The Seahorses

You can sort of see why Stone Roses fans would be disappointed with John Squire's new band The Seahorses

You can sort of see why Stone Roses fans would be disappointed with John Squire's new band The Seahorses. Let's face it, they're not exactly the second coming, and Squire seems to have cobbled them together a little too hastily for comfort.

He found the bassist, Stuart Fletcher, in a pub in York, and spotted the singer, Chris Helme, busking outside Woolworths - not an auspicious start.

Some of the songs also seemed to have been thrown together from secondhand Roses riffs and unused Oasis cliches, and the music press was quick to give the Seahorses a critical flogging.

A year after their formation, the band's debut album, Do It Yourself, has become a best-seller, and the Olympia Theatre is stuffed with a Saturday night crowd in search of a rock 'n' roll resurrection. And do you know, they almost got one.


As Squire's guitar spat out the riff for Round The Universe, Chris Helme stood stock still in his long leather coat, and adopted his best `I don't want to be adored' look.

With the crowd cheering for Squire's every guitar lick, and Helme's voice sounding like he'd caught that throat bug that's going around, it looked as if the singer would have to play second fiddle to Squire, but by the end of Suicide Drive, Helme had steered on course, and as he tore into Blinded By The Sun, his voice was positively shining.

Squire riffed away happily throughout, letting the songs do the talking; I Want You To Know caught the band in its stride, while The Boy In The Picture allowed Helme to relax in semi-acoustic mode.

Love Me And Leave Me had heads craning hopefully for the rumoured arrival of the song's co-writer, Liam Gallagher, but Helme carried it off on his own with no remaining trace of throat trouble.

The prog-rock leanings of 1999 and Hello were mere dalliances in comparison to the final, extended guitar solo of Love Is The Law, Squire stepping forward and showing who's the real legend around here.

He can now smile in the knowledge that his mortal cohorts are managing to keep up with him.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist