by Luke Voogt
BABBA is still going strong more than two decades since the group first got together for a ‘battle of the bands’ at a Fitzroy pub.
Since its early days the ABBA tribute act has been a regular fixture in Geelong.
“At one stage we’d play down there every Friday,” Michael Ingvarson, the cover band’s ‘Benny Andersson’, told the Indy earlier this year.
Michael has played Benny for almost a quarter century and is still happily with partner and the band’s ‘Frida’, Grabiela Favretto, unlike the real-life ABBA couple.
BABBA mimics the originals down to their Swedish accents, and Australian music guru Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum has described them as “dare I say it, as good as ABBA”.
“He played such a huge role in getting ABBA known in Australia,” Ingvarson said.
“We feel like we do justice to their songs by playing them correctly with the right harmonies in the right places.”
While many of older ABBA fans attend their gigs to reminisce, plenty of younger fans come along too.
Last month BABBA played for about 800 University of Melbourne students, most only a little older than Ingvarson’s children.
He believes ABBA’s music is undergoing a resurgence thanks partly to movies like Mamma Mia.
“The uni-age kids right now are going mental for ABBA!” he said.
“They were singing louder almost than the band. It was packed in with 800 of them all around the sides and on the balconies – it was just going off!”
BABBA returns to Sphinx Hotel this Saturday.