ABBA MANIA, at King George's Hall, Blackburn

OSCAR Wilde once said "the play was a great success but the audience was a total failure."

Although Mr Wilde never attended an Abba tribute gig, one thing I can be sure of is this memorable quote suitable fitted the audience reaction in the first part of the show.

The band, not quite looking like the real Abba, sang well and tried their best - how could they fail with such classics as "Knowing Me Knowing You," the kind of song that makes you feel you must get up and dance.

School kids from nearby St Bedes sang along with Abba Gold but the audience hardly reacted, the only saving grace being small pockets of teenagers suitably glammed up for the event in their feather boas, dodgy afros and flares, really getting into the spirit of the evening and dancing away at the sides of the theatre.

Whether it was Dutch courage from the well-stocked bar for the younger end or a Steradent fix for the many grandparents, after the interval the audience finally woke up, dancing, clapping and singing along to the countless Abba hits including Dancing Queen, an immediate dance-floor filler wherever it is played, this time delivered by these slightly off-beat Abba pretenders.

A good night when the audience finally lightened up.