Not born under a bad sign – Born Under Saturn

Django Django
Django Django
The Southsea Alternative Choir  Picture: Paul Windsor

REVIEW: The Southsea Alternative Choir The Southsea Cafe

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Their first album was recorded in their bedrooms and ended up seeing Django Django performing to 60,000 people on Princes Street at Edinburgh Hogmanay in 2013.

So no pressure for the follow-up then.

But fortunately for their fans, Born Under Saturn, which was released on Monday, delivers more of the same heady brew that made up their debut. With a magpie approach to genres and sounds, the quartet have expanded on the Mercury Prize-nominated self-titled debut without losing sight of their unique formula.

The four piece met in Edinburgh in 2009, but relocated to London, where they are now based.

Singer and guitarist Vinnie Neff explains how the new album was put together: ‘I suppose we knew the first one had had quite a good reception, and we had built up a good fanbase, we were quite anxious to make sure it was up to standard. We didn’t want to come back with an album that let people down.

‘We’ve still got the same expectations ourselves for the songs, if we’re not really satisfied - we know pretty quickly if a song’s not up to scratch.

We were quite anxious to make sure it was up to standard. We didn’t want to come back with an album that let people down.

Vinnie Neff of Django Django

‘We had a bunch of things – not fully formed songs – they were snippets, a riff here, or a chorus there, and then we had some remixes, little things we had done that generated a lot of ideas.

‘We had all these bits and we had the occasional couple of tracks that were more fully formed. It was a different process from the first one, with my songwriting and Dave doing the production.’

On the debut Neff did most of the songwriting while drummer Dave Maclean handled the production. This time synth player Tommy Grace and bass player Jimmy Dixon also contributed.

‘It was nicer in a way, it took the pressure off’, explains Vinnie. ‘We shared the responsibility, with four writers you get more diversity and a new direction that we might not have had before.’

This time round, they were more conscious about the songs would play out live as well.

‘A lot of the tracks from our bedroom we’d never played live’, says Vinnie, ‘and it took a long time to get them standing up by themselves as they weren’t recorded with a live set up in mind. This time, although there wasn’t a grand overarching plan, we took it song-by-song, we were thinking about how we could translate it live.’

The band play at The Wedgewood Rooms on Wednesday, doors 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15. Go to wedgewood-rooms.co.uk. The gig has been moved from the Pyramids Centre, original tickets remain valid.