Intro

Formed in 2002 by Malcolm Journeaux and Paul Preston, Crimson Scarlet were known for the quality of their live performances. The band also recorded four CDs.

Malcolm and Paul met when Paul attended a gig Malcolm was playing at with a band called 'Forgiven' in October 2001.

They became good friends and in January 2002 decided to form a duo with Paul on vocals and Malcolm guitar calling themselves 'Crimson Scarlet'. The name came about from a biblical reference in Isaiah chapter one verse 18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

On their early songs Paul wrote the lyrics and Malcolm the music.

Practice was twice weekly at the Journeaux household in Castleton and Malcolm's wife, Pauline, joined on backing vocals in May 2002, quickly followed by Chris Walter on drums and Kevin Porter on lead guitar.

This line up performed gigs at Bamford Cricket Club in June 2002, the Gracie Fields Theatre in Rochdale in July 2002, and St Vincent's in Rochdale in 2003 before Pauline decided singing in pubs and clubs was not for her and Kevin emigrated to Canada.

The three remaining members played at the Red Lion in Whitworth in autumn 2003, shortly after which Chris left to work in Australia.

Back to just Malcolm and Paul, they invited John Butterworth (who had been a member of 'Forgiven' with Malcolm) to join and the three recorded the first Crimson Scarlet CD, 'Neon Lights', in late 2003 - Paul on vocals, Malcolm on guitar, John on guitar and bass, and a drum machine they nicknamed 'Echo' in homage to 'Echo and the Bunnymen'. John, a talented guitarist and bass player who also plays mandolin and mandola, was well known on both the folk and blues scenes.

The only gig with this line up was at QV Cafe Bar in Southport in April 2004 before deciding they needed a drummer to replace 'Echo' and recruited Pete Smith (who had toured Europe professionally) who John had known for many years. Pete introduced to the band a keyboard player he knew, Richard Harper.

This line up played gigs at the Broadfield Hotel, Rochdale in September 2004, Spotland Stadium, Rochdale also in September 2004 and Spotland Stadium again in May 2005.

Spring 2005 also saw the recording of the band's second CD, 'Pirouette', take place, however, having just finished recording Paul dropped a bombshell just weeks before they were due to headline a sell out gig at the new Rochdale Band Night and left the band having decided to return to Oxford to complete his doctorate.

Pete Smith recalled he knew a young woman who he used to live next door who had a "great voice", and so Pete invited her to audition and just one song was all it needed for the band to invite Sarah-Jane Johnson to replace Paul as vocalist.

The vocals for the Pirouette CD were re-recorded by Sarah-Jane and keyboard player Richard Harper, and the pair also had just three practice sessions before carrying off a superb performance at the Rochdale Band Night on 15 July 2005.

Malcolm took over the band's songwriting writing lots of new material over the next year.

The band, with Sarah-Jane on vocals, played a second Rochdale Band Night gig in September 2005 (this time as a last minute replacement support band) followed by gigs at the Hark to the Towler in Tottington, Bury, also in September, and at Jackson's Pit in Oldham in October 2005.

February 2006 saw the band gig at the Waggon & Horses, Newhey, Rochdale and due to Malcolm being ill on the day, John's son, Tom, who was the band's lighting engineer, stood in for Malcolm playing bass.

Due to Malcolm's fickle, and deteriorating health, it was subsequently decided it would be wise for Tom to join the band on bass and for Malcolm to play guitar along with John - that way gigs would not be too disrupted if Malcolm could not make them.

The last gig to feature Sarah-Jane Johnson before she left the band for a career as a session vocalist on house and trance records was the Rochdale Online Awards at Rochdale Town Hall in March 2006.

With Sarah-Jane leaving, keyboard player Richard Harper took over vocals at the next gig back at the Hark to the Towler in Tottington in April.

Well known live music venue The Union in Levenshulme, Manchester was the next gig in the summer of 2006 (exact date unknown), again without Malcolm due to illness. This was Tom Butterworth's last gig before he left to prepare to go to university.

The last gig of 2006 was at the Wine Press in Littleborough in August 2006, with keyboard player Richard Harper leaving shortly after the gig to form a new band, 'Blue Aurora'.

Early 2007 saw the band recruit a new vocalist, Amy Hannan from Manchester - the best of a number of vocalists who responded to an online advert. Also joining the band at this time was keyboard genius Tom Szakaly, of Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute band fame, 'Noddy's Puncture'.

With Amy and Tom on board, the band recorded their third CD, 'Tears Began To Bleed', before two gigs in quick succession at Richmond Hall in Rochdale in June and July.

