Abba Forever pay tribute to Swedish popsters at The Woodville, Gravesend
PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 October 2019
OK, hands up who was there in 1974 when a talented Swedish group changed pop music forever when they appeared on a modest Eurovision stage in Brighton?
Who knew they would be as relevant today as they were then amid an admiring public stunned by this new style?
They were of course Abba, and the music industry was stunned when they finally split up. Was this the end? Nope, and now tribute groups like Abba Forever have filled the void.
There are many tributes around, but Forever have honed their skills and are now renowned to be one of the best.
Witness their stunning set when they arrive at The Woodville, Gravesend, on Friday, November 8.
Jane Ellis found her niche as Agnetha, the blonde one.
She said: "I was already in the performing industry and having been brought up on Abba with my parents, both my sister and I loved the music so it was such an obvious choice for me. I had also been in a girl band previously, when someone made a throwaway comment that I had a look of Agnetha with this '70s-style hat I was wearing.
"But at the time I suppose I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until later, when I was in between jobs as they say, that I decided to do the Abba tribute.
"I unfortunately have not seen them live, although we have many people come along to our shows that have. We have studied DVDs and YouTube videos of their concerts and we try to emulate those, obviously on a smaller scale.
"They had full orchestras and many more musicians and artistes on stage with a much bigger budget I'm afraid. However we do have many similar effects as they did and we try to portray the same feel with as much authenticity as possible as an original Abba concert.
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"A favourite song is very difficult as I have so many, but one of them would have to be Lay all your Love on Me.
"Presently we perform a song called I've Been Waiting For You which is a lesser known album track.
"This was performed in one of their earlier concerts and featured in Abba The Movie, it is such a beautiful song, so I would have to say that one also.
"Some of the band members have been with us for years and others I have known since childhood and have previously worked with them during our early careers in the performing industry. The rest is by an audition process but come from the same region.
"However, we all share the same passion and focus for the music and making the show the best that it can be."
Tough parts of the shows are all the costume changes, including some spectacular boots, and keeping up energy levels.
She said: "Both leading ladies of Abba are hard acts to follow and were very dynamic and charismatic on stage, so we do try to make our show very visual and high energy.
"We play all the big Abba hits and more, even putting some surprise album tracks in there for the most ardent Abba fan.
"The music is played live and the musicians try hard to keep the music as authentic as possible and as near to the true Abba sound without the need to add their own personal stamp.
"We think Abba's music is second to none and we certainly don't feel we could improve it by changing it in any way, but try our best to replicate the original as much as we can.
"Whether the audience want to join in the fun or just sit and listen to the show we hope they will be entertained and taken along an Abba experience."
Band highlights include several tours of Sweden and playing in South Africa at the Innobos Festival in front of 55,000 people.