Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA have been reliving their one and only Irish concert at the RDS in 1979, while discussing the forthcoming movie prequel/sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Watch our full interview with Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus:
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ABBA played the last gig of their European tour at the Dublin venue on November 15, 1979 with a set that included Voulez-Vous, Knowing Me, Knowing You, and Chiquitita. The band stayed at the Gresham Hotel in the city that night.
"When I looked at Trump and his golf course in Scotland, there was a picture of that building, the clubhouse and that's where we stayed with ABBA on tour." - Björn Ulvaeus
Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, Andersson recalled: "It felt good to be in Ireland and we opened the show with me playing a Swedish folk tune on my GX-1 Yamaha keyboard and that felt especially good in Ireland because it connects, Irish folk music, Swedish folk music.
"I remember some of the people in the crew weren’t that sober that night during the performance, that’s what I remember. Someone came on playing the accordion in the middle of the song."
"We toured very little," said Ulvaeus. "I think we did Dublin after Glasgow and funnily enough the other day when I looked at Trump and his golf course in Scotland, there was a picture of that building, the clubhouse and that's where we stayed with ABBA on tour before we went by helicopter over to Dublin and hence that lyric `when I called you last night from Glasgow' on Super Trouper."
ABBA are planning to release two new songs this September and will also launch a digital ABBA-tar tour in the coming months and Ulvaeus revealed that the tour will be coming to Ireland.
"Oh, yes, of course. Absolutely. No dates have been announced as it is still a work in progress. We're having a big creative meeting at the end of August so we will know better after that what form it will take."
As if it really ever went away, ABBA fever is set to sweep the world again this week with the release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a kind of prequel/sequel which introduces a whole new cast including Lily James as a younger version of Meryl Streep's character Donna in a story about how she met her three suitors - and future fathers of Sophie.
The movie's high camp set piece for many will be Cher, who plays Sophie's errant grandmother Ruby, belting out ABBA classic Fernando with Andy Garica.
"That was a fun thing that happened when she did the track Fernando and we listened to it," said Andersson. "I know that we and Cher are the same generation, we’re about the same age, maybe she’s a little bit younger."
"She was an icon from I Got You Babe so she’s been around much longer than we were so to hear her sing Fernando it’s like, it’s like . . . I don’t know what it is. There was something weird happening and she is so good."
"She is an old heroine and icon for us." said Ulvaeus.
Cher clearly warmed to ABBA's timeless music and has recently confirmed that she has now recorded a full album of ABBA covers, commenting: "It’s not what you think of when you think Abba, because I did it in a different way."
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is in cinemas this Friday, July 20.
Alan Corr @corralan