on and off stage.Tours across England, trips to Italy and performing with ex Tull members Clive Bunker and Mick Abrahams followed though I always felt that David's favourite gig was when Anna Phoebe played with the Flame at Weyfest in September 2008.Yes David...I saw the glint in your matched my own. In 2009 family commitments persuaded David to stop performing live concerts. Despite this David retained his interest in band activities and plans were in hand to utilise some of David's original songs as part of a new acoustic album from Cold Flame. This is a project that will be realised in the fullness of time.

On a personal level David was much more than just a member of the band. He was my friend and I was proud to know him. This was clearly a feeling shared with so many people who had met David in recent years often during and after Flame gigs. We used to wax lyrical about Jethro Tull, Sri Lankan cricket and Star Trek for hours which most certainly contributed to excess phone charges. David actually had a Star Trek uniform in his wardrobe though that nor his Sri Lankan cricket top ever got an airing on stage. I also appreciated him for the very solid support he displayed over the years in helping me to run a band - never an easy task when it often competes with the day job, family life and the X Factor .As a comic his style was was close to the likes of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. He often had the band in stitches - who can forget his wig and sailor's hat. Jumpers for goalposts and Would Sir like a suit seemed to be part of his daily conversation and he rarely needed encouraging in coming out with hilarious and insightful one liners.

David's last 'gig' was inevitably a sellout and though the atmosphere was both emotional and sad there was much humour as well in the eulogies given by the priest and family members reflecting on David's all too short life and the humour that he inevitably injected into every day matters. A selection of David's favourite tunes accompanied the service but it was perhaps inevitable that the Tull song 'Living in the Past' should see him off. David was always a joker though even the band had little idea that he had no Welsh connection at all so the Welsh spelling of his name and the flag draped over his keys was a joke on everyone. Shortly after the extremely long haired David first joined the band he had a very serious haircut. When I asked him the reason why, he replied that the week before he had been on a shopping trip to Manchester with Susan and a 10 yr old boy had suddenly pointed his finger at David and said to his Mum standing nearby..'Look there's Ozzy Osbourne'. Had the boy said Ian Anderson perhaps David would not have had that hair cut. It was David who brought the old Tull telephone gag back into our stage set and it was at his suggestion that we played part of The Hare who lost his spectacles' in many of our Tull tribute shows.

Appreciating that there are many of you out there who will have met David and been saddened by his untimely death, should you wish to make a donation any donations can be sent to the following address -
Willow Wood Hospice, Willow Wood Close, Mellor Road, Ashton under Lyne, OL6 6SL.
Tel: 0161 330 1100   Fax: 0161 330 0444
Email:   Web:
Registered Charity No. 1029318

PR 25 August 2010



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