Friday, May 13, 2022

ABBA The Movie: The Fan Event

ABBA: The Movie: Two-Day Fan Event
It's now only two weeks until we'll be in London for the ABBA Voyage Concert premiere, and tonight was a fantastic way to get in the mood! Across the USA, they have screenings of ABBA: The Movie, in a "two day fan event", the first this evening, and the second on Saturday afternoon (14th). 

Although I have watched ABBA: The Movie many times over the years -- on a hissing Betamax version, then VHS, then DVD, then Blu-Ray, this was the first time I had been back to the cinema to see it since the 1970s. I first went to see it with my family in February 1978, at Burton-on-Trent (UK) Odeon Cinema, when I was only 10 years old. We actually attempted to go and see it on the opening week, but the Burton Odeon put it on Screen 3, which seated only about 100 people. The queue snaked around the building, and when we finally got to the front, they told us that the screen was full, and we would have to come back another day. I was beyond disappointed, and we went to see Star Wars on Screen 1 instead, the largest screen, which was almost entirely empty. Star Wars had been on for so long that practically everyone in Burton had seen it by that point, except us. It's probably the main reason I never really learned to love Star Wars in the way others do.

I caught it in the cinema one more time, when I was twelve, and we were on holiday in Cornwall. It was the summer of 1979 and the cinema in Bodmin happened to be showing it. My dad kindly agreed to take me, while the others probably went to the beach, or something more holiday-like. So from then to now, it's been almost 43 years since seeing it at the cinema.

I have been living in North Carolina, USA, for almost seventeen years now, and tonight I attended the screening in Raleigh, at the Alamo Drafthouse. I had never been to this cinema before, but it was one of the swanky new ones with reclining seats, and waiter service, including some nice draft beers. I went for a local favourite, NODA's Hop, Drop 'N Roll.

We were the first ones there, but eventually the cinema filled up, and as well as proper nerds like me, there were several people, including my younger daughter and son-in-law, who were seeing the film for the first time. It was nice to hear the audience laughing and points, especially at the cute children's comments, and audibly gasping when the lift opens at the end of the film. 

The remastered version of the film looks pretty great. You can see the sweat on Agnetha's and Frida's lips! The sound is excellent too. I have always been in love with that 1977 Movie sound. Benny's piano and Agnetha's and Frida's vocals have never sounded so exquisite. ABBA have never looked as gorgeous as they look in this film too. I love all the costumes they wore in that tour. In the cinema we were in, I thought it was a touch too quiet, though my wife disagreed with me about that!

There was a bonus feature at the end: the three recent official "lyric videos", Chiquitita, Waterloo, and Voulez Vous. At the cinema we were in, it sounded like someone had really turned up the volume on these, and the sound quality was fantastic. Seeing the mirrored images in Chiquitita so large was a little disconcerting, though, because they look so much more clearly back-to-front when they are so big!

A fantastic evening. I'd recommend it to anyone who has the chance to make it on Saturday, though my guess is that a lot of others will, like me, be watching the Eurovision Song Contest in that time slot! 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Welcome to our ABBA Voyage!

On Friday 27 May 2022, ABBA Voyage, the concert of a life time, begins. We are a group of lifelong ABBA superfans who have got together to share our own journeys, from all over the world, to London, to experience this momentous event together. 

We hope you will enjoy joining us on our Voyage! We will introduce ourselves soon, and we will begin sharing our photos, our videos, our love of ABBA, and our sheer excitement about what lies ahead. In the mean time, here's the trailer!