One of several guitarists named Paul Banks who have been featured on records, this one more importantly joins the elite ranks of musicians who have been physically assaulted by members of their audience during a gig. A subcategory, of course, is musicians who have been assaulted by members of the audience while not on-stage or by someone who had no idea they are musicians. In the latter category, the nature of the assault is different, at least to serious music critics, in that a direct comment on the music can no longer be inferred. When Paul Banks of the band Shed Seven was hit directly in the face by a plastic beer glass at the start of a Kentish Town Forum show, pundits in the U.K. rock press were quick to comment that the incident was some kind of reaction to Banks' surly performance style. The performer was unable to see for half an hour after being hit, went into mild shock, and almost had to cancel the night's gig.
For the group to name a subsequent Polydor single "Heroes" is perhaps overstating the valor involved in climbing up on the rock & roll stage, but in the new millennium people seem to find heroes wherever they can. Shed Seven bases itself out of York, England, and has been lumped in with a style called Brit-pop. The group's official beginning was 1991, and members such as Tom Gladwin and Alan Leach had been playing together in bands since they were lads. Polydor signed the group up three years later, and the band's glory days are generally considered to extend from then until 1997. Banks contributed a fair amount of the group's original material. In 2000 he quit Shed Seven and announced that he would be forming his own group. What developed was the Yards, also featuring ex-Seahorses member Stu Fletcher. ~ Eugene Chadbourne