COME IN TOKIO

Come In Tokio – band (1980-85), feat; Phil Wylie (voc,gtr) (brother of Pete Wylie) (later of Big Scream), Alan Currie (drms), Frank Mahon (bass), John Jenkins (keys) (later Persuaders), John Gillin (gtr). Had lots of rec co interest after John Peel Session, also did 2 further sessions on Radio 1 for Kid Jensen (1981-82). Tony Taylor (keys) (ex Big Still) was also a member at some point

Keyboard player John Jenkins wrote this piece of history…

In July 1981, I was in Hessey’s music store in Stanley Street, Liverpool looking at adverts on the boards for musician’s wanted. One unnamed band where looking for a keyboard player. Having just bought a sielorchestra and amp and having no-one to play with I rang the number and got Alan Currie on the phone – actually I think I got his grandmother first – but Alan was telling me that this little band of him – drums, Frank Mahon bass had a singer and guitarist called Phil Wylie brother of Wah’s Pete. I wish I had a penny everytime I heard that expression “brother of Wah”.

We were all young and immature and did not know how to do thing’s back then – I did not have a rehearsal initially, I had Alan come round to mine and play me rehearsal tapes of the band and I gave him a tape of some of my home recordings – very rough and unprofessional – Alan was impressed with the keyboards I think, and after a few days of listening to the songs I brought them down to a rehearsal in this place called the Ministry which was THE MAIN PLACE for band’s rehearsing – Someone should write a book about this place.
I met Phil and Frank then and played along with them – I don’t think anyone else had rang for the band audition so I was taken on after some fine tuning. It was clear Phil was the leader of the band, which I had found out was initially Frank’s as he had written some tunes. When I joined there where only 1 or 3 Wylie songs in the set but they sounded really fresh.
We rehearsed from July 82 up to Oct 82 as a 4 piece, and under pressure from the rest of us, Phil agreed that we should do our debut gig, this was at the Ministry Party in the basement and on the same night U2 where playing the Royal Court, 2 of U2 came to see the band along with Pete Wylie and we went down well. At this point we had Phil Wylie originals in the set and 1 Pete Wylie “Somesay” as well. The next gig was advertised and was in Kirkland’s in Hardman Street. It was a sell out for some reason, (friends?) and was really exciting -Phil’s guitar amp packed in 1/2 way through so we had no guitar and my keyboard stand collapsed near the end but we went down well.

At the same time we did our first demo tape and I produced this – songs were “Save Me From Falling” “The Build Up” and “Don’t Let The Doubters Get To Me”. It was a 4 track recording and sounded like we had something but did not know what to do with it; plus my production was naff having never produced before, but from this we got a John Peel session booked in January 1983. I was pretty shite on keyboards but my enthusiasm for the band and Phil’s songs was endless and I did a lot of the bookings and phone calls.

In November 82, a friend of mine came to a rehearsal – John Gillin – we had met through his cousin and had a brief front parlour group that played each others songs on a Sunday and put these on to tape. He was/is a great guitarist and at the rehearsal had a jam and was asked did he want to join. So we became a 5 piece.

Radio session was done in January 83 and 4 songs recorded – Tokio, Save Me From Falling, Nature Call and Walkaway – It was transmitted in February on the day John Peel made his Top Of The Pops debut. 4 times it was played over the next few months. but after the 1st playing, the next day, my phone in work went ballistic with every major record company ringing up. Problem was that we did not have a manager and being Phil’s group he made the decisions. Through our inexperience we did not know how to follow any of this up. The producer Mike Robinson who had done the Peel session was so impressed that he wanted us to send him a cassette of all the songs we had and he wanted to produce an album and then take it to record companies. Phil was always highly critical of his own voice and this tape was never sent. We did get another Peel session in Sept 82 but Peel wanted to try out a new idea and this was recorded on an 8 track in the Manchester Playhouse theatre and the recordings lacked any power. Songs done were What Lurks Behind Old Satan’s Door, Number One, A Change Of Style and Say You’ll Never Go Away Again. We where so disappointed with the session that we got Peel to drop A Change Of Style from the broadcast.

Next was a Kid Jensen session in November 82 – recorded back in London – songs were – Temper Count To Ten, Read The News, You Can Tell Everyone, The Day The World Fell Round Your Head.

We also did a TV spot on Granada’s exchange flags – recorded 3 songs but had 1 transmitted – Say You’ll Never Go Away Again. This was November 1982.

Gigs in 1982 of note where supporting Elvis Costello in Dec 1982, The Beat at Deeside Leisure Centre in July 82, played lots of gigs in Liverpool at the Masonic (with Personal Column) and Warehouse and rented Pickwicks in December 1982 to try and entice record company interest in a showcase gig

I have all the dates if you need a list (still have the cassettes too!)

In 1983- we played Bradford and Leeds with the Icicle works in February, moral was low as we did not have a manager still and I was inexperienced and Phil had set these two gigs up, and apart from both bands there was about 3 people in the audience.
John Gillin had lost interest enough to be asked to leave and I resigned at the same time with the idea that me and him would get our own band together. This became “The Persuaders”

Come in Tokio survived after us – Me and Phil were still close friends and they did another Peel session in 1983 (which was superb) with a new member joining – Frank on keyboards and guitar – not sure of his surname at the moment – later on Philip Martin joined on saxophone but in 1984 they broke up.

I have lost touch with Phil over the last 10 years and would love to know what he was up to – rumours are that he is doing comedy.

Ken Rooney writes…
I remember I used to work with Phil at GEC and came to a lot of rehearsals with him and also remember the gig at Deeside leisure centre for radio 1, Simon Bates was there and I found out he was a real wanker!I would love to get in touch with Phil again if possible, I am living in Australia now but it would be cool to hear some of the songs again, and catch up, I still play part of one of the songs now but cannot remember what it was called.