Preview; ABBA FOREVER Liverpool Empire.
Byline: Catherine Jones
INTRO.VOULEZ-vous Abba? The you're not alone.
Sweden's Fabba foursome may no longer perform together, but the fans out there can still say thank you for the music through a number of look and sound-a-like tribute acts.
They include the Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid of Abba Forever which arrives at the Liverpool Empire for one night only on June 15.
The group's Agnetha, Jane Ellis-Forshaw, says if anything Abba's music is becoming more popular as the years go by, fuelled by the success of the Abba stage and film musical Mamma Mia! "Since the film we've seen a lot more children coming to the show," says self-confessed Abba fan Jane, who originally hails from Wigan. "It's brought Abba's music more to the forefront again. It's never died as such but now this has brought it more to the youth of today and it's great to see people of different ages in the audience." Abba Forever was formed almost a decade ago, and has performed across the UK and abroad including six tours to Sweden, most recently last autumn when the band spent a month performing there.
"It was very nerve-wracking to say the least," admits Jane. "It's their supergroup and the audiences analyse everything, but we were well received.
"We've never had a member of Abba in the audience but we played Agnetha's hometown and there was a rumour her sister was there." The team of singers and musicians try to emulate the Abba live in concert experience, rather than the band's studio sound, complete, of course, with platform heels (on which there have been a few near misses but no serious injuries) and outrageous outfits.
But it's the unique Abba sound that people come to hear.
"They are very complicated songs which makes it quite challenging, they have a lot of harmonies going on, but we all sing and play live and it's a very high energy show," says Jane.
"The Winner Takes It All can be particularly challenging for me vocally, and Agnetha had a distinctive way of singing it.
"I like performing all the different songs but my favourite to listen to is Lay All Your Love On Me. I just love the music and always have done.
" We're looking forward to bringing the show to the Empire." . Abba Forever appear at the Empire on Monday, June 15. Call 0844 847 2525..