A Camp – The Academy, Dublin (29/4/09)

Her hairband looks weirdly Photoshopped. I didn't do it.

After an impromptu decision to go see Swedish pop-people A Camp at the Academy last night, I had this to say:

Then the house lights dimmed, some ornate lamps around the the stage lit up, casting a soft orange glow across the drum riser, and A Camp took the stage to a warm reception. Two things were almost immediately noticeable. Firstly, while on record, A Camp are a great pop band, playing live they morph into a fantastic rock band, all fuzzed-out bass-lines and thunderous, pounding drums, without losing a trace of their melodic flair. Secondly, they’re an amazingly energetic, theatrical band – with guitarist Niclas Frisk constantly dancing and smiling wildly, while Nathan Larson repeatedly held his bass aloft, his fingers gliding along the frets as he aimed the neck at the drummer, locking into an impeccably tight rhythm.

But while the band were undoubtedly on-point and entertaining, Persson was always going to receive the most attention, and rightly so. As they opened with “The Crowning”, from recent release Colonia, she took the increased volume and energy of the live band, and used it to turn the song into a brilliantly dynamic, thrilling ride. And that was the general theme for the night: every song had something special added to it in a live setting – “The Weed Had Got There First” became incredibly atmospheric as Persson demanded the lights be dimmed almost completely for the duration; “Chinatown” was preceded by a brilliantly delirious space-rock jam from Frisk. They even turned Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow” into a bouncy pop party-piece, and even more surprisingly, made that work somehow.

It’s available for reading by your very eyes on ZME Music: now.

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