Thank You For The Music: A Celebration of the Music of ABBA (updated)

BBC Radio 2 is presenting Thank You For The Music: A Celebration of the Music of ABBA in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday 13 September 2009.

The concert promises “an array of stars” performing the songs of ABBA plus songs from Benny and Björn’s “recent offerings in musical theatre and folk”.

Performers announced so far include Elaine Paige, Lulu, Jason Donovan, Russell Watson, Helen Sjöholm with the Benny Andersson Band, “original ABBA musicians”, and the cast of Mamma Mia! (presumably the current London cast). John Barrowman is another name that has been mentioned, and apparently Annie Lennox has been approached.

Benny has said that he and Björn will be performing (“if you can call what Björn does performing” as Benny quipped on the Jonathan Ross Show on July 3rd when announcing this concert). What’s not clear is what that means – one song, the whole concert or something in between. I suspect it’s more likely just a song or two.

Rumour and speculation are rife that Frida and Agnetha should appear. Which doesn’t seem likely.

The concert is associated with the annual BBC Proms series, which conjures up scary images of rampant flag waving and “Rule Britannia”! Will this concert be like that? I guess we will learn more as the date grows closer.

UPDATE 6 August: apparently Russell Watson and Helen Sjöholm won’t be taking part in this concert as they will be rehearsing for Kristina – A Concert Eventat Carnegie Hall in New York on September 23rd and 24th. Sharleen Spiteri and The Feeling have been added to the list of performers.

Thanks to icethesite for additional information.

Benny Andersson Band mini site

Benny Andersson Band · Story Of A Heart · An ABBA World mini siteTo celebrate the first international release by the Benny Andersson Band, Story Of A Heart, ABBA World is proud to present a new mini site dedicated to the band and the new album, along with the earlier catalogue by Benny Anderssons Orkester (BAO) and Benny Andersson solo.

Visit the mini site at

Benny Andersson Band in London

BennyLast Saturday I was lucky enough to be in London to attend the first London performance of the Benny Andersson Band (aka Benny Anderssons Orkester, aka BAO).

BAB was performing in Hampstead Heath as part of Sweden on Stage, a concert to commemorate Sweden taking over the Presidency of the European Union.

The afternoon featured several Swedish acts (and a couple of non-Swedish acts) leading up to the headline act in the evening.

Seeing Benny Andersson Band on stage is a rare treat. There is nothing fancy, just some “middle aged men”, as Benny described them, who enjoy playing music and playing together. And Benny obviously enjoys it – a beaming smile hardly ever left his face.

BAB’s repertiore is wide and varied, from the Swedish folk styles and big band music that the band is famous for, to evergreens, rock and roll, classical music, and even a few ABBA songs – on this evening they performed ‘Hasta Mañana’, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, and the concert-closer ‘Why Did It Have To Be Me’.

Benny Andersson Band also has a new CD out now, Story Of A Heart, featuring several instrumentals from their previous Swedish-release CDs plus English-language versions of Swedish vocal tracks and the all-new title track.

For more eyewitness accounts see Benny Andersson Band in London – I was there… | icethesite

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