The BANNED came together in Croydon sometime late 1976. Line-up: Rick Mansworth (Richard Harvey - vocals, guitar), Pete Fresh (Pete Airey - guitar) , John Thomas (Jon Davie - Bass) and Paul Sordid (Paul Aitken - drums, vocals). The latter had previously played in a band in Copenhagen, Denmark, but retourned to the UK with a view to play louder rock 'n' roll.

Why did the band call themselves The Banned? Paul Sordid: "We got a lot of hassles 'cos of the noise. that's why we use the name The Banned, 'cos we were banned from all of these front rooms."

The group recorded their first self-financed single during Easter, 1977, but it took them another 6 months before they'd scraped enough money together to actually release it. "Little Girl"/"C.P.G.J.'s" came out on The Banned's own label, Can't Eat Records, in a pressing of 1,100 copies. due to the limited funds, the record came in a plain sleeve (apart from a few homemade ones) and even the lbels were plain white except for rubber-stamped tittles/numbers. "Little Girl" was a cover version of The Syndicate Of Sound's 1966 American original. Interestingly, the position of lead vocalist was held by the band's drummer, Paul Sordid.

If you read the press at the time, you would have learned that at this stage The Banned's live work was hampered by the fact that two of the band members were still in school and doing homework to pass their A-levels. In reality this was just part of a smokescreen put up to give The Banned more punk appeal, i.e. to make them appear younger, freasher and less seasoned than they really were.

When the debut record finally came out, The Banned received much favourable press, especially in Sounds, who called them a "Five star garage band". enter September of '77 and, as the plan so foten worked back then, The Banned was snapped up by a major, Harvest Records, who re-released the single within a mere two months. This second time around the record was housed in a pitcture sleeve, well at least the 1st 5,000 copies were if you believe Harvest's ads. "Little Girl" peaked at no. 36 in the UK charts. the band photo used on the picture sleeve showed The Banned doing their best impression of The Saints (The Saints were also on Harvest at the time). On the rear cover a badge proclaimed "today CROYDON - tomorrow BROMLEY".

The Banned's music is fast-paced R&B rock with some cool power pop hooks. "C.P.G.J.'s" being the noisier of the two tracks on The Banned's 1977 platter. It should be mentioned that the trio of Mansworth, Fresh and Thomas also played in Gryphon in 1977. the Bnned released one more single, "Him Or Me?", in 1978 (also Harvest Records) on which Ben Dover (Ben Grove - guitar, vocals) and Thomas Steal (Jim Hughes - bas) had replaced Rick and John respectively.
Paul Sordid and Ben Dover continued working together.
Pete Fresh later turned in Real To Real....

 

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