Ahead of his performance in the Cellar Bar this Autumn, we caught up Chris Helme to talk all things music. Rising to fame as the frontman of John Squires’ post-Stone Roses band, The Seahorses throughout the 90s, Chris now produces acclaimed folk-infused tracks as a solo artist. Don’t miss the uniquely intimate gig on Fri 27 September – book tickets.
What can we expect from a Chris Helme gig?
You can expect me to turn up… It’s just little ole me and my guitar, singing songs from my old band The Seahorses and songs that came before and after that. I like to chat. I tell stories. I pretend the audience are in my living room. It relaxes me.
Why do you love performing music?
Its the only time I ever really lose myself, I’m shamelessly addicted to applause and lets face it… it beats working for a living.
Who are your biggest heroes or influences?
There’s so many influences, but no heroes. Everyone’s just flesh and bone when it comes down to it. I’ve met a few legends and I was struck by how normal they were. I do a bit of DJaying every now and then and I find myself playing a lot of 50’s 60’s & 70’s stuff. Muddy Waters, Ray Charles, Charlie Feathers, Dr John, Neil Young, Pentangle, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and then contemporary artists like Alabama Shakes, The Smoking Trees, Sonny and the Sunsets, Beck. I could go on for every naming stuff I like. It all kind of coloured the stuff I write, not that anyone would really notice.
What is your favourite song to perform?
Depends how I’m feeling on the night I suppose. I do a cover of Be Your Husband which is an adaptation of a Nina Simone song I heard Jeff Buckley sing once. I let rip on that one.
If you could pick one act, living or dead, to join you on stage for a song, who would it be (and what would you perform together)?
It’d be Such A Night by Dr John with The Band. I’d play triangle or something in the background…
Chris Helme performs in our Cellar Bar on Fri 27 September at 8pm book tickets