• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden

Oliver Gee · 8 Apr 2014, 15:18

Published: 08 Apr 2014 15:18 GMT+02:00

 
Australia has an unusually strong relationship with Swedish megapopsters Abba. 
 
Abba - The Movie was filmed while the band was on tour there in 1977. Iconic Aussie films like Muriel's Wedding and Priscilla Queen of the Desert feature the band's songs prominently. And now, an Australian woman is the only foreigner on the Abba choir.
 
"I'm a massive Abba fan, so it feels so great to be the one person connecting Australia to Abba in 21st century," 21-year-old Grace McCallum told The Local from a hotel in London.
 
"Loads of Abba fans back in Australia have emailed me to say how proud they are." 
 
The choir was formed to mark the 40th anniversary of Abba's debut at Eurovision, where they performed Waterloo (video below). To coincide with the anniversary, the band released a new book at launch parties in both London and Stockholm.
 
McCallum and 49 other singers sang at the Tate Modern art museum on Monday after a gig at Stockholm's Abba Museum during the weekend.
 
The trip has been an eye-opener for the young Tasmanian student, who entered the competition for the only international spot on the choir by recording the chorus of Thank You For The Music and posting it on YouTube (below).
 
"It's been a surreal experience. Finding out I had won the place was the most amazing moment of my entire life. Since then, on the trip, I've had moments that eclipse even that," she added.
 
Indeed, a surprise meet with Benny Andersson was one of them. And he knew who she was.
 
"The day before we performed at the Abba musem I got to meet Benny by mistake. When I went to my hotel room he was standing at the elevator. He knew who I was as the only person who wasn't Swedish. He said 'Oh, you're the one, I've heard about you'. It was such a great moment," she beamed.
 
In London, she even had the fortune of meeting Frida and Björn.
 
"Frida gave me the longest hug. She said she was really moved by a letter I'd sent her a few weeks ago, which included a wate rcolour painting I'd done of her famous cat costume," she said.
 
"It was the most incredible moment of the entire trip." 
Story continues below…
 
With the choir's duty done for now, McCallum is heading back to Australia to finish her journalism studies, but hopes to return to Sweden again one day. 
 
For now though, she points to a quote by Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding to sum up her trip.
 
"Life is as good as an Abba song. It's as good as Dancing Queen," she told The Local with a chuckle. "I love that quote and it's never felt more relevant."
 
McCallum's audition:

Abba's debut at Eurovision with Waterloo:

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish court detains 'terror plot' suspect
Attunda district court north of Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedish court detains 'terror plot' suspect
0 minutes ago

A man based in the Stockholm area has been detained on suspicion of preparing to carry out an act of terrorism in January.

First gig for Paris attacks rockers looms in Stockholm
The Eagles of Death Metal performing at a Swedish festival in 2012. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

First gig for Paris attacks rockers looms in Stockholm
1 hour ago

The Eagles of Death Metal will play their first solo concert since the Paris attacks, at a small gig in the Swedish capital this weekend.

Swedish cop lets suspect go 'because it's Friday'
Fighting crime the Swedish way. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish cop lets suspect go 'because it's Friday'
3 hours ago

This is how seriously the Swedes take their work-life balance.

Is this our last glimpse of Swedish royal's baby bump?
Princess Victoria, centre, at the Global Change Awards. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Is this our last glimpse of Swedish royal's baby bump?
6 hours ago

Sweden's pregnant crown princess has made her final public appearance before the birth of the country's next baby royal.

Sweden slashes interest rate to new record low
Sweden has had negative interest rates since last year. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden slashes interest rate to new record low
8 hours ago

Sweden's central bank has cut the country's already historically low interest rate even further.

Swedes will not send jets to help French fight Isis
A Jas Gripen used in an Arctic exercise last year. Photo: Foto: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Swedes will not send jets to help French fight Isis
10 hours ago

UPDATED: Leaked documents suggest the Swedish military can't afford to send Jas Gripen jets to support France's fight against Isis.

Swedish terror convicts won't have nationality stripped
A group of pro-Isis protesters in Iraq in 2014. Photo: TT/AP

Swedish terror convicts won't have nationality stripped
11 hours ago

Politicians have rejected a proposal to stop Swedes convicted of terror crimes retaining their nationality.

What's on
Five fab Valentine's ideas whether you're dating or not
Photo: Found Animal Foundation/Flickr

Five fab Valentine's ideas whether you're dating or not
12 hours ago

Here are the the best ways to spend Valentine’s Day in Sweden, as well as our regular weekly listings.

Eight teens suspected of child rape in Sweden
A police car investigating a separate incident in Gothenburg. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Eight teens suspected of child rape in Sweden
1 day ago

Eight teenage boys have been arrested in connection with an alleged gang rape of a child in Gothenburg in western Sweden.

Julian Assange
'Sweden is a country with fair reputation for justice'
Julian Assange at Ecuador's London embassy. Photo: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

'Sweden is a country with fair reputation for justice'
1 day ago

British PM David Cameron has backed Swedish prosecutors, saying Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should hand himself over and "end this sorry saga".

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Can you spot the dildo in this photo?
Sponsored Article
Just landed? Here's the secret to finding work in Stockholm
Culture
Seven facts about the shy Swede behind the world's pop music
Travel
Why are people so happy in Malmö?
Blog updates

9 February

Förr, förut, förrän, före and … innan! (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! A long time ago, I got this question: It would be a huge help if you could…" READ »

 

5 February

Editor’s blog, February 5th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, A friend of mine wrote from abroad this week to ask me if international media…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to set up shop in the 'Silicon Valley of Sweden'
National
Less than one percent of Swedish crimes linked to refugees
Sponsored Article
Luleå: 8 winter must-dos in Sweden's far north
Features
Single? Here are the ten Swedish words you have to learn
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Lindesberg, Örebro
Lifestyle
VIDEO: What's the fuss about Sweden's semla bun?
Sponsored Article
Swiss hospitality: The ladder to your international career
Culture
Ten fab Swedish hits for February
Sponsored Article
Ice magic at north Sweden island lodges
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: February 6th-7th
Travel
Stockholm's eight REAL no-go zones
Sponsored Article
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
Gallery
People-watching: February 3rd
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
National
'How confronting the man who robbed me gave me closure'
Analysis & Opinion
DEBATE: Why are Swedes so obsessed with Nordic skiing?
Culture
See which Swedish museums are now opening up for free
Gallery
Property of the week: Insjön, Nacka
National
VIDEO: Tensions caught on camera inside Swedish asylum home
Gallery
People-Watching: January 29th - 31st
International
How will Sweden deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers?
Sport
When you gotta go... Swedish racing dog does poo and then takes gold
Sport
Guess who just got a HUGE pay rise?
Travel
WATCH: Five top tips for safe ice skating on Sweden's gorgeous lakes
Gallery
People-watching: January 27th
National
'Sweden could be at war within years'
3,494
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se