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August 13, 1997 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1997-08-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, August 13, 1997

i" 1 e

Guitar heroics abound at smokin' Seahorses concert


B,.Aaron Rennie
Daily Arts Editor
Led by John Squire, the nimble-
fingered guitar superhero formerly of
Stone Roses fame, The Seahorses
burst into The Shelter in Detroit
Sunday night and played a hour's
worth of melodic rock 'n' roll.
Despite the rather cramped condi-
tions and short time allotted for them
to play, the four members of The
S horses appeared to be having a
good time performing together on its
first U.S. tour.
Before the show, lead singer and
guitarist Chris Helme sat down with
The Michigan Daily to discuss The
Seahorses' music and life on the
road. Helme said the tour has thus far
been "good, yeah. It's tiring, but
worth it."
The Detroit concert was the band's
fourth in as many days, but, as was
later apparent, Helme's voice was by
no means worse for the wear.

(Nevertheless, Helme was preparing
some herbal tea to soothe his vocal
chords, just to play it safe.)
Despite a couple songs of filler
material, "Do It Yourself," The
Seahorses' debut album, is quite wor-
thy. Yet the British press has often
been harsh to the band, unlike the
generally support-
ive U.S. media.
Helme attributes R
this disparity to the
fact that the Th
American press The
correctly views TheT
Seahorses as a new
band, whereas the
British expect the same kind of magic
out of a John Squire group as The
Stone Roses routinely produced.
"(The U.K. press) wanted a third
Stone Roses album," Helme said.
"But even if we (gave them one), they
still woudn't have liked it."
However, the group - Helme


specifically - has one strident sup-
porter in the upper echelon of the
British music scene, Liam Gallagher.
The Oasis frontman recently said that
Helme is the only current singer he
respects. Helme happily accepted the
compliment, and returned one of his
own. "(Liam's comments were) nice.
I like his voice as
E V I E W Helme has
also been
e Seahorses impressed by the
Shelter, Detroit new albums from
Asst at, 1957 The Charlatans
and "Radiohead,
even though they don't write proper
Earlier this summer, The Seahorses
performed in the monsoon-like con-
ditions of the massive Glastonbury
Festival. "It was a good laugh,"
Helme said. "The stage was sinking
and the sound was terrible." The

group, however, will play some more
gigs in the U.K. in the next couple of
months, including opening up for U2
in Scotland. Then "John and I will
spend three months writing (new
songs)," claimed Helme.
At The Shelter, though, The
Seahorses did great justice to its cur-
rent batch of songs. Bassist Stuart
Fletcher and drummer/backup singer
Andy Watts proved quite able, adding
some versatility and power to their
rhythms presented on "Do It
Yourself." Watts and Helme harmo-
nized marvelously, an asset some-
what downplayed on the album.
As for Squire, well, he must be
from another planet. The lead axman
easily duplicated his stunning fret-
work heard on the album, and aimed
for the stratosphere in his improvised,
five-minute solo in the set closer,
"Love Is The Law."
Despite his lack of direct audience
interaction - he mostly gazed at his

guitar and rarely looked at his
throngs of fans - Squire was still the
epitome of cool: Shaking his ever-
present mop of brown hair and arch-
ing his back while digging into
another lightning-quick solo, he
looked like he's barely aged from his
late-'80s, baggy-era Roses days.
Squire still gets super-clean tone
from his arsenal of guitars and 4
Marshall amps, and can match chops
with any jam band wanker, as was
evident on songs such as "I Want You
To Know" and "Round The
All in all, it was a fine show,
despite a rather bland set by the open-
ing band Mansun, and the brevity of
The Seahorses' set. Maybe next year,
after releasing what Helme claimed
will be "an overproduced" sopho-
more album, The Seahorses will
return for another blockrockin' per-
formance and expand its already-
growing Stateside audience.


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