Tokyo Blade were formed in 1982 by school friends Andy Boulton (lead
guitar) and Andy Robbins (bass) along with Alan Marsh (vocals), Ray
Dismore (guitar) and Steve Pierce (drums) under the name Killer.
A demo was recorded, but after a year they decided to change the name of the
band because there were so many other bands around at the time with the same
name. Under the new name Genghis Khan They released the self financed, now legendary double 7 inch 'Double
Dealin' . They changed the name of the band the same year to Tokyo Blade
after they were contacted by another band who claimed to own the rights to the
Genghis Khan name. Soon after, John Wiggins (ex Deep Machine
& Lonewolf) was brought in to replace Ray.
The band then re-issued the two 'Double Dealin' records separately, in new
sleeves, titled 'If
Heaven Is Hell' and '2nd Cut'. They were soon signed to
Later that year, they released their self-titled fist album and played several
major European festivals; namely the Aardschock Festival (with Venom
& Metallica) and headlining the Earthquake Festival.
Work on the second album soon began with new bassist Andy Wrighton (ex
Deep Machine), but
after completion, Alan Marsh was forced out of the band by Powerstation, who
wanted a more 'commercial' David Lee Roth type front man.
New vocalist Vic Wright was brought in and re-recorded Alan's vocals on
the new album. The band followed up with tours supporting Mama's Boys
and Blue Oyster Cult and played a few more festivals alongside the
likes of Dio, Ozzy Osbourne and The Scorpions.
During the tour, the band saw the release of their third album, 'Blackhearts
And Jaded Spades'. Being the first release proper with Vic, the style of
the album differed greatly to the first two, with a more Americanized commercial edge. Many of the bands fans rejected the release and Vic soon
left and went to America, fronted his own band, The Vicki James Wright Band,
who played Tokyo Blade songs, and after a failed audition for L.A. Guns joined
Johnny Crash in the USA.
After this, the band attempted to continue with a few other vocalists, one
including a certain Carl Sentance of Persian Risk, later front man
of Krokus as well as many others, but all this was to no avail.
As the band fragmented, Steve Pierce and Andy Wrighton left to join Shogun,
a new band formed by Alan Marsh and ex-Chinatown guitarist Danny
Gwilym, John Wiggins left to join Paul Di'Anno's Battlezone, with whom
he recorded and released the albums Fighting Back and Children Of Madness.
Following his departure in Shogun, Andy Wrighton suffered a reversal of roles
as his predessecor imn Tokyo Balde was to be his succesor on SHigun, Andy Robbins.
After the bands record label went bust the band split, and Andy turned up in Jagged Edge in 1990, and
later on found success with Skin.
After the 'Blackhearts' tour Andy Boulton put together a new line up of the
band featuring Pete Zito on vocals, Alex Lee on drums, Cherokee bassplayer
Andy Catlin, who was shortly after replaced by Chris Stover. They released the ultra-commercial 'Ain't Misbehavin' as 'Andy Boulton's
Tokyo Blade', and did a tour, and at one point found themselves on a festival
biling with Black Sabbath. This line up only lasted the one album and 1989
saw rthe release of 'No Remorse', recorded with members of the German
Dead Ballerinas, who featured ex Kin Ping Meh/Lucy vocalist
Michael Pozz, ex Lucy keyboard player Martin Machwitz, Dave Sale on bass and
Astor on drums. Shortly after the release of the album, which had no live
promotion, the band seemed to be no more.
Then, in 1990, Alan Marsh and Andy Boulton found themselves together again in
new band Mr. Ice, which also featured Colin Riggs on bass,
Marc Angel on drums and Alan's old Shogun pals Danny Gwilym
(ex Chinatown & Tyrant) on
guitar and Attilla (ex Mad Cow Disease & Tokyo) on Keyboards. The band recorded an EP called 'Have
An Ice Day', but by the time the EP was ready to press, Danny Gwilym
had gone, so the original CD & Vinyl versions didn't picture him.
A tour was arranged in 1991 as support to Uriah Heep, but as Europe was
a strong market for Tokyo Blade, the bands current management felt the Mr. Ice
name should be dropped in favour of a better known name. As a result, the Mr. Ice EP was sold on tour with a
sticker on it stating 'This Is Tokyo Blade On Ice'. After
further disagreements with management, Andy Boulton left the band and was
subsequently replaced by Steve Kerr, formerly of Tokyo. Although the tour was quite
successful, the feeling wasn't right, it wasn't Tokyo Blade without Andy. When the tour
ended, the band split with it's management and Steve Kerr left.
The three remaining members, (if you can keep up!!), Alan Marsh, Colin Riggs
and Marc Angel hooked up with guitarist Jez Lee and formed a new outfit
called Pumphouse. They recorded a killer album which was never released until
1999, and when it was, the record label cashed in on the better known name
selling it as a Tokyo Blade product.
In 1994, Olly Hahn of CMM (Consulting for Music And Media) in Hanover, Germany, suggested to Alan Marsh during a phone call that the time
may be right for band like the original Tokyo Blade. Alan contacted Andy
Boulton and John Wiggins, who were interested, but Andy Robbins was happy in
Skin, Andy Wrighton had given up playing and Steve Pierce couldn't be
contacted, so Colin Riggs and Marc Angel were added to the fold to create a
new Tokyo Blade line up.
The new album, 'Burning Down Paradise' was released in 1996 on SPV
throughout Europe and Japan.
The band played it's first festival since the release of the album. The
festival was Bang Your Head, promoted by German metal magazine 'Heavy
Oder Was?!' in April 1996.
Well, five years on and still no new album. Well, it's on it's way...The
original line up have reformed (without John Wiggins) and the album is in production at the
moment, with Steve Pierce completing 14 of 16 drum tracks, and the album is under the working title
of 'Alice In Tokyo' (well, it was in 1996!).
Andy Boulton has recorded his first solo album 'Electric Soul', and is due for imminent
release, Alan Marsh co-wrote and
performed in the musical 'Yours Truly...Jack The Ripper'
and John Wiggins, Colin Riggs and Marc Angel joined Paul Di'Anno's Battlezone,
recorded, released and toured the Feel My Pain album, and promptly split!
Steve Pierce is alive and well and living in Northamptonshire. After Shogun,
he went on to join a pub band called Jungle Face Jake. He is currently
enjoying a lot of fishing by the river, and is hoping to, in the near future,
move to France and open a fishery.
Until I know more...
History/story is adapted from the liner notes of the High
Vaultage CD Re-issues. Many thanks to Colin Fry for the additional info.