Tokyo Blade

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Tokyo Blade
Origin Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Genres Heavy metal, glam metal, NWOBHM
Years active1979–1991, 1995-1998, 2007–present
LabelsPowerstation, Combat, Razar Ice Records
MembersAndy Boulton
John Wiggins
Andy Wrighton
Steve Pierce
Alan Marsh
Past membersVick Wright
Nicolaj Ruhnow
Bryan Holland
Michael Pozz
Pete Zito
Brian George
Carl Sentance
Chris Gillen
Danny Gwilym
Sean Cooper
Gary Jeffrey
Ray Dismore
Steve Kerr
Frank 'Sapardi' Kruckle
Andy Robbins
Dave Donaldson
Dave Sale
Colin Riggs
Ace Finchum
Alex Lee
Marc Angel
Lorenzo Gonzalez
Martin Machwitz
Website Official Homepage

Tokyo Blade are an English heavy metal band, active since 1982. [1] Tokyo Blade is one of the many acts considered part of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) movement, which lasted from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Tokyo Blade have been through many changes of formation and have disbanded twice, often changing their musical style during their years of activity. However, the band is still active (as of 2020), with most of the original members in the lineup.



NWOBHM (1979-1985)

The band was formed in Salisbury in the late 1970s, under the moniker White Diamond (changed to Killer in 1981 and then changed again, to Genghis Khan). [2] The original lineup consisted of Alan Marsh (vocals), Andy Boulton (guitar), Ray Dismore (guitar), Andy Robbins (bass), and Steve Pierce (drums). After a final change of name to Tokyo Blade, the band signed with the British independent record label Powerstation Records and recorded their first album. This album was self-titled in all regions, except in the United States and Canada, where it came out under the title Midnight Rendezvous on the Combat Records label, in 1984. In fact, this was a compilation of four earlier recordings, dating from when the band were called Genghis Khan, plus four songs from the original Tokyo Blade album. Also in 1984, the band shared the stages of clubs and festivals with notable acts such as Metallica and Venom.

Like many other acts from that era, Tokyo Blade was plagued by frequent changes of band members. By the time their second album was released, vocalist Alan Marsh had been replaced by Vick Wright. The album, Night of the Blade was issued in 1984 with Wright on vocals. However, in 1998, an edition of the album featuring Marsh's original vocals was eventually released, as Night of the Blade... The Night Before. In that period, Tokyo Blade took part in tours and festival packages with the likes of Blue Öyster Cult, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions.

The band's third record, Black Hearts & Jaded Spades was released in 1985 on the band's own label in Europe; it was available in the United States as an import. The band filmed a concert at London's Camden Palace, which was shown on TV in the UK on Channel 4 in 1985, and has since made its way onto multiple bootleg DVD releases. By the end of the year, Tokyo Blade had disbanded, with all members subsequently dedicating their time and efforts to other projects.

Andy Boulton's Tokyo Blade (1985-1989)

Original vocalist Alan Marsh formed another Far East-influenced band called Shogun, alongside former Chinatown guitarist Danny Gwilym. They released two albums, and worked with noted producer Bob Ezrin. Shogun eventually worked with Tokyo Blade bandmates Steve Pierce, Andy Wrighton and Andy Robbins.

Guitarist John Wiggins (Deep Machine, Slam) would go on to play in the first edition of Battlezone with ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno.

Original bassist Andy Robbins would be a part of the bands Jagged Edge and Taste, who recorded a single with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson and later became the hard rock band Skin.

Vocalist Vick Wright formed the band Johnny Crash; this being the first project related to Tokyo Blade to appear on a major label in the United States, with the release of the album Neighbourhood Threat . A revamped line-up of Johnny Crash, including future Guns N' Roses members Dizzy Reed and Matt Sorum, recorded a second album, originally called Damnation Alley, which saw release in 2008 on Suncity Records. This album was later re-released under the title Unfinished Business .

Original guitarist Andy Boulton continued recording under the name "Andy Boulton's Tokyo Blade", with an entirely new lineup in place. This new incarnation of Tokyo Blade released the album Ain't Misbehavin' in 1987 and toured on the festival circuit, playing on the same stages as bands such as Black Sabbath. Vocalist Pete Zito then went on to front a band called Inside Out. [3]

In 1988, Andy Boulton recruited members of the German band The Dead Ballerinas (featuring former Kin Ping Meh vocalist Michael Pozz) to record the album No Remorse , which was issued on the GAMA International sub-label Hot Blood Records. Like the debut, this album has since been reissued with multiple covers. Following the album's release, Tokyo Blade disbanded once again, with Boulton returning to work with Alan Marsh.

