The UK’s number one Abba tribute band, Abba Forever, are on their way home - for one night only.
Jane Ellis-Forshaw, from Coppull near Chorley, turned her passion for the Swedish superstars into a full time career after being brought up on the pop sensations’ music.
Married, mum of one, Jane said: “My mum and dad used to play their music in the car, and as I was in the industry already performing, I got the idea to put the band together.
“Abba was an obvious choice for me really because I liked the music anyway and it’s always better to do something you like.”
Jane auditioned for band members back in 1998 who then spent 12 months perfecting their routine by studying videos of Abba, helping to get into character and create the music as near to the real thing as they could.
They performed their first show in October 1999.
Jane, who trained at the Broomfield Academy of Ballet in Ashton-in-Makerfield full time for three years after school and had vocal training since leaving school, said: “We have had a few member changes since the beginning but the guys in the band are really passionate about the music; I used to go to school with one of them.”
Her bandmates include Lauren Exley, who also runs Exley’s Dance Academy in Wigan; Matthew Whitehead (Bjorn) from Chorley, Charles Wall (Benny) from Manchester, bass guitarist John Stewart from Adlington and Matthew Maher from Garstang, near Preston on drums.
Together the supertroupers have toured the world, including tours in Russia, Scandanavia and a concert in front of 55,000 people in South Africa where they played alongside some of South Africa’s Top 20 stars.
And Abba Forever’s uncanny recreation of the ABBA experience has even passed the toughest test there is for an ABBA tribute group – a Swedish audience.
Jane said: “It was pretty nervewracking going to Sweden but we were very fortunate that we went down very well there - they keep asking us back so that must be a good sign!
“It’s a great privilege to perform there.”
The all-live show will take place at Chorley Little Theatre on January 26 and the band could not be more excited.
“Everyone is really upbeat about the gig because it’s as near to a home crowd that we can get
“We are all really excited because family and friends can come along for a change after us touring further afield.
“We want people to go away feeling like they’ve enjoyed themselves, and if they like live music, and obviously Abba, they’re in for a brilliant night.”