Apr 9 2009 By Matthew Leslie
STEPPING back in time is certainly not a step back for A Camp frontwoman Nina Persson ahead of the band's gig at the ABC2 on Sauchiehall Street next month.
Persson – more known for being the lead singer of The Cardigans – arrives with her new band, A Camp, on May 2 on the back of their latest album 'Colonia' which draws from various periods of history such as the last days of the Swedish empire, the Belgian Congo and German colonialism.
A Camp originally began back in 2001 as Persson's side project from the Cardigans during the Swedish rockers' first period of hiatus.
Featuring Persson's husband, Nathan Larsson and former Atomic Swing guitarist Nicolas Frisk, their self-titled debut was released to critical acclaim.
Nina resumed Cardigans duty soon after with hit albums 'Long Gone Before Daylight' (2003) and 'Super Extra gravity' (2005) but with the band entering another hiatus, she has embarked on A Camp's long-awaited follow-up which she states is inspired by the world today and its inability to learn from history.
She said: "The dark side of the human condition is something that I find fascinating – particularly when nothing is learned from past mistakes which end up being repeated.
"The album title itself reflects on colonialism past and present – the Belgian and German legacies in Africa to America under Bush reflect how certain aspects have not changed because nobody learns that bad things that happened years ago need not happen now."
Persson certainly takes the years of George W. Bush to heart as her and her American husband Larsson actively campaigned for President Obama's election.
She added: "Although Nathan and I live in New York, we canvassed in East Cleveland for Obama.
"Being Swedish and campaigning in a US election was not a hinderence – in fact my line of 'I can't vote to make a difference but you can' did seem to hit a nerve."
The former President is clearly referred to in 'Colonia's' opening track 'The Crowning' – particularly the line: 'We're all witnessing the crowning of your useless, ruthless head'.
However, Persson says the song itself has another meaning.
She continues: "It is a look back to his inauguration and a forewarning of what lies ahead which the 'raise our glasses to murderous asses' line signifies.
"However, the reference to the year 1699 in the song, was the calm before the storm as Sweden was plunged into the Great Northern War with Russia a year later so the celebratory theme is Sweden's one last party before losing its empire to another – which it did."
In going with the historical theme, Persson says that A Camp's stage set for the Glasgow gig may reflect the album's story, however, there is one period of the past that will not be explored.
She said: "The set list will be exclusively A Camp – no Cardigans numbers.
"They are both different bands and I feel that Cardigans songs should be performed by the band themselves.
"As for when that will next happen, I do not know. We are on a seemingly never-ending hiatus at the moment but we have not split up.
"With the Glasgow show, we are changing are stage settings according to the venue we play so I'm not quite sure what to tell the fans to expect.
"However, while we will be in 'Colonia' uniform, I don't think you will see various historical costume changes."
A CAMP play the ABC2 on Saturday May 2. Tickets are £12 plus booking fee and are available from: www.gigsinscotland.com