London W1 Social

Everyone makes mistakes. It's just that [B]Chris Helme[/B], former singer with [B]The Seahorses[/B], made his loudly, publicly and for the amusement of everyone else...

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s just that Chris Helme, former singer with The Seahorses, made his loudly, publicly and for the amusement of everyone else. Discovered as a busker by [a]John Squire[/a], you almost pitied him for those awful lyrics, those gigs where he stood awkwardly to the side as Squire began yet another squealing, three-month guitar solo. And then, of course, the final unspectacular end.

It’s hardly surprising no-one’s lost sleep wondering when Chris would return to our lives and with expectations so low, his low-key reappearance tonight couldn’t possibly disappoint. But as the dubiously bearded man himself settles shyly into his acoustic set, it’s still amazing to discover yourself actually [I]enjoying [/I]the whole thing.

Older and wiser, Chris has no pretensions to greatness any more. He obviously lost them along with the over-ambitious sidekick. Now, it’s just him, a guitar, three mates and the chance to really show us what his voice can do. Treading a gentle lilting line between Shack and Simon & Garfunkel, tracks like ‘She’s Been’ and ‘On The Inside’ wallow in gorgeous melancholy and firmly dispense with any lingering memories of cheesy choruses. Of course. whether Chris Helme can survive beyond such an acoustic set-up will be another matter. But at least now he can start again on his own terms.

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