The Norwegian royal couple was in the audience. To honour them ABBA did an a capella performance of the songVi har ei tulle med öyne blå which the Norwegian Crownprincess Sonja had recorded in 1976. Apparently ABBA only sang the first verse: Vi har ei tulle med øyne blå, (We have a little baby girl with blue eyes) med silkehår og med ører små, (with silky hair and with tiny ears) og midt i fjeset en liten nese (and in the middle of the face a little nose) så stor som så. (as big as this.)
It's rumored that the German radio station WDR has recorded (or wanted to record) the full concert for a later broadcast, but wasn't allowed to do so in the end. While the plan itself seems likely everything else about this remains speculation.
A recording labeled as Cologne 1977 circulates though it most likely is a fake and just seems to be the Hamburg recording, but in worse quality.
because of fears for terror by the IRA the audience had to pass strict safety checks
some fans entered the stage during Dancing Queen, waving blue-white and blue-golden ABBA flags
“It was especially scary to be playing in front of a British audience,” admitted Agnetha. “We were terribly nervous about