Updated: Dec 3, 2018
We recently visited the South Bank's Royal Festival Hall to take a trip back to the 70's with the Super Trouper Exhibition. A friendly guide (not Swedish!) led us on a guided tour where we entered a pitch black room with one of the original 'Super Troupers' - the large spotlight that lit up the artist so spectacularly. A medley of Abba intros where we had to guess the song got everybody relaxed and willing to be led to the next part. The narration part was done by Jarvis Cocker with our guide leading us into a room decked out in the decor of the time.
Through their early years set in a jungle setting (plain weird) with early album and single releases from the band members own groups (Hep Stars & Hootenanny Singers) but it was Agnetha Fältskog who had the greatest success prior to the band getting together by having a Swedish No.1 with a song she wrote herself. Not bad for an 18 year old!
We shared the dressing room they used before going out on stage in Brighton to give their unforgettable rendition of the Swedish 1974 entry of Waterloo. And we all know what happened after that! An interesting tale was after the band won, they went out 'on the town' with a few other competitors and loving fans and lost a lot of their stage wear by the end of the night. The cap was returned at least! Through various rooms including a mock up lavatory (I kid you not!) and one of the most popular rooms 'the recording studio' where you can shine in a karaoke sing around using the very microphone they sang into. Various original studio equipment sets the tone (literally) to the genuine feel that you are in the real thing,
The last room you enter is known as the 'break up room' where empty boxes signify the band's break up and sadness. Where can you go after that I hear you ask?
Well our journey isn't complete until we board a mock up plane where you are invited to take a seat and reflect through how Abba changed pop music forever. Through the many famous names who have covered their songs to the braver few who have admitted their love of Abba's music. With the successful stage and film musical collaborations of Benny and Bjorn continuing, and a new young audience appreciating the 'Abba Sound' , the Swedish group did not surrender at their Waterloo!