Doncaster band Playground Chairs' new hope of success 30 years after deal with Stone Roses record company fell through

Thirty years ago, five Doncaster lads in an alternative rock band looked set for the big time.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 6:00 am

Already packing out venues in their home town, they were signed up by the same record company as The Stone Roses and were supporting big name groups.

But on the verge of success, they split up before the record was ever recorded.

Now, three decades later, they finally look set to make the album they had always planned after getting back together again, with plans for gigs and festivals.

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Vince Horseman, Noel Daly, Spencer Cope and Simon Horseman, of The Playground Chairs, pictured. Picture: NDFP-18-05-21-PlaygroundChairs 2-NMSY

The Playground Chairs were set up in the late 1980s in Hexthorpe. They used to practice at brothers Simon and Vince Horseman’s home on Stone Close Avenue, and played their first show at the Rising Sun in Hexthorpe in the summer of 1988, with Simon and Vince joined by pals Noel Daly, Dave Brown and Spencer Cope.

As they became well known in Doncaster they started playing to crowds of around 2,000 at The Ritzy on Silver Street.

Soon they were playing support slots to big name bands around the country, including Happy Mondays. They supported a band called The Rain – before that group changed their name to Oasis and became famous.

Simon, who was the singer, said: “We actually got signed to Silvertone, which were the band that the Stone Roses were on at the time.

Vince Horseman, Noel Daly, Spencer Cope and Simon Horseman, of The Playground Chairs, pictured. Picture: NDFP-18-05-21-PlaygroundChairs 3-NMSY

“We had gone to play in Hull, had a meal, and got signed. At that point, we thought we were going to be big.

"We had signed – but the record never came out. There was a lot going on with the record company at that time, and they had a court case over The Stone Roses wanting to leave to sign for a bigger label.

"With all the delays, we got frustrated, and we ended up packing it in."

They had even done a video to one of their songs. But it was never released.

A demo CD that Playground Chairs created

But during lockdown, four of the friends, Vince, Noel, Spencer and Simon, who have since gone on to forge their own careers in other jobs, met up again over the internet, through video conferencing apps.

And they met up in person again in Doncaster last June. Now they are practicing together again and have recorded again. And 30 years on, they have good contacts in the music industry through friends forged in the 1990s. Simon is still friends with names including Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder and former New Order bass player Peter Hook.

They are in the process of arranging gigs, and could be going on tour with Happy Mondays and Cast next year if all goes to plan.

Simon says they are also now fairly sure they will finally get to bring their album out – 30 years late.

One of the Playground Chairs former T shirts

"What we’re gutted about after 30 years is that we never got to make that album,” said Simon. “That’s the biggest thing for us.”

"We think the music is still good and timeless. Creation Records are interested.

"We can take time out from work to go on tour.

“We’d love to play in Doncaster again after all these years.

"And hopefully, 30 years late, that album comes out.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.

A demo CD that Playground Chairs created