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[06 DEC 00] SKYDOME COVENTRY NEWS
Skydome Gets Ready For Abba Mania

Every day Kevin Locke runs a comb through his long hair, pulls on high-heeled boots and heads off to earn some money.

Itís not normal behaviour for a working man but then Kevin's job is far from run of the mill.

He is part of Abba tribute group The Real Abba Gold and makes a living recreating the magic started by the Swedes in the 70's and 80's.

Formed in 1993, the group began singing Abba songs in pubs as a light hearted act before being swept along by a wave of public love for the former Eurovision Song Contest winners.

Kevin, along with other group members Lindsay Elliot, Jennie Fitzgerald and Dave Zubrasky, tours the country performing all the hits although he admits the tribute is more to the music than the artists.

He said:

"You do get some tribute bands who are more concerned about trying to be dead ringers for their inspirations rather than worrying about the quality of the singing.

"We wear the costumes and the wigs as a bit of humour in the act but the real attraction for audiences is the music, so that is what we concentrate on."

In the early 90s tribute bands began springing up around the country at a rapid rate but many have since died out.

The Real Abba Gold, however, have been embraced by leading agents International Artistes and have a solid schedule of concerts booked for the next 12 months on an 'Abba Mania' tour to mark 25 years since the Swedes came to prominence.

One honour still to elude the group has been the opportunity to come face to face with the Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Anna - the original group.

Kevin said:

"We have never met or spoken to any of the band members, it is not an opportunity that has ever arisen.

"I like to think they would be impressed by the group because our emphasis is on recreating the sounds that helped them to storm the music world.

"It would be great if we could meet them but I don't think they are together anymore - if they were it would probably make life more difficult for us!"

The Real Abba Gold will take the stage at Coventry's 4,000-seat Skydome Arena on Friday. Tickets can be purchased from the arena's box office on 08700 119 119 and are priced at £10.50 and £12.50.
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CWN / Tourism & Leisure / SkyDome Coventry / 6 Dec 00
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