I have never used Oriental Seagull and can make no comment on the comparison as such. But just for future reference, a technique that I learned from John Sexton at a recent workshop for comparing papers is to compare the max black. It is surprisingly effective. John took half sheets of various papers and grossly over-exposed them all (room lights on, REALLY over-exposed) then processed them all normally and placed them all under a normal light for evaluating. When placed side by side, it is really surprising how much difference there is from one paper to another in the depth and shade of black. So even when the texture and apparent exposure and development times seem to be the same, this is one test that will always show a difference if one exists.
Also, as mentioned above, the way the paper tones is another dead giveaway.
Sorry, I'm a little late to this thread, but I thought you might be interested in the following:
I just returned from Tokyo where I bought some Oriental Seagull. First I tried at Bic Camera and was told that the company was no longer producing the paper. Bic had a few packages of 20x24 on the shelf, but that's all.
Next I went to Yodobashi Camera and bought their last box of 11x14 VC FB (they didn't have any graded paper, had a fair amount of VC RC, though). The paper I bought had a new designation, "II", on it. The salesman there told me that the company was still in business but his stock was low.
So, I wouldn't be surprised if Ilford is now producing Seagull, especially if Tim Rudman (who is well-connected) says so.
I was never able to get New Seagull VC FB to lith print and had only moderate success with graded FB. I'll give the new New II a try and see how it goes.
You might try Fomabrom a try and see what you think. It's a little colder than Fomatone.