Chris Helme is a singer/songwriter and guitarist from Yorkshire who is perhaps best known as the former lead singer of John Squire's post-Stone Roses, alternative rock band The Seahorses. After releasing a full-length album and a handful of singles with The Seahorses from 1996 to 1999, Helme embarked on a small solo tour across England with a backing band comprised of members of The Lo Beams. He eventually let go of the band format and began playing solo acoustic sets around York until he had a fresh body of work. He assembled The Yards out of the ashes of his solo backing band and released his group's self-titled debut album in 2005. The band went on to release its subsequent albums on its own label, titled Erotica, in 2009, after which Helme reestablished himself as a solo artist and finally dropped his debut solo album, Ashes.