B i o g r a p h y
Andy started playing the guitar 41 years ago at school with friends. "Most of the teachers were more than happy to let me sit in the library and play it as I had a tendency to be the class clown and very disruptive lol" After doing a couple of school gigs for parents evenings began doing the usual youth club band thing, going under various names, such as White Diamond, Killer, Ghengis Khan etc. Eventually a stable line up was in place and the band settled on "Tokyo Blade" as their moniker.
After recording their first single "If heaven is hell" the Blade got airplay on national Radio 1 on Tommy Vance’s Friday Rock Show, signed a recording contract and began their first tour of Europe with the Irish band Mama’s Boy’s.
The tour was an amazing success for Blade and they were almost straight out on their own headline tour of Europe playing 4,000 seat venues which was an amazing feat for the band to be going straight into touring on that scale.
On their return Blade recorded a live session for BBC Radio 1, and went back to Europe to play some major festivals with Metallica, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio, and Slayer etc.
Blade were soon in the States headlining their own tour again and it seemed that the boys could do no wrong. Upon their return however Blades second singer Vic Wright quit the band and returned to America to front his own band.
Vic’s contribution to the new Blade album “Black hearts and jaded spades” was quite different to Alan Marsh’s (the first Vocalist) and though the band were pleased with the album it was not very well received by European fans. Committed to a double headline tour with the American band Blue Oyster Cult a temporary vocalist Carl Sentence was recruited but by now feelings between band members had become strained due to lack of money and support from the record company and the band was unworkable. The band eventually split and other re-incarnations of Blade followed with a little success.
1996 Saw first Vocalist Alan Marsh reunite with Boulton and Wiggins and the album "Burning down paradise" was released. Despite some fine songs and great performances the lack of good management and poor support caused the ill fated reformation to come to a quick end.
All was quiet until Boulton had a chance meeting with Andy Wrighton at "the Ruskin Arms pub" the place where legends Iron Maiden carved their name and the pub where Tokyo Blade signed their first record contract. After 2 further meetings an impromptu jam at another old Tokyo Blade stomping ground "the Royal Standard" Pub in Walthamstow London, where Boulton joined Wrighton and Wiggins on stage. A long search for former skin basher Steve Pierce eventually proved successful and the boys quickly found new vocal talent in German vocalist Nicolaj Ruhnow.
So with 4/5 of the original band and the vocal skills of Ruhnow the band recorded their latest album "1000 men strong" with the late Legendary producer Chris Tsangarides aka "the dark lord" famous for his amazing work with Thin Lizzy, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Ian Gillan any other Rock ledgends too numerous to list.
The album has had an amazing reception and the reviews literally stunned the band.
Sadly Nic and Blade parted company in 2015 and Andy's good friend Chris Gillen added his awesome vocal talents to TB. Chris and Andy had worked together previously and it was fantastic to welcome Chris back.
Blade were soon back on the European festival circuit and with dates in Canada and Brazil on the horizon Blade proved that they still delivered the goods. However the logistics of working with Chris Gillen forced the band into re-thinking their future plans. "We just couldn't cover the costs of Chris's transport and if we had a one-off date it was impractical. As Alan Marsh and I were already working together on a couple of projects and as Alan was the original vocalist it was natural that we ask him. Luckily he was up for it and was welcomed back, so Blade are practically as we were all those years ago when 5 young lads decided to forge a career in Metal like their hero's before them. "We've had as much bad luck as it's possible to have and we've worked extremely hard for what we've achieved. Nothing came easy for us but still Tokyo Blade became an international band. I guess that if I'd have worked hard at school I could have had some other successful career many times more financially rewarding, but I've traveled the world, played our music to thousands of fans and if I had my time over again I wouldn't change what I do. It's been a long and very bumpy ride to say the least and anything but ordinary. My mantra has always been If you live an unadventurous life, don't expect to have a story worth telling or a memory worth saving"
Ever since I can remember my passion for music has been my raison d'etre and I have devoted my life to the study and creation of music. Although Blade are classed as a NWOBHM band I love to write and record music of a softer nature and I am fortunate to have built my own home studio for that very purpose.
My love for the American Indian or to be more precise the 1st nations people has lead me to take up the flute and I now use this and guitar to write and record my softer material.
I try to do everything with humility and respect others for who they are and whatever gifts they may have. The gift of music given to me by the creator and passed on by my Dear departed Mother has sustained me through some hard times and together with my spiritual studies have inspired me and guided me through the darkest times in my life. I've often looked out from the stage at all our amazing, Loyal fans and wondered "all of this is because my Dear Parents bought me a guitar" Everything I do is dedicated to them, my Late Father Walter James McColm, My Dear Mother Rita, my Son Jamie Lee McColm, grandsons Jake McColm, Zakk, Dearest Girlfriend Lynne xx and all the people of the 1st Nations
God bless and keep them . . . PEACE.