What turned out to be the last ever Crimson Scarlet live performance took place at the Rochdale Town Centre Management Awards at China City in Rochdale on 5 September 2007.

Amy Hannan left the band in early 2008 - in the midst of the band recording their fourth and final CD 'Miss Lane' - to get married (and become Amy Briers) and another online advert lead to Bolton-based vocalist Lisa Jules replacing Amy.

The band never gigged with Lisa but she re-recorded the vocals for the 'Miss Lane' CD and John's son, David Butterworth, a talented bass guitarist, played bass on one of the tracks.

With recording completed, and after six years of gigging and recording, the band decided to finally call it a day.

Of the final band members, Tom Szakaly had an offer to tour Europe with a professional prog rock tribute band; Pete Smith joined Richard Harper in 'Blue Aurora'; John Butterworth returned to playing folk music gigs with his wife Anne - known as 'False Knight'; Malcolm Journeaux and Lisa Jules formed 'Jules and Journeaux' and performed acoustic versions of Malcolm's songs, plus covers, at local gigs.

Gigs

Valentine's Bistro, Silver Street, Rochdale
14 February 2002
Paul Preston (vocals) and Malcolm Journeaux (guitar)


Bamford Cricket Club, Rochdale
14 June 2002
Paul Preston (vocals), Pauline Journeaux (vocals), Kevin Porter (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar) and Chris Walter (drums)


Gracie Fields Theatre, Rochdale
12 July 2002
Paul Preston (vocals), Pauline Journeaux (vocals), Kevin Porter (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar) and Chris Walter (drums)


St Vincent's Church Hall, Rochdale
Summer 2003 (exact date not known)
Paul Preston (vocals), Pauline Journeaux (vocals), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar) and Chris Walter (drums)


Red Lion, Whitworth
Autumn 2003 (exact date not known)
Paul Preston (vocals), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar) and Chris Walter (drums)


QV Cafe Bar, Southport
17 April 2004
Paul Preston (vocals), John Butterworth (guitar and mandolin) and Malcolm Journeaux (guitar)


Broadfield Hotel, Rochdale
10 September 2004
Paul Preston (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Spotland Stadium, Rochdale
25 September 2004
Paul Preston (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Spotland Stadium, Rochdale
26 May 2005
Paul Preston (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Rochdale Band Night, Broadfield Hotel, Rochdale
15 July 2005
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard and vocals), John Butterworth (guitar and bass), Malcolm Journeaux (bass and guitar) and Pete Smith (drums)


Rochdale Band Night, Broadfield Hotel, Rochdale
9 September 2005
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard and vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass and triangle) and Pete Smith (drums)


Hark to the Towler, Tottington, Bury
25 September 2005
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard and vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Jackson's Pit, Oldham
21 October 2005
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Waggon & Horses, Newhey, Rochdale
4 February 2006
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard and vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Tom Butterworth (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Rochdale Online Awards, Rochdale Town Hall
10 March 2006
Sarah-Jane Johnson (vocals), Richard Harper (keyboard and vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar and bass), Tom Butterworth (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Hark to the Towler, Tottington, Bury
22 April 2006
Richard Harper (vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (guitar), Tom Butterworth (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


The Union, Levenshulme, Manchester
Summer 2006 (exact date unknown)
Richard Harper (vocals), John Butterworth (guitar), Tom Butterworth (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Wine Press, Littleborough
5 August 2006
Richard Harper (vocals), John Butterworth (guitar and bass), Malcolm Journeaux (bass and guitar) and Pete Smith (drums)


Richmond Hall, Rochdale
1 June 2007
Amy Hannan (vocals), Tom Szakaly (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Richmond Hall, Rochdale
27 July 2007
Amy Hannan (vocals), Tom Szakaly (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)


Rochdale Town Centre Management Awards, China City, Rochdale
05 September 2007
Amy Hannan (vocals), Tom Szakaly (keyboard), John Butterworth (guitar), Malcolm Journeaux (bass) and Pete Smith (drums)

CDs

Neon Lights (2003)
Tracks: New Life Story - Neon Lights - Amore

Pirouette (2005)
Tracks: Pirouette - Oxygen - New Life Story

Tears Began To Bleed (2007)
Tracks: Tears Began To Bleed - Crying Tears - Paranoia - Yes Baby

Miss Lane (2008)
Tracks: Miss Lane - Still You Let Me In

Use the navigation links (top of page) to access tracks and lyrics from the four CDs.