Talented musician and true gent Andy Banks remembered

TRAGIC: Andy Banks.

TRAGIC: Andy Banks.

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DOZENS of tributes have been paid to a talented musician who died in a bizarre accident.

Andy Banks was well-loved across the area as a passionate performer and artist, faithful friend and a proud father.

Mr Banks, 49, played with bands including Eric The Viaduct and Ship of Fools. It is believed he died when he fell into a drain while trying retrieve dropped keys in King Street, Heckmondwike.

Police were called at 12.16am on Wednesday morning. Neighbours said about seven police cars, a video van and a winch were at the accident and the special rescue unit from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Mr Banks, a sculptor, had been at The Swan pub in Liversedge on New Year’s Day and was thought to be walking home to Dewsbury when he dropped his keys.

Eric The Viaduct was the group he was perhaps best known for working with. The eccentric band, which members describe as having ‘all the fun of the fair’, is hugely popular. Members play plastic trumpets, a handmade violin and a kazoo and their infectious sound often draww other musicians on stage.

They play gigs at venues including The West Riding and Dewsbury Socialist Club, as well as The Crown of Lights Music Events in Heckmondwike.

Mr Banks was also a member of Dewsbury Socialist Society, which lowered the Union Flag outside its Bradford Road club to half-mast yesterday.

For the full story and tributes, pick up a copy of today’s Reporter.