Mr. Ice and reformation (1989-1998)

Following record company problems which caused Shogun to disband, Alan Marsh formed a group called Mr. Ice, which eventually included guitarist Andy Boulton. As this group now featured two key members from Tokyo Blade, a move from the band's management to resurrect the old name for a European tour with Uriah Heep led to additional issues. Boulton exited the group and was replaced by guitarist Steve Kerr. At the conclusion of the tour, both Kerr and the management team exited. Some of the tracks from the Mr. Ice project were released as a Tokyo Blade record in the mid-1990s.

By 1994, Marsh and Boulton were playing together again and creating new music. They released the album Burning Down Paradise on SPV in 1996. Certain tracks were also released as a Tokyo Blade record in the mid-to-late 1990s.

The band's early albums were reissued in 1997 on the High Vaultage label, and the latter-period recordings were gathered together by Zoom Club. A live album, entitled Live in Germany was released in 2009.

Solo projects and new activities (2008-present)

Andy Boulton went on to be in the band XFX, later concentrating his efforts on a solo album and on teaching electric and bass guitar.

For a while, Alan Marsh joined the cast of a musical based on the story of Jack the Ripper. [4]

Second vocalist Vick Wright wrote a number of screenplays and a novel called "South of the Pole", [5] worked on the production of a comedy show, and pursued a publishing deal.

Bassist Andy Wrighton (Deep Machine, Shogun) and guitarist John Wiggins (Deep Machine, Slam) joined the reformed Deep Machine in 2009, with guitarist Bob Hooker, singer Lenny Baxter (ex-Gangland) and drummer Chas Towler (Slam). Deep Machine split up in October 2015.

After more than twelve years of inactivity, a new version of Tokyo Blade was rebuilt by guitarist Bryan Holland, including Andy Boulton alongside new members: singer Chris Gillen, drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez, and bassist Frank Sapardi. This lineup of the band successfully toured throughout Europe during 2008-2009.

Andy Boulton quit the band just prior to the band's Autumn 2009 European tour, citing health reasons; he gave Bryan Holland his blessing to continue without him. The remaining members of the band therefore carried on, to fulfil their touring contracts and commitments.

Following the conclusion of the 2009 tour and the release of the Live in Germany album, the band's previous lineup dissolved. Andy Boulton subsequently re-enlisted four members of the band's classic lineup: John Wiggins, Andy Wrighton and Steve Pierce, with vocalist Chris Gillen remaining on board. However, Gillen did not perform or record with the band again and was soon replaced by Domain singer Nicolaj Ruhnow.

The band recorded their next album Thousand Men Strong with producer Chris Tsangarides, and it was released in March 2011. [6] Tokyo Blade was a live attraction at metal festivals in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In early 2012, former member Ray Dismore formed a band called Innovator, alongside vocalist Mike Vickers. They have since released several albums of original material. [7]

Nicolaj Ruhnow left Tokyo Blade abruptly in 2014, citing a fallout with Andy Boulton, [8] and Chris Gillen then returned to the band as lead vocalist.

A reformation of Tokyo Blade's classic lineup occurred in 2016, when vocalist Alan Marsh rejoined Andy Boulton, John Wiggins, Andy Wrighton and Steve Pierce in the band. This lineup recorded the albums Unbroken (released in 2018), Dark Revolution (released in 2020) and Fury (released in 2022).


Current members

Former members


Studio albums


Live albums

See also

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<i>Tokyo Blade</i> (album) 1983 studio album by Tokyo Blade

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<i>Midnight Rendezvous</i> 1984 EP by Tokyo Blade

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<i>Aint Misbehavin</i> (Tokyo Blade album) 1987 studio album by Tokyo Blade

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  1. "Tokyo Blade - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  2. "Killer - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  3. Derek Oliver (3 June 1989). "Pete Zito & Inside Out - demo review in 'Wimpwire' column, Kerrang! magazine, issue 241". Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  4. "Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper - A Concise History (including details of the musical production)". 20 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  5. "Vick Wright - Biography". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  6. "Tokyo Blade Completes Recording New Album - in Metal News". 15 August 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  7. "Innovator - Official Band Website". Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  8. "News | Nicolaj Ruhnow verlässt TOKYO BLADE". Retrieved 30 May 2020.