Tribute Bjorn to entertain

GIMME ABBA: Tribute act Bjorn To Be Wild comes to Club Italia on Saturday.

By Luke Voogt

ABBA fans, including a woman who tattooed cover bands on her arm, make every night playing in Bjorn To Be Wild fun for Mt Duneed’s Sam Cocking.

“They know all the words and most of the time they’re up dancing for the first song,” the mother-of-two told the Indy.

“The music’s popular and timeless and people still want to hear it.”

One super fan had tattooed Bjorn To Be Wild alongside several other cover bands and brought multiple ABBA costumes to each show, Cocking said.

“I think she’s been to all of our gigs. I think the last gig we did was her 358th (ABBA tribute) show.”

The long-time singer, who grew up in Highton, started the all-Geelong cover band with high school bestie Angie Hilton.

With acts like Bjorn Again and BABBA touring internationally, an agent suggested they could fill a local gap in the market, Cocking said.

“It was very obvious, very early, that it was a show that would sell really well. There was a bit of a demand for ABBA shows.”

With two daughters to raise, music had become Cocking’s “side hustle” rather than the “bread and butter” work it once was, she said.

She grew up in a musical family and worked as a singer on a cruise shop following a long European holiday almost two decades ago.

“I come from a long line of singers in my family – so it was kind of unavoidable,” she said.

“I spent some time cruising around the Mediterranean singing and dancing.”

Cocking’s daughters were showing some of their mother’s musical talent, she said.

“They’ve grown up in a house full of music and performers.”

Cocking looked forward to Born To Be Wild’s first gig ever at Club Italia on Saturday, followed by a show at Mt Moriac later this month.

“It’s lovely to be able to do some local things as well,” she said.

“I’m surrounded by some really great people and we just have a ball on stage.”

She plays ‘Agnetha’ alongside Hilton, who normally plays ‘Frida’

“We’ve been singing together since high school.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously – we’re a bit tongue in cheek. We put on silly accents, costumes and sing the music but it’s all a bit of fun.

Hilton will miss Saturday night’s gig for another commitment but former Bjorn Again singer and experienced ABBA tribute artist Julie Walter will take her place.


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