Black Rose


Black Rose (1976-1989, 2006-present): a NWOBHM band from Teesside, UK.


nglish heavy metal band Black Rose hailed from Teesside in the north east of England. They formed in 1976 under the name Ice but changed it to Black Rose in 1980. Black Rose was one of the many British bands considered part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement. The original line-up featured Steve Bardsley (lead vocals/guitar), Kenny Nicholson (guitar), Marty Rajn (bass) and Mark Eason (drums). Over the next nine years the band went through various line-up changes while releasing several records including Boys Will Be Boys (1984) and Walk It How You Talk It (1986) before splitting up in 1989. The band then re-formed in 2006 to release their third album Cure for Your Disease in 2010 with the membership of Kenny Nicholson (guitars), Steve Bardsley (vocals/guitars), Barry "Bazza" Youll (drums), Kiko Rivers (bass/vocals) and Andy Reeve (guitars), while Paul Fowler (drums) moved in for WTF (2022).

Black Rose started out under the name Ice back in 1976 when three friends from a School in Saltburn by the Sea decided to form a rock band. The three guys, Steve Bardsley, Marty Rajn and Mark Eason soon became a four piece after they saw guitarist Kenny Nicholson playing in a local pub and asked him if he wanted to join up with them. Eason left the band citing musical differences and local drummer Charlie Mack moved in. As this line-up they recorded their first demo tape at Impulse Studios in Wallsend Newcastle, the home of independent record label 'Neat Records', which consisted of the five songs: Alright On The Night, Biker, Killer, Loveshock and Raising Hell. The demo was picked up by various rock disco playlists, and featured in the local charts section of the British rock magazine Kerrang!.

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Nicholson and Mack both left the band to pursue others ventures, Mack joined Emerson and then ended up in Samson and Nicholson went on to form both Holland and Fast Kutz. New guitarist Chris "wahwah" Watson and drummer Mal Smith then joined the band and they released their first single on the 'Teesbeat' label called No Point Runnin'. Rajn fell out with the rest of the band over various issues and departed, making way for bass player Mick Thompson to step in. This went on to be probably the most stable line-up of the band, recording and releasing an array of songs including their debut aforementioned album Boys Will Be Boys and featuring on a variety of compilation records. The band toured all over the UK and Europe playing alongside established bands including Raven, Terraplane, Budgie, Trust, Vardis, Atomic Rooster, Pretty Maids and Spider, and gathered a worldwide fanbase having fan clubs in Europe, Japan and the United States.

By the mid 1980s, guitar and keyboard player Gary Todd joined while labels 'Atlantic Records' and 'Bronze Records' both showed interest but neither signing them. Consequently, Watson was disillusioned and left making way for guitarist Pat O'Neil. This line-up recorded the band's second album, Walk It How You Talk It released by 'Neat Records' featuring a more melodic style. Thes album was also picked up by 'AJK', a subsidiary of 'K-Tel' in the US where it was repackaged for release, but due to a dispute over copyrights with a US band of the same name the record was never issued. This was to be the beginning of the end for the band and although they recorded some more material nothing was released and they split up in 1989.

In 2006 Bardsley, after speaking to Watson, decided to write some new material together and Black Rose were born again. British indie rock label 'Majestic Rock Records' released a CD of the band's songs from 1980-89 called Bright Lights Burnin' and, in 2010, the band released their third album Cure for Your Disease as an independent download-only release.

A new line-up was put together and the band played their first gig in 25 years at the Cradle Will Rock festival in Shildon, County Durham. In 2012, they were invited to play at Hammerfest IV and also at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany. The band also released three new albums on German record labels.

The band have recently announced a two album deal with 'Pure Steel Records'.

The band have recently announced new lead live vocalist Ash Robertson from Newcastle based rock band Wild Thorn as their new singer. Bardsley would continue with the band but focus on guitar and backing vocals.

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Black Rose
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Nation UK
Location Teesside
Other Genres Heavy Metal
Formations 2
Active Years 1976-1989, 2006-
Last Modified 2023-06-03
Diskery ID 2657

Artists Linked to Black Rose

Atomic Rooster Raven Samson
Terraplane Trust Vardis

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