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The Seahorses

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When John Squire (b. 24 November 1962, Broadheath, Greater Manchester, England; guitar) announced his departure from the Stone Roses in March 1996, inevitable press speculation followed regarding what he would do next. The usually taciturn Squire stated: ‘I’ve always been into the idea of a group... I don’t want to be a solo artist, I want to contribute to a band.’ Still contracted to Geffen Records, Squire chose three unknown musicians to join him in what constituted a fresh start after the friction of his final months in the Stone Roses. Chris Helme (b. 22 July 1971, York, England; vocals/acoustic guitar) was approached while he was busking outside his local Woolworths, while Stuart Fletcher (b. 16 January 1976, York, England; bass) was standing in on bass for local band the Blueflies, when Squire happened to be drinking in the pub where they were playing that night. Squire, Helme and Fletcher rehearsed for several months before recruiting Andy Watts (b. 1970, London, England; drums/vocals) to complete the line-up. After playing a low-key debut performance in Scotland, the band decamped to Los Angeles to record their debut album with Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex). Featuring songs by both Squire and Helme, Do It Yourself was released in May 1997 on the back of an excellent Top 10 single, ‘Love Is The Law’. The album eschewed the sub- Led Zeppelin riffing that weighed down the Stone Roses’ The Second Coming, opting for a more melodic and playful style of Britpop. Helme’s folk-influenced vocals were a welcome contrast to Squire’s distinctive guitar work, while his string-laden ballad ‘Blinded By The Sun’ stood out as one of the album’s highlights. Diverse enough to appeal to both old Stone Roses fans and new listeners, Do It Yourself justified Squire’s faith in his new band by entering the UK album charts at number 2. Watts left the band in September 1997 and was replaced by Toby Drummond (b. 1976, Hastings, Sussex, England). Expectations for a second album were quashed when the band announced they were splitting-up in early 1999. Squire released his debut solo album, Time Changes Everything, three years later. Helme went on to record with the Yards.