Mamma Mia, they are here!

Expect something old and new from this ABBA tribute band, Bjorn Again
By Megara Tegal, Pix by M.A. Pushpa Kumara

Classic ABBA songs but with a dollop of oomph would perhaps describe the Bjorn Again concert that is to be held today, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre. Hailing from Australia, the band Bjorn Again is a parody of the real ABBA band and is the only tribute band that is fully endorsed by the original ABBA.

Complete with faux-Swedish accent, costumes, copious amounts of blue eye-shadow and amusing mannerisms of the original ABBA members that’s typical of the 70’s, the band met the Sunday Times at the Colombo Hilton on Friday shortly after arrival to share their take on ABBA, and their aim to not just transport the audience three decades back but add a good dose of comedy as well.

Launched in 1988, Bjorn Again was a tremendous success at their very first performance and have continued to be so for the past 21 years. “There are a lot of ABBA tribute bands and they all take themselves too seriously. And that’s not going to work. If you’re going to copy something you need to have a different angle to it and that’s why this band is so successful,” says manager John Tyrrel, adding that there are several components that make Bjorn Again as successful as they are: “Number one you’ve got to have good quality- very good singers, good production- lights and sounds but in the show we do a lot of different funny things.”

Fans of the quirky band include Russell Crowe who booked the band for his wedding. They have also performed for Metallica, Bill Gates, members of Led Zeppelin and ‘Mr. Bean’ Rowan Atkinson, James Brown, Sting and U2, and at several big league music festivals. Sharing what the original ABBA has said about the band, Frida Longstokin says, “I hear they were very flattened by us” at which point Bjorn Volvo-us interjects correcting her, “I think you mean flattered, Frida. Bjorn Ulvaeus, who’s name is very similar to mine, said anyone who looks like me ought to have a good career”. And that’s just a snippet of what’s in store for you tonight.

The show is presented by Gold FM and Himalaya and tickets are available at Bayleaf and Park Street Mews. The box office will close at 5 p.m. Tickets are priced at Rs. 5500, 4000, 3000 and 1500.
The Sunday Times and Daily Mirror are the print media sponsors of the event.

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