Paul Banks (musician, born 1973)
Paul Banks performing with Shed Seven
at the V Festival, Weston Park, 2008
6 July 1973|
Paul Banks formed his first band with schoolfriend Rick Witter in 1986, while still in his teens, and went on to play in other local bands, including Brockley Haven, with Witter, Tom Gladwin and John Leach.
Banks joined Witter, Gladwin and John's brother, drummer Alan Leach in Shed Seven just before they gained their first record deal with Polydor Records in 1993, replacing Joe Johnson as their lead guitarist. He spent the next six years recording and touring with the band. Banks became known for his distinctive, dramatic riffs and catchy tunes, and from 1993–1999 he co-wrote many of the band's most popular songs, with fourteen consecutive hits in the UK including "Chasing Rainbows", "Going for Gold" and "She Left Me on Friday". The band's third album Let It Ride with all music composed by Banks to Witter's lyrics, spawned four singles which all reached the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.
In 1999 the record company asked Banks to write a new lead single for Shed Seven's "Greatest Hits" album, Going For Gold. The song, "Disco Down", later became a Top 20 hit, but Banks was becoming increasingly unhappy with the lack of originality in the music he was expected to write and perform. In an interview in 2002, he said:
I spent about two weeks, and I wrote a song called "Disco Down", that was just complete to a formula. "Right, that'll do, there's your single." And the record company creamed themselves when they heard it. It was like, "I can't do this any more." I was writing it, and I could see the video, and I could see the front cover of the single, and it was just complete formula. There was no soul in it...
The last straw was the Greatest Hits album….I can honestly say that I sold myself short for the last six months...I thought it was better to just stop it and move on.
After parting with Shed Seven somewhat acrimoniously later that year, officially due to "musical differences", Banks returned to York and formed The Rising with David McKellar (of The 88's on vocals), Rob "Maxi" Maxfield (of Audioweb on drums) and Stuart Fletcher (of Rick Witter & The Dukes on bass). He also spent a short time with Fletcher in The Yards, as well as working as a freelance film-maker and music tutor, teaching guitar, bass and songwriting at his studio in Pocklington, York.
Shed Seven reunion
However, the following July saw Shed Seven announce their reformation, with the line-up including Banks along with all of the original members. His appearance on the subsequent Greatest Hits tour was the first time he had appeared on stage with the band since leaving in 1999. Following the announcement of the Shed Seven reunion, an official statement from the band noted that it would "not affect the individual members' projects which will continue as before". Yet, despite this vow, Albion abruptly split up in August 2007, for reasons which were not made public. When interviewed, Griffin commented "Things weren't working out the way we anticipated and it seemed the right time to call it a day".
He's still, in 2018, with Shed Seven including recording their new album Instant Pleasures.
- "Shed Seven at chartstats.com". Archived from the original on 6 December 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- "Cultural Foundation – Workshop – Chris Helme and Paul Banks". Cultfound.org. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Going For Gold - The Greatest Hits at chartstats.com". Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
- 'Polydor: Witter A Bitter Quitter', NME Online, December 1999
- "End of Road". Gazettelive.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2013.