Black Rose are an English heavy metal band from Teesside in the north east of England. They formed in 1976 under the name ICE but changed it to Black Rose in 1980 and were one of many British bands considered part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. The original line-up was 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 and released quite a few records including two albums: 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 and released their newest album Cure for Your Disease in 2010.
Black Rose started out as ICE back in 1978 when three friends from a School in Saltburn by the Sea decided to form a rock band. The three guys were Steve Bardsley, Marty Rajn and Mark Eason who 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 was drafted 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 5 songs: Alright On The Night, Biker, Killer, Loveshock and Raising Hell. The demo was picked up by various Rock Disco play-lists and featured in the local charts section of UK Rock magazine Kerrang!.
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' and this was the record that started getting people talking about this unknown little UK band. Unfortunately Rajn fell out with the rest of the band over various issues and departed, making way for young 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 de;but 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 eighties they were also joined by guitar and keyboard player Gary Todd and major record labels Atlantic Records and Bronze Records both showed some interest in the band but neither signed them up to any deal so Watson got a bit disillusioned and left, making way for young guitarist Pat O'Neil. This line-up recorded the band's second album Walk It How You Talk It released by Neat Records which saw them recording slightly more melodic songs which ultimately gained them some new fans but lost them some of the old. This album was also picked up by AJK, a subsidiary of K-tel in the USA where it was repackaged and ready to be released independently, but unfortunately never did because of a dispute over copyrights with a US band of the same name. 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 lV and also at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany. The band also released three new albums on German record labels.