Tom Simpson (musician)

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Tom Simpson
Tom Simpson Snow Patrol.jpg
Tom Simpson at Rock City Nottingham, England in 2006
Background information
Born (1972-01-07) 7 January 1972 (age 45)
Origin Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Genres Alternative rock, power pop, indie rock, electronic, house
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano, Turntables, sampler, Electronic keyboard, synthesizer
Years active 1997-present
Labels Fiction/Interscope
Associated acts Snow Patrol

Tom Simpson (born 7 January 1972) is a Scottish DJ and musician, best known as the former keyboardist of the alternative rock band Snow Patrol. Having been with Snow Patrol as a touring member since 1996, he became a permanent one in 2005. In August 2013, he quit the band, citing his desire to do his own thing.


Tom Simpson attended Monifieth High School in Angus, Scotland.[1] He went to the art school in the University of Dundee, the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, and has a degree in drawing and painting.

He had no musical leanings as a youngster, and always had aspirations of being a scratch/mix DJ.[2] He started deejaying when he was about 17, and used to run a few clubs in Dundee, in whose university Gary Lightbody studied at the time. Lightbody used to visit one of these clubs, and met Simpson one day, and the two ended up becoming friends.[3] Simpson, at the time did not know Lightbody was in a band. However, one day, Lightbody invited him to the university to watch Snow Patrol (his band) play a concert. Simpson liked the band's show, and felt they had "potential" and "a lot of soul". Lightbody was relieved, and said that the band would like him to do synthesizers and turn table effects for their first album Songs for Polarbears. He did, and later got invited to go on tour with the band. He felt happy at the opportunity, as he was finding himself at "crossroads" in his own life. Since, he has been with Snow Patrol.

Simpson started to play keyboards in his late 20s, and in around 2006, finally took lessons in classical piano at the insistence of a friend. He finds the lessons interesting and challenging. He has said that after the years he was with Snow Patrol, he realized that he had become a musician, despite having no intentions to become so. He was declared an official member of the band when bassist Paul Wilson was recruited into the band, after founder Mark McClelland was fired.[4] As a musician, Simpson plays piano, keyboards, a monitor mixer, and professional instrumental mixing of effects (recording music and application in live shows). On 15 August 2013, during a gig in Belfast, Gary Lightbody announced that Simpson had decided to quit the band and that this would be his final show.[5]

His previous experiences as a DJ included playing at The Spaceship, Skoolin' and The Phat Clinic which were held at the old Coffee Bar at Duncan of Jordanstone College. His nights at The Spaceship were done in partnership with friends Nick DeCosemo and Anu Pillai (of the band Freeform Five), Lightbody and Roy Kerr.[6][7][8] He still follows his passion as DJ in British clubs outside Snow Patrol, often in partnership with his friend and band mate Gary Lightbody under the moniker Snow Patrol DJs or SP DJs, and with Dave Bowie from the Autodisco DJs.

Personal life[edit]

Simpson was accused of possessing Class A drugs in Glasgow in June 2006.[9] He was arrested on 7 July 2007 in RAF Northolt, Middlesex, which put the band's headlining set the next day (at T in the Park) in jeopardy. He was held at London's Heathrow Airport, mere hours after the band played at Live Earth, which made him miss the Oxegen 2007 performance that night.[10] The band had started searching for a replacement for Simpson, who however, was released in time to play at T in the Park.[11] All charges against him and a friend were later dropped.[citation needed]

Tom currently lives in Monifieth Scotland. Outside of his passion for music he enjoys playing golf and when off tour he can be found playing on the town's course. Tom is also an avid supporter of Dundee F.C..[12] Although his occupation has brought him to public notice, he endeavours to maintain his privacy.


  1. ^ "Angus Council - Schools by region A-Z". Edinburgh: The Scotsman. 23 April 2008. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Interview: Tom Simpson from Snow Patrol". 7 July 2006. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ "Snow Patrol Late Night Tales". Skiddle. Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  4. ^ Brown, Tom (31 March 2005). "New patrol member". Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Barrie, Stuart (24 August 2007). "The DJ Q & A - Freeform Five". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "From small beginnings ...". Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  8. ^ Sun, Sunday (17 October 2004). "Five out of four's a top score". Sunday Sun. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Drug charges against Snow Patrol star dropped". ITN. Archived from the original on 4 November 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  10. ^ McAleese, Deborah (9 July 2007). "Chasing stars at Snow Patrol's rock weekend". The Belfast Telegraph. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Snow Patrol just make T after arrest". Metro. 9 July 2007. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2009. 
  12. ^ Birchenall, Joe (23 March 2014). "Dundee's own Tom Simpson on life after Snow Patrol and university". STV. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 

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