Music

ABBA make ’emotional’ return to UK for first time in 40 years for epic show

ABBA made an “emotional” return to the UK for the first time in four decades at the world premiere of their Voyage show.

Voyage features the quartet as digitally created younger versions of themselves, referred to as “ABBA-tars”.

Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Björn Ulvaeus spent 40 minutes talking to the world’s press and at one point Agnetha and Anni-Frid even burst into a rendition of Mamma Mia.

Agnetha, wearing an all-white outfit, said in quotes reported by The Mirror: “It’s been emotional being together again and seeing all the fans who came to see us.

“It was such a long time ago that I was here, I don’t travel very much.”

Music legend Anni-Frid, who arrived with a walking stick, added: “It was so exciting to come back together as a group after so many years.”

The group have not appeared together on British soil since November 1982, when they appeared on Noel Edmonds’ Late Late Breakfast Show.

They have only made very sporadic appearances in public since, including a video filmed for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest marking the 40th anniversary of their 1974 win and at the 2005 premiere of Mamma Mia! in Stockholm.

Since the band reformed to create new album Voyage, there has been increasing speculation the group would put in a public appearance.

Bjorn said: “London means so very much to us. We had the good fortune to win the Eurovision Song Contest in England of all places. I mean there could not have been a better place to win and it rubbed off on the entire world.”

Stars including Elaine Page, Matt Lucas, Penny Lancaster, Natalie Imbruglia and Kylie Minogue were all in attendance for the premiere.

The new album topped the charts in 17 countries, including Britain, and the Voyage “ABBA-tar” shows were announced at the same time.

A “revolutionary” live concert experience, Voyage uses motion-capture technology, staged in a purpose-built arena in London.

Agnetha said: “It was a very unusual experience. For a whole month we got into our spacesuits and helmets and performed our songs.

“A fantastic team sat behind hundreds of monitors, following it all from tip to toe to capture our movements and facial expressions.

“It got a little hot under the lights and the spots but there was nothing for it but to carry on, Sometimes all four of us wondered what we had gotten into but we had many wonderful laughs looking at each other. “

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