Band: The Seahorses
Album: Do It Yourself
Year: 1997
Label: Geffen Records
Status: Disbanded 1999
John Squire had played guitar in The Stone Roses (we saw how that ended earlier, on page 87). He isn’t just a musician though, he’s also an artist, and it was his work that adorned the covers of most Stone Roses singles and both their albums (the dolphin cover for Fools Gold and the lemons cover for their first album being the most famous). It’s no surprise that a talented creator wouldn’t give up. He formed The Seahorses. Do It Yourself was their debut album, and was a platinum hit, launching them into space just like in Blinded By The Sun’s video.

This song has a slow pace but power behind it, rotating around Chris Helme’s focussed delivery of the northern lyrics (the echoes of “Don’t get clever with me, lad!” will be familiar to every Mancunian boy). As we’d expect with Squire there’s justifiably attention-seeking guitar work throughout. Stabbing orchestral strings occasionally punctuate the tune, adding to the high production value feel. Even in zero gravity there’s something weighty enough to sustain itself here.
Our sun is the source of life. But if you’re not careful you can be burned or blinded. In its presence you can’t see clearly, like when you’re caught up in emotional times and can’t find balance. This song is about the end of a relationship. Some have claimed that Squire was just retaliating against Ian Brown for the many accusations in Unfinished Monkey Business, but that’s as preposterous as the rumours that The Seahorses is an anagram of The Rose Ashes or He Hates Roses. Squire isn’t credited with writing this song (Chris Helme gets the honour). So let’s move on from daft theories. Recriminations only hold you back, rather than setting you free. The only truth is that the closer two people are, the more bitter the split can be.

At the end of Blinded By The Sun’s video the space capsule breaks up, spewing the band members into space, drifting away from each other. It turned out that this was The Seahorses’ only album before the band split.

Extract from page 331 of 2000 Tunes: A History of Manchester Music by M. H. Rees; used with permission. Read the whole series (25 extracts) here; or my summary post. Readers might be interested in my forthcoming novel about a man obsessed with Manchester music - confusingly, it is also called 2000 Tunes!