Gold: The ABBA Tribute

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Gold: The ABBA Tribute

Most of us can attribute much of the music of our childhood to ABBA, and that’s a damn good thing. Jessica Sankey spent much of her younger years listening to the classics blasted from her mum’s car stereo, and she’s since changed that passion for the band into performing as Frida in one of the greatest tribute bands around.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte Magazine, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?

Thank you, I am going great thanks. I have just finished moving house which is always exhausting but I am nearly done.

First things first, what path lead you to getting involved with the ABBA tribute?

I was given the brief from my agent at the time but I couldn’t make the first audition, [When I] first heard about it being an ABBA tribute band I was so desperate to do the audition. I ended up getting a call to do an audition and was so excited. I rocked up to the call back and Hayley was there and we did the audition. Obviously they liked us and told us then and there that we got the parts – it was pretty amazing.

Before joining the tribute, what kind of impact did ABBA have on your life?

I grew up listening to ABBA. Mum was a huge ABBA fan and she had all the albums and often we would be on the way to school and it’d be playing… and saying how beautiful the songs were and that I should sing them – so yeah I pretty well grew up listening to them all the time.

This tour is to celebrate ‘Happy Days Records’ and ‘GOLD’ what do you think makes those songs such hits?

One thing I have noticed is that they’ve got beautiful energy and write about interesting things and never just about one theme. I think the writing resonates in people and the songs are so easy to sing to and people love the fact that they can sing along and it can bring back all the memories and just touch people’s hearts and work on their emotions – that makes these songs hits.

Of all the songs you’ve performed from the ABBA catalogue, are they highlights to perform live?

It changes all the time. Before most shows Hayley (who plays Agnetha) and I always ask each other what our favourite is at the moment and I reckon…right now it would be ‘Money, Money, Money’. The song is in the second act of the show and by that stage people are getting involved, they’re standing and singing along and loving it and ‘Money, Money, Money’ is such a cool song and I just love the vibe of that song in particular.

You’ve been said as the most authentic ABBA tribute band, what things do you think you pay more attention to as opposed to other tribute bands?

I think we all have respect of what ABBA has done and what they have left behind and the legends that they are. We all know in ourselves that we will never be ABBA because ABBA is ABBA, but we desperately want to pay tribute to the great legends that they are and we want to honour them. In doing that we are trying to recreate them as best as we possibly can and I think there’s a truthfulness of that that comes across in our performance.

Over the years of “playing” the part, have you taken on any traits from your character?

I often watch videos of Frida to get my head around it and recently I watched, “Why Did It Have To Be Me” and she was crazy on stage, just so crazy. I noticed recently that my performance has got a little more crazy so I am picking up on her without noticing. She was such a nut on stage, it’s just brilliant.

You’ll be doing a massive regional tour shortly, what can attendees expect from the show?

A lot of fun… a LOT of fun! A lot of good music and just great vibes and nostalgia. Prepare to be taken back in time and experience nostalgia.

What should they keep in mind to get the most out of the show?

Just to get involved, don’t hold back, sing along, get up and dance and bring out your inner self – your young teenage self – and definitely don’t be shy.

Thanks again for chatting with us, is there anything you’d like to add before we finish up?

I’m really excited to get to Victoria and start the regional leg of that! I look forward to seeing everyone there!

When & Where: GPAC, Geelong – April 1, Capital Theatre, Bendigo – April 8, Wyndham Cultural Centre, Werribee – May 13, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat – May 20, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – May 21, Horsham Town Hall, Horsham – May 27 & Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura – May 28.