Review of ABBA MANIA
After a lengthy run in London’s
West End, Handshake Ltd decided it was time for this out and out tribute
to hit the road and tour Europe. The acclaim has been spontaneous and
loud and, on this evidence, justified.
Espousing everything that tribute bands
claim not to be – that is to say “we’re not here to
be them but to keep the music alive”, Broom (Agnetha), Thomas
(Bjorn), Kedward (Benny) and Robb (Anni-Frid) came on stage dressed
as the stars themselves, right down to the skin tight aqua coloured
spray on leggings, black pantaloons and silver platform soled boots
… and outrageous hairstyles.
The audience went nuts and, even halfway
through the opening number of Waterloo, it was clear that these
were to be no pale imitations.
Note perfect both musically and vocally,
the band were ably supported by a fine band with Gregory Evans (Bass),
Ryan Aston (Drums) and Luke Bradshaw (Guitar) all fitting into their
roles with outstanding and well honed ease.
All the hits were here as one might
expect. Knowing Me, Knowing You, I Do, I Do, I Do,
Fernando, Money, Money, Money – during which
the band sprayed the audience with chocolate commemorative coins - and
Take A Chance On Me all taking second place during a delightful
first half to Carley Bloom’s version of I’ve Been Waiting
For You which was sung as faultlessly as the real Agnetha would
have performed it in her hey-day.
So the second half rolled around and,
as is usual with look alike / sound alike acts, the band were reliant
on the audience to lend a hand. This being Liverpool, they weren’t
disappointed and rarely has it been that such gusto has been displayed
in honour of a tribute band. Throughout Part Two, everybody was on their
feet, dancing and clapping away to Lay All Your Love On Me,
The Name Of The Game, The Winner Takes It All, Super
Trouper and a really fun, rousing version of Does Your Mother
Know. Highlights of this section, however, were reserved for the
final three numbers; Gimme, Gimme, Gimme which may now be better
remembered as the tag for Madonna’s smash it single Hung Up
from 2005, Dancing Queen and Thank You For The Music
which yet again was sung faultlessly by Broom.
This show is a total nostalgia and should
be embraced as such. That it holds so much talent and warmth is one
of the reasons it works so well, but the other is the whole-heartedness
of its performers from back to front of stage.
This is a superb evening’s entertainment
and one that should not be missed, whether you are an ardent Abba fan,
you would like to add your comments to this review of 'Abba Mania'
from the Liverpool Empire Theatre in August 2006?
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Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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