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Thank You For The Music ABBALIVE

"YOU are the dancing queen, young and free..."

There are so many images conjured up by the lyrics made famous in the first instance by '70s Swedish pop group ABBA. For one, dancing on your bed with a hairbrush in your grip.

Lynelle Leighton was a fan as far back as she can remember.

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She recalls singing Money Money Money and When I Kissed The Teacher after her parents bought her first album, Arrival, in 1976.

"The songs were always so easy to sing along to," she says. "There is so much simplicity which makes them really catchy songs, but the music is actually really complicated."

Leighton, who is now a music teacher at The Hills Music Centre, put the ABBALIVE show together eight-and-a-half years ago after seeing a tribute act in Brisbane.

"I was disappointed to say the least," Leighton says. "They were making fun of the Swedish accents and making suggestive jokes. I wanted to pay ABBA the respect they deserve.

"We try and get every note perfect. Everything, from the mannerisms and characteristics to the interactions on stage, even the costumes are exact replicas of the ones ABBA wore."

When she was younger Leighton released an album of her own, but admits the life of a struggling solo musician was too daunting to take on.

"It's a hard road to go down," she says. "At least you know when performing ABBA you're going to draw in a crowd. It's really rewarding to have an audience get into all the songs."

Though Leighton created the show, she shares the role of Agnetha Falkstog with Kathleen Maloney who will be performing in Ballina.

"She's an absolute dead-ringer for Agnetha, she's amazing," Leighton says.

ABBALIVE is on at the Ballina RSL Friday, December 2 at 7.30pm. Tickets $45.90 including a two-course dinner and the show.

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