The Seahorses; Mansun

British pop band the Seahorses, the much-hyped new group featuring former Stone Roses guitarist and primary songwriter John Squire, suffer the same in-concert pitfalls as Squire's ill-fated previous band --- an utter lack of personality and edge, and the inability to connect with their audience, especially here in the States. Unlike in England, where live appearances by Squire's new band are greeted with hysteria, the majority of this cool and unimpressed crowd stood arms-crossed, waiting for something to grab hold. But not much ever arrived.

With:
Bands: (Seahorses) Chris Helme, John Squire, Stuart Fletcher, Andy Watts; (Mansun) Paul Draper, Dominic Chad, Stove King, Andie Rathbone. Reviewed Aug. 27, 1997.

The quartet’s performance, mostly comprising songs from their inconsistent Geffen debut “Do It Yourself,” was solemn and perfunctory, devoid of any sort of stage life, sadly reminiscent of the Brit shoegazer movement of the early ’90s from which the Stone Roses emerged.

Singer Chris Helme takes quite the slacker approach to his frontman role. Seated and playing acoustic guitar during a couple of sleepy ballads, neither his voice nor his (lack of) personality held much sway with the college-age ticketholders, many of whom fled the hourlong show before its end.

Openers Mansun took a simpler and more effective approach: They cranked up their amps and played propulsive and dramatic mood-pop at deafening levels. Showing a zealous edge the Seahorses could learn from, the four-piece Chester, England-based band, promoting their Epic debut “Attack of the Grey Lantern,” took standard Brit-pop arrangements and churned them into inspiring jams that smartly echoed the Who and Cheap Trick.

The Seahorses; Mansun

Palace; 1,250 capacity; $12.50

Production: Presented by Goldenvoice.

Cast: Bands: (Seahorses) Chris Helme, John Squire, Stuart Fletcher, Andy Watts; (Mansun) Paul Draper, Dominic Chad, Stove King, Andie Rathbone. Reviewed Aug. 27, 1997.

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