|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 Powerstation Records.
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 band The 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.
Fast forward to 2007, Andy partners with guitarist Bryan Holland from America and owner of Razar Ice Records, they decide to revive the back catolog of the band, in doing so, the powers that be felt the timing was right for Tokyo Blade to rise one final time. With promoters calling for the band to play live again, the reformation begins with longs searches in finding the very best musicians possible, enter; vocalist Chris Gillen, bassist Frank Sapardi and drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez. The new band debuted with a show in the south of Spain in front of 10,000 singing and cheering fans. Without a doubt, Tokyo Blade was back!
With a fall 2008 tour successfully completed and sights on a new album in 2009 Andy said it best, "This is the band Tokyo Blade should have been and now is!"