- READ MORE: James Righton on putting together ABBA’s new live band: “They had to be as good as the originals”
The Swedish pop icons returned with their first album in 40 years, ‘Voyage’, last November and are due to host a string of “revolutionary” concerts at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from May 27.
After sharing a dazzling first trailer for the production late last year, ABBA have now revealed four new photos – one for each “digital” member of the band: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
You can see the impressively lifelike avatars here:
“It’s a concert on steroids, basically,” explained Ludwig Andersson. “However technically advanced these avatars are, this can never only be about technology. Like all music, you need to keep that open highway into your soul. We need to work on that emotion.
“It needs to always be about the audience feeling something. We’re just trying to enhance that feeling and crank it up to 11 with everything we have at our disposal.”
The upcoming ‘abba Voyage’ gigs will see the so-called ‘ABBAtars’ performing alongside a 10-piece live band (put together with the help of Klaxons’ James Righton and featuring Little Boots) at a new purpose-built 3,000-capacity venue called ABBA Arena.
Speaking to NME about her involvement in the ambitious project, Little Boots (aka Victoria Hesketh) said it had been “absolutely mind-blowing” to work with ABBA, describing herself as a “mega-fan” of the group.
“I’m a big disco fan so I’m glad that’s gone full circle to be recognised for its songwriting,” she explained. “ABBA are a legendary part of the fabric of our artistic history now.”
In a separate interview, Righton told NME: “It was a challenge, but a fun one. I care as a fan of their band. If I was going to be a part of it, I wanted to get it right. This band had to step up as being as good as the original line-up.”
Björn Ulvaeus recently said that he thinks ABBA’s comeback is an “immense risk”, adding: “Sometimes I wake up at four in the morning and think, ‘What the hell have we done?'”
Ulvaeus told The Sunday Times that he expected other musicians to be watching the ‘Voyage’ show closely. “Lots of artists are going to be studying us, definitely,” he said. “I won’t name names, but I can think of a few.
“I wonder who’s going to be first. I couldn’t possibly comment.”
‘ABBA Voyage’ kicks off on May 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London – you can find tickets and further information here.