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Russia's Vladimir Putin enjoys private ABBA tribute group concert

UPI News Service, 02/06/2009 

The Kremlin paid $30,000 to have Bjorn Again, an ABBA tribute group, perform a private concert for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the group said.

The Times of London said Putin, a female companion and a handful of other guests took in the hourlong show on Jan. 22 from behind white net curtains. Among the 15 songs Bjorn Again were flown in from London to perform were "Waterloo,""Gimme Gimme Gimme" and "Dancing Queen." The concert reportedly took place at a resort in Lake Valdai, about nine hours outside of Moscow.

"It was the smallest audience we have ever performed to, but Mr Putin was really enjoying it, shouting 'bravo' and clapping with the others," singer Aileen McLaughlin told The Times. "He was dancing along in his seat to 'Super Trouper' and raised his hands in the air during 'Mamma Mia' when we asked the audience to."

The newspaper said the performers were told to remain on stage throughout the show, during which security was tight, and were not invited to meet Putin afterward.

Singer Jennifer Robb told The Daily Telegraph: "The prime minister didn't stand, but he and his wife, or whoever it was, were jigging about on the sofa and singing the words to 'Honey, Honey.' All his officials were singing away and doing a finger-pointing dance. They really got into it, even though there were only nine of them. At the end, the prime minister shouted, 'Bravo, bravo' and gave us great applause."

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International


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