Archive for January, 2010

ABBAWORLD opens today!

26 January, 2010

abbaworldex_200ABBAWORLD, the touring ABBA exhibition, officially opens tonight at Earls Court in London.

ABBAWORLD has been a long time coming. Originally ABBA the Museum, it was to open in Stockholm in June 2009. Unfortunately those plans folded, but from the ashes came ABBAWORLD, the exhibition that will tour the world for the next few years until a permanent home is built in Stockholm.

I should have been there. I travelled to Stockholm last year at the time ABBA the Museum was to have opened – by the time the opening was cancelled the trip was already booked, and who can resist a trip to Stockholm in summer? (pity the weather didn’t agree, but that was another issue).

Instead I’m back home in Sydney, reading reports and seeing photos from fans who attended a special preview for ABBA Fan Club members a few days ago. Still, I’m enjoying many wonderful Sydney Festival events, so I can’t really complain.

Tonight is the official opening gala. ABBA members Björn and Frida will be there. I hear festivities start from 7.30 pm. Tomorrow the exhibition opens to the public, open daily until 28 March 2010. Word has filtered through from London that ABBAWORLD will open in Melbourne, Australia in May 2010.

My first ABBA record

24 January, 2010

ABBA LP 19751975’s ABBA LP was my very first ABBA record. I received it for Christmas 1975, having fallen in love with the song ‘Mamma Mia’ (a story I wrote about here in Still my favourite song).

There are times, particularly on a sunny summer morning, when listening to the album brings that feeling of my 12-year-old self hearing the album for the first time.

I still love this album. To me this is everything that ABBA is. Ring Ring and Waterloo showed signs of a group under development. With this, the group’s third album, they finally found their signature sound. ‘Mamma Mia’ is, of course, my favourite of all ABBA songs. But there are so many classic moments – pure ABBA brilliance in ‘SOS’, ‘Bang-A-Boomerang’, Mamma Mia’ and ‘I’ve Been Waiting For You’, a little light social commentary in ‘Hey, Hey Helen’ and ‘Man In The Middle’, a touch of reggae and whimsy (and Benny’s accordion) in ‘Tropical Loveland’, a bit of nostalgia in ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, contemporary glam rock in ‘Rock Me’ and ‘So Long’, and Benny gets a showcase of his classical influences in the instrumental ‘Intermezzo no 1′.

That was the summer of the ABBA album in Australia. I remember riding my bicycle around the neighbourhood and hearing ABBA songs blaring from stereos in house after house. A sure sign of the universal love that Australia had for ABBA in those years in the mid-70s.

Australian ABBA fan on TV competition

18 January, 2010

Australian ABBA fan Richard Simcock is a contestant on the cooking show Come Dine With Me Australia this week. If you haven’t seen the show five complete strangers host a dinner party over five night, with the guests grading the host on the food and entertainment, the winner announced on the night of the fifth party and receiving $2,000. There have been several series in the UK, this is the first local Australian series.

Richard was a singer with the 90s pop band Indecent Obsession, and also a member of The Webb, who recorded a version of ABBA’s lamented unreleased track ‘Just Like That’.

Come Dine With Me Australia screens weeknights at 8.30 pm on the Lifestyle Channel (Monday 18-Friday 22 January) , with repeats several times during the next couple of weeks.

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