Tygers of Pan Tang are a heavy metal band, formed in 1978 and originating from Whitley BayEngland. They are a notable band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. The band is named after the pets of the Wizards of Pan Tang – an elite group of chaos-worshipping warriors from Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné stories.

Biography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Early days, 1978–1983[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The band was originally formed by Jess Cox (vocals), Robb Weir (guitar), Richard "Rocky" Laws (bass), and Brian Dick (drums). They played in working men's clubs[1] and were first signed by local independent label Neat Records beforeMCA gave them a major record deal. After several singles, they released their first album, Wild Cat, in 1980. The album reached No. 18 in the UK Album Chart in the first week of its release.

Subsequently John Sykes (formerly of Streetfighter, later in BadlandsThin LizzyWhitesnake, and Blue Murder) was added as second guitarist. Jess Cox had a falling out with the others and quit, to be replaced by Persian Risk vocalist Jon Deverill. This lineup released Spellbound in 1981.

Sykes quit after the release of the third album, Crazy Nights, to audition for Ozzy Osbourne's band. He was replaced by ex-Penetration guitarist Fred Purser who had to learn the set in two days before touring.

Tygers of Pan Tang's fourth album, The Cage, was released in 1982. The band then had a disagreement with MCA, who were not prepared to promote them unless they agreed to play more cover recordings (following the band's hit with "Love Potion No. 9"). They subsequently tried to break free from their contract, but MCA's demands exceeded the willingness of any other record company to pay to free the band, and the band broke up in frustration.

John Sykes later achieved success with Thin Lizzy and then Whitesnake, and as a guitarist in Japan.

Reformation, 1985–1987[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In 1985, Jon Deverill and Brian Dick reformed the band with Steve Lamb (formerly of Sergeant) on guitar, Neil Sheppard on guitar, and ex-Warrior, ex-Satan member Clin Irwin on bass. Dave Donaldson later replaced Clin Irwin. Meanwhile, Robb Weir and Jess Cox formed the spin-off band Tyger-Tyger.

The reformed Tygers of Pan Tang released The Wreck-Age in summer 1985 through Music for Nations, and Burning in the Shade in 1987, through Zebra RecordsBurning in the Shade received poor reviews and they disbanded again.

Various compilations and live albums were produced by the band's two first labels, Neat Records and MCA.

Latter days, 1999–present[edit source | editbeta]Edit

During the 1998 Wacken Open Air festival, Jess Cox joined on stage with Blitzkrieg, playing three old Tygers songs. The audience's response was very positive, and a year later, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Tygers of Pan Tang and the 10th Wacken Open Air, the band was invited to play on the main stage. Brian Dick and Rocky were unable to join the band, but the Tygers (now Jess Cox and Robb Weir, backed up by Blitzkrieg guitarist Glenn S Howes, bassist Gavin Gray, and drummer Chris Percy) did perform. Recordings of their performance resulted in the Live at Wacken album.

In 2001, Robb Weir reformed the band as the only original member. The other musicians were Tony Liddell (vocals), Dean Robertson (lead guitar), Brian West (bass), and Craig Ellis (drums). They released Mystical through Z-Records. They toured in several festivals, but eventually were dropped by Z-Records in 2002, due to poor record sales.

The band went on to produce the split album The Second Wave: 25 Years of NWOBHM with Girlschool and Oliver/Dawson Saxon on Communique Records, and in 2004 released Noises in the Cathouse with new singer Richie Wicks who although a singer by trade was at the time still playing bass in Angel Witch.

Later that year, Richie Wicks left and was replaced by Italian vocalist Jacopo Meille. Wicks later joined Shadowkeep, appearing on their 2008 album The Hourglass Effect, before leaving in 2009. As of 2010, he was the vocalist in Heavenly Hell, a Dio-era Black Sabbath tribute band, and in 2013 he commenced fronting the band BlackWhite & Purple with fellow ex-Angel Witch guitarist Keith Herzberg and current Praying Mantis drummer Gary MacKenzie, along with Shadowkeep's ex-bassist Mark Fielden.[2]

Jon Deverill went on to work as an actor under the name of John Deville, and as of October 2007 was performing in 'The Sound of Music' at the London Palladium with television star Connie Fisher.[3]

In October 2007, the band issued a limited edition five track EP titled Back and Beyond, which featured reworkings of three Tygers songs from the early 1980s, along with two new tracks taken from their forthcoming album. Animal Instinct was released on 19 May 2008, the first with vocalist Jacopo Meille. On 2011 bassist Gavin Gray retur in the band to replace Brian West. On July 15, 2011 it was announced that Tygers Of Pan Tang have signed an agreement with Rocksector Records for the worldwide release of their next studio album, with a current working title of "Ambush", provisionally planned for February/March 2012. The album came out on September 24.

In January 2013 the band announced via their official website that guitarist Dean Robertson had left the band and that the band had begun their search for a replacement.[4]

In February 2013 the band announce Micky Crystal as their new guitarist[5]

Members[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Tygers of Pan Tang's line-ups


  • Jess Cox – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Rocky – bass
  • Brian Dick – drums
  • Jess Cox – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • John Sykes – guitar
  • Rocky – bass
  • Brian Dick – drums
  • Jon Deverill – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • John Sykes – guitar
  • Rocky – bass
  • Brian Dick – drums
  • Jon Deverill – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Fred Purser – guitar
  • Rocky – bass
  • Brian Dick – drums
  • Jon Deverill – vocals
  • Steve Lamb – guitar
  • Neil Shepherd – guitar
  • Clin Irwin – bass

Tygers of Pan Tang disbanded

  • Jon Deverill – vocals
  • Steve Lamb – guitar
  • Neil Shepherd – guitar
  • Dave Donaldson – bass
  • Brian Dick – drums

Tygers of Pan Tang disbanded

  • Jess Cox – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Glenn Howes – guitar
  • Gavin Gray – bass
  • Chris Percy – drums
  • Richie Wicks – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Dean Robertson – guitar
  • Brian West – bass
  • Craig Ellis – drums


  • Jacopo Meille – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Dean Robertson – guitar
  • Brian West – bass
  • Craig Ellis – drums


  • Jacopo Meille – vocals
  • Robb Weir – guitar
  • Micky Crystal – guitar
  • Brian West – bass
  • Craig Ellis – drums

Current members[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Jacopo Meille – Vocals (2004–present)
  • Robb Weir – Guitar (1978–1983, 1999, 2000–present)
  • Gav Gray – Bass (1999, 2011–present)
  • Micky Crystal – Guitar (2013–present)
  • Craig Ellis – Drums (2000–present)

Past members[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Vocals[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Richie Wicks (2004)
  • Tony Liddell (2000–2004)
  • John Deverill (1981–1983, 1984, 1985–1987)
  • Jess Cox (1978–1981, 1999)

Guitar[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Glenn S. Howes (1999)
  • Steve Lamb (1984, 1985–1987)
  • Neil Shepherd (1984, 1985–1987)
  • Fred Purser (1982–1983)
  • John Sykes (1980–1982)
  • Aynsley Merritt (1985–1985)
  • Dean Robertson (2000–2013)

Bass[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Brian West (2000–2011)
  • Gavin Gray (1999)
  • Dave Donaldson (1985–1987)
  • Clin Irwin (1983–1985)
  • Richard "Rocky" Laws (1978–1983)

Drums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Steven Plant(1999–2001)
  • Chris Percy (1999)
  • Brian Dick (1978–1983, 1985–1987)
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