Brighton – chance to relive The Seahorses’ Do It Yourself album on its 25th anniversary

Chris HelmeChris Helme
Chris Helme
25 years on from the release of The Seahorses’ one and only album Do It Yourself, vocalist Chris Helme is revisiting the iconic record with a series of one-off acoustic performances across the UK throughout 2022.

Dates include The Old Market, Brighton on Wednesday, September 28.

Formed by Stone Roses’ guitarist John Squire, the alternative rock band released Do It Yourself to an outpouring of adoration from fans around the world. A string of high-profile shows followed, from tours with Oasis and The Rolling Stones and playing Glastonbury to memorable appearances on Top of the Pops and TFI Friday.

Chris now brings those days back to life.

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“25 years. It's scary. In some ways it seems a long time ago but in other ways it doesn't seem that long time ago at all.

“When I first started going through the songs again it was like it was just yesterday. I could almost feel John Squire breathing down the back of my neck!

“I've not really gone back to those songs since. I remember when The Seahorses split up, I had a child and bought a house and decided I was not going to do any Seahorses’ songs for a while having been touring them for two and a half years.

“I had a little bit of break and wrote some new stuff and started another band and I was really happy with doing all that and then suddenly ten years had gone by.

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“And then I was doing a gig in Glasgow and I was on the way up to Glasgow and the guy that was organising it phoned me and said ‘You're going to be doing some Seahorses songs, aren't you?’ and I said I wasn't banking on it and I thought just who was going to be bothered about that, but yeah, clearly he was bothered about that!

“But the weird thing is that when you start playing them again, the muscle memory is just etched into you. It's been great and I think I look at them in a different way when I'm playing them now. Back then it was all just so fast. I was plucked off the streets busking and suddenly I was in a band with someone from the Stone Roses. That was quite bamboozling really. And life was just going so quickly.

“I was just concentrating on getting from A to B rather than enjoying the moment. I was just trying to learn the songs and the funny thing is that songs that I thought were impossible to play on the guitar now just seem so easy. And they do seem different and there are certain songs where John's writing just resonates so much deeper now. Back then I was just worried about playing them right and getting the chords right without thinking so much about what they're about.”

Part of the specialness of the album is the fact that it was their one and only: “We got about halfway through recording the second album and I had zero passion for it. The band split up because I just hated the quality of the songs that we were doing and John didn't like that. He just didn't like the fact that I disagreed with him and I was quite happy that the band ended there.

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“But I do think that Do It Yourself was the album and I like the fact that there was only one. I haven't listened to the album for years from start to finish and now it is just funny that I sound like a ten-year-old on it. But really I was just thrown in the deep end. It was terrifying. I'd never played in front of so many people. I had busked in front of lots of people walking by but never all together listening to us and I'd never seen anything on that magnitude. I didn't realise how loud it was! I still don't like the sound of loud guitars now.

“It was crazy. We did a lot of festivals and we ended up touring with The Stones. We went to Denmark and Sweden and Spain with The Stones. We did three or four gigs with them and that was just a whole different world. They have been touring since they were 19 on that scale and it was crazy and you've got to ask yourself whether you would actually want to be that famous. They are a corporation at the end of the end of the day. I love the freedom to do whatever I want when I want. It can't be an easy decision for Mick Jagger just to go out and get a pint of milk. It must cost him a few thousand pounds just to walk out of the door, having to take his security detail with him. But it was a great experience being with The Stones even if it was about realising that that wasn't what I wanted!”