Eurovision Finals 2013

We Go Backstage with Eurovision’s ABBA

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

Our Good friend here at Eurovision Ireland – Greg Kemp – went on a Pilgrimage (as it is the new one these days) to the newly opened Abba Museum in Stockholm. To say that Greg had a spiritual experience – like we all would have in the home of ABBA – does not do it justice. So through Greg’s “Angle Eyes” he takes us through the halls and memories of the ABBA Museum.

” You thrill me, you delight me, you please me, you excite me”- the words of Abba’s ” I’ve been waiting for you”, rang through my mind as I arrived outside the Abba Museum in Stockholm in June and what a wait it was! After first being muted in 2006, I began to think I would never get to see this tribute to one of Sweden’s biggest exports open in their home country and was it worth the wait?- YES IT WAS!

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

Before I even started the tour of the museum I was like a child in a sweet shop as I entered the obligatory souvenir shop, where Abba tunes were blaring along with all sorts of Abba merchandise from towels, candles, magnets, posters, T-Shirts, Iphone covers, coasters and albums and honey honey did I spend lots of Money, Money, Money!!!

And then it was time….having booked my tickets in advance and selected the time I wanted to visit (which meant no lengthy queues on a hot summers day), collected my audio guide and I was all set!. At the very start of the tour you enter into a small auditorium where for 2 minutes you are reminded of what a huge phenomenon ABBA were, are and will continue to be for a very long time to come. Showing clips of them in the very early days, winning the Eurovision, on tour, in the recording studio, meeting fans, clips from “ABBA The Movie”, I thought I had died and gone to heaven and am not ashamed to say I shed a tear- a tear of joy for what Abba’s music has given the world.

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

From there you are brought through the history of the 4 members as individuals before Abba, whilst listening to the audio guide where you can listen to Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Frida recount their memories of such an exciting and significant time in their lives, up to and including when they officially became a group and that iconic moment when they won the hearts of Europe by winning The Eurovision Song Contest on the 6th April 1974.

Throughout the tour there are replicas of their recording studio, their dressing rooms, the summer-house where Benny and Bjorn wrote many of their songs and their tour schedules. It really gives a great insight into how manic and crazy their lives must have been at the height of their fame.

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

The museum which finally opened its doors in May this year, is very interactive and if you are feeling brave enough( I hadn’t had my daily dose of Absolut at that stage) you can become the “fifth member” of Abba and sing one of their songs on stage with them, or you can enter a recording booth and select a song (I killed Waterloo!) and sing to your heart’s content watched by the fellow tourists!.

Around every nook and cranny there is all kinds of memorabilia to take in and it’s every Abba fans dream to be surrounded by such a catalogue of discs, costumes, correspondence from fans etc. I couldn’t get enough of it! The end of the tour deals with the group going their separate ways and tells the story of the musical Mamma Mia (of which I have seen 8 times!) and is a nice way to end the tour showing that the music of Abba continues to live on and reach new audiences all over the world.

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

ABBA The Museum. Photograph courtesy of Greg Kemp

From the Abba Museum you then enter the Swedish Music Hall of Fame and as a lover of all things Schlager, this was another interesting and interactive guide through the history of music in Sweden including the amazing Melodifestivalen.

So overall and ABBAsalutely amazing experience and a must do for all self-confessed Abba Fans. I did feel a pang of sadness as I was leaving as I will probably never get to see Abba perform as a group , however I will always continue to Dance….While the Music Still Goes on!

 

A big thanks to our friend Greg for taking us through the ABBA museum. For all self-respecting Eurovision fans, then this is one trip that you have to make. Relive those glory days – or if you are too young to have lived through the hits (darn you) – live them for the first time round! You won’t be disappointed.

 

Guest Blogger : Greg Kemp

Source : Eurovision Ireland

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