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UNITED KINGDOM, Wiltshire, Salisbury

Date Formed 1982

Categories: Hard Rock


Current Members

Past Members


Melodic Hard Rock outfit TOKYO BLADE proved extremely popular in Europe touring on a regular basis, but failed to ignite sufficient interest in Britain despite steady commendable reviews. Ultimately the band's impetus, provided initially by a crop of strong NWoBHM era singles and albums, was sapped by a series of unstable line ups.

Formerly known as KILLERS , featuring a line up of vocalist Alan Marsh, guitarists Andy Boulton, and Ray Disemore, bassist Andy Robbins and drummer Steve Pierce, the Salisbury group released the demo 'For Serious Applicants Only' in 1981 before adopting the new title of GENGHIS KHAN. As GENGHIS KHAN, the quintet released three singles prior to a further name change to TOKYO BLADE, re-issuing the 'If Heaven Is Hell' single under the new title and, naturally, in new packaging. TOKYO BLADE attracted the attention of the York based Powerstation label and the independent label released the five piece band's self-titled debut album in 1983.

Some reshuffling occurred when ex-DEEP MACHINE and LONEWOLF guitarist John Wiggins came in for Ray Disemore and vocalist Alan Marsh would be the next to leave the ranks in early 1984, following the band's appearance at the prestigious 'Aardschok' festival in Holland alongside METALLICA, SAVAGE and VENOM. A change in bassist also had to be made when Andy Robbins left and ex-DEEP MACHINE man Andy Wrighton enrolled.

rumours were rife that former TYGERS OF PAN TANG vocalist Jon Deverill was in the frame to front the group, Marsh's replacement was eventually announced in the summer of 1984 as ex-BOBO and TOPAZ singer Vic Wright. This revised line up toured as support to MAMAS BOYS and recorded the Roy Neave produced 'Night Of The Blade'. As Marsh went off to form rival band SHOGUN, TOKYO BLADE again got their teeth stuck into the European festival circuit in 1985, appearing at the Paris 'Breaking Sound' event and 'Heavy Sound' festival in Belgium, the latter on the same bill as UFO and PRETTY MAIDS.

After splitting from Powerstation, TOKYO BLADE self financed their next effort, 'Blackhearts And Jaded Spades', after which they undertook their first American shows in 1986 opening for VENOM. However, Wright quit prior to 1986 dates in Europe supporting BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and the band quickly enrolled PERSIAN RISK and TREDEGAR vocalist Carl Sentence to fulfil their tour commitments. On their return to Britain, Andy Wrighton, Steve Pierce and John Wiggins departed, the former pair joining SHOGUN, the latter going on to BATTLEZONE. Meantime, Vic Wright wound up relocating to Los Angeles where he formed JOHNNY CRASH in America (releasing an album) before creating a further act in THE REAL McCOY. Andy Robbins enrolled into the ranks of the Myke Gray led JAGGED EDGE and subsequently SKIN.

Unperturbed, TOKYO BLADE reformed comprising Boulton, Pierce, ex-TYGERS OF PAN TANG bassist Dave Donaldson, guitarist Sean Cooper and erstwhile SHARK vocalist Pete Zito. This version of the band proved to be short lived. Pierce was also to session on demos for Glam act TIGERTAILZ. Another change of frontman resulted in Brian George joining the fold, although Sean Cooper quit in early 1987 being replaced by Gary Jeffrey. The latter was to join ASHAMATA with ex TRUFFLE guitarist Mark Mulholland and MAMMATH drummer Kerry Lovelock.

the band disintegrated further the 1987 album 'Ain't Misbehavin'' was issued under the title of ANDY BOULTON'S TOKYO BLADE. The line up for this record being Boulton, Zito, bassist Chris Stover and drummer Alex Lee.

The band did manage to release a further album, 'No Remorse', in 1989 but, needless to say, this once more saw a radical shift in personnel, with mainstay Boulton attempting to forge an Anglo-European version of the band, being joined by ex-KIN PING MEH vocalist Michael Pozz and THE DEAD BALLERINAS rhythm section of bassist Dave Sale and keyboard player Martin Machwitz.

The following year another attempt was made to reform the band, with Boulton reuniting with Alan Marsh alongside Colin Riggs, former CHINATOWN, TYRANT and SHOGUN guitarist Danny Gwilym, ex-BERLIN and CHINATOWN drummer Marc Angel and keyboard player Attilla (Later to join MAD COW DISEASE and BATTLEZONE). The group was originally billed MR. ICE, issuing an EP of the same name, but commercial pressure from Europe soon forced a name change back to TOKYO BLADE. This outfit issued the 'Mr. Ice' album.

Boulton left in early 1991 prior to support dates in Europe to URIAH HEEP, where the band were billed as TOKYO BLADE ON ICE. Boulton's position for the dates was taken by TOKYO's Steve Kerr.

The coup de grace came as the band found themselves embroiled in a lengthy legal wrangle with former label Powerstation, centred around interest in TOKYO BLADE from Elektra Records in America. The band lost the case and called it a day. Alan Marsh, Colin Riggs and Marc Angel hooked up with guitarist Jez Lee to forge PUMPHOUSE, cutting album tracks in 1990.

TOKYO BLADE resurfaced once more and released a new demo in early 1995 with a line up comprising of mainstay Boulton, together with Marsh, John Wiggins, Marc Angel and Colin Riggs. And the group eventually made a recording comeback by releasing the PUMPHOUSE sessions as the 'Burning Down Paradise' album on SPV Records throughout Europe and Japan, re-establishing themselves with strong sales in Europe.

In April 1996 the group played a set at the 'Bang Your Head' Festival in Tübingen, Germany alongside SAVAGE, GLENMORE and BLIND GUARDIAN but split soon after. Riggs, Angel and Wiggins reunited to reform BATTLEZONE for a 1999 album. 2002 would find singer Alan Marsh touring the UK in the cast of the 'Jack the Ripper' musical. Andy Boulton would be active with the band XFX, until his departure in mid 2003.

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