Tobin is returning to his roots in Pompey

prinzhorn dance school by dean chalkley
prinzhorn dance school by dean chalkley
Have your say

They may be signed to one of the coolest record labels in the world and have toured all around the globe, but it has taken until now, and the launch of their third album, for one-half of art-rock duo Prinzhorn Dance School to play in his home city.

Tobin Prinz, and his musical partner Suzi Horn will be playing at The Cellars in Eastney on Thursday.

New album Home Economics provides six more tracks of the stripped-down, post-punk aesthetics that first brought them to the attention of DFA Recordings’ label boss and LCD Soundsystem mainman James Murphy.

With every note and every line having to earn its place, the pair have typically had a rigorous recording ethic at their home-made Portsmouth-based studio, The Red Shed – but this time round they relaxed it a little.

‘The Red Shed is a really beautiful sound recording booth at the old church in Portsmouth’, explains Tobin. ‘That’s where we spent 250 days making the second record and didn’t really come out until it was done, and it was brutal.’

So this time around they tried a different tack, and while the result is still recognisably them, their sound has noticeably developed.

‘We’ve been a little bit more intuitive, and bit less critical about how it might be perceived. If we found a good room with a good sound, we put something down.’

While the pair live in Brighton, Prinz grew up in Petersfield, but would spend most of his free time in Portsmouth.

‘I just read a review in I think it was Q – 8/10, which was good – calling me “posh”, I’m not quite sure where they get that from. I quite enjoyed being posh for the day, they obviously haven’t met me,’ he laughs.

‘I spent all my time in Portsmouth, going to gigs every week, as many as I could get to, in funny old places like the Pied Piper, the old arts centre, crap stuff at the Guildhall and The Wedge did the occasional thing. The Cellars wasn’t around then, and it won’t be again soon, which is sad.’

But these days, his time in Portsmouth is at his studio: ‘I tend to get off the train, go straight into the studio, do eight-to-10 hours, and then scuttle off on the train back home.’

Since their self-titled debut was released in 2007, the duo have divided critics, but the response to the new one has caught them off-guard.

‘I’m absolutely overwhelmed and knackered by what’s been going on with this record,’ says Tobin. ‘This is my third album now, so I’m used to going through this process, but we’ve never had such a broad positive response, so it means tons of work – which is a good thing.

And while the praise is good, as Prinz says: ‘We’ve developed thick skins now, luckily we don’t make music for accolades, it’s a form of expression for us, it’s a kind of medicine for us.

‘If other people like it, and they do, that’s pleasing, but that’s not why we do it.’

But Prinz is looking forward to Prinzhorn making their belated Portsmouth debut.

‘This June tour is designed to be small shows, we didn’t want anything to be above 150 capacity.

Catch them at The Cellars on Thursday, June 25. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets £7 advance, £9 on the door.