Review: Cold Flame – The Ale Emporium, Preston: Saturday, 21st June

Posted on: Monday, Jun 23, 2014


Cold Flame were initially lit 30 years ago in the North West of England. As a three piece tonight, they play their own style of blues rock with some self penned works and some covers, many taken from their new album ‘Blue Shadows’.

Playing at the Ale Emporium in Preston (formally the Bitter Suite), a class live music pub with great real ale, the band consisted of Rob Barns on guitar and vocals, Pat Rowbottom on bass and vocals and Keith Bonthrone on drums and vocals.

Kicking off with a couple of original numbers, with Pat on lead vocals, ‘On That Train’ and ‘Fame And Fortune’, the scene was set for what was a great evening of rockin’ blues. Rob’s guitar playing stood out as ‘class’ and he made great use of a multi-track pedal to give a full-on sound.

Moving onto some covers, Cream’s ‘White Room’ was excellently sung by drummer Keith (ex Janus) with an amazing Jack Bruce voice. Following this a Junior Wells number ‘Messin’ With The Kid’ with Rob taking the lead vocals and some great bass playing from Pat. A bit of a James Brown classic ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World’ with plenty more to follow. A nice tribute to John Mayall with ‘All Your Love’ with Rob and Keith on lead vocals. Pat took the lead for the final rockin’ number in this set, all brilliantly played giving the band the presence of ‘Rock Gods’.

The second set gave us some more classic covers with ‘Hush’, the great rhythms of the Ian Anderson number ‘New Day Yesterday’, Cold Flame’s own version of ‘Crossroads’, Gary Moore’s ‘Still Got The Blues’, a tribute to Hendrix and to top off the evening the great Peter Green’s number ‘Oh Well’.

These guys are class musicians, whether playing their own material or covers. They will be appearing on The British Stage at the Great British R&B Festival in Colne on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend. Catch them if you can.

ROSY GREER – Lancashire Blues Archive

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