ABBA-tars to tour in ’77 re­vival

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - CAMERON ADAMS

IMAG­INE do­ing a world come­back tour as holo­grams.

In a mu­sic-world first, ABBA, the Swedish pun­dits of ’70s pop perfection, are hop­ing to do just that — as “ABBA­tars”.

Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anni-Frid are cur­rently be­ing dig­i­tally recre­ated as holo­grams for a 2019 vir­tual re­al­ity world tour that will likely see them back in Aus­tralian are­nas — at least in spirit, if not in body.

The band, which last toured Aus­tralia in 1977, have al­ready spent a year hav­ing their mea­sure­ments taken to make the avatars as life­like as pos­si­ble when they are pro­jected in front of a live band. But they will be mod­elled on how they looked in 1979, pre­sum­ably right down to the hot­pants, white jump­suits, satin jack­ets and sil­ver knee-high boots.

While “cut­ting edge” may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think ABBA, the band’s Benny An­der­s­son said: “We got hooked on it be­cause it’s at the fore­front of tech­nol­ogy.

“To cre­ate the four of us dig­i­tally it takes so much skill and so much time to do ev­ery hair­line, ev­ery blink, ev­ery iris,.

“If it’s good enough when we fin­ish, it’s prob­a­bly ready to launch in the spring of 2019. It’ll be like you’re in 1977, with a live band.

“But we’ll be there in the form of holo­grams and dig­i­tal avatars.

“Our voices will be taken from the records, or maybe some of the live vo­cals from the Aus­tralian tour. If you’re sit­ting in the arena you’ll see us up there. It’s quite ex­cit­ing.”

ABBA will be the first ma­jor artists, still alive, to take part in a tour that will put them on the road with­out leav­ing home.

An ABBA tele­vi­sion spe­cial fea­tur­ing Molly Mel­drum will be shown on Chan­nel 7’s

Sun­day Night tonight.

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