The Banned


It’s fair to say that The BANNED were definitely a one-hit-wonder act, although with only a couple of single releases for Harvest Records, a 50% return was no bad thing.
For all intents and purposes, the group from Tooting and Camberwell (or was that Croydon) got together in the summer of ‘77 within the burgeoning backdrop of London’s punk/pub rock scene; similar post-dinosaur outfits such as The MOTORS et al were sprouting up on a daily basis; punk/new wave acts were now 10 a penny. While The BANNED didn’t quite match the ethos and drive of The SEX PISTOLS or The DAMNED per se, their strengths lay in re-vamping a few golden nuggets from the psychedelic-era 60s.
Singer/drummer Paul Sordid (b. Paul Aitken) had only just bailed from covers act, Precious Little, whilst the pseudonymous Rick Mansworth and John Thomas (known otherwise as guitarist Richard Harvey and bassist Jonathan Davie, respectively) had plied their trade with prog-folksters GRYPHON; second guitarist Pete Airey was billed as Pete Fresh on their self-financed debut version of `Little Girl’ (b/w `CPGJ’s’); issued in September ‘77. The A-side in question was procured from The SYNDICATE’s Billboard smash, and with the endorsement of the aforesaid Harvest imprint (home to PINK FLOYD, WIRE and The SAINTS), and radio airplay two months later, it became a surprise British Top 40 hit.
When Harvey and Davie’s chequered prog past was unearthed, respective replacements Ben Dover (b. Ben Grove) and Tommy Steal (b. Jimmy Hughes) filled their berths for sophomore single, `Him Or Me’. Sadly, the repeat prescription (PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS the source this time around) failed to capture any flagging punk’s heart; The BANNED er… dis-banned-ed; Paul re-united his Precious Little (he later formed The Retros), and Hughes duly joined COWBOYS INTERNATIONAL, and a little later, ORIGINAL MIRRORS, then DEPARTMENT S.
However, the story didn’t quite dissipate there, when Paul Aitken and The BANNED re-formed for a few gigs in 2009; a Cherry Red Records compilation, LITTLE GIRL {*6}, was issued in 2004. Incidentally, RICHARD HARVEY went on to become a successful classical composer and film/TV soundtrack go-to man, while Davie joined traditional folkies HOME SERVICE and re-united with Harvey to perform in a latter-day GRYPHON.
© MCS 1999-2003 // rev-up Sep2018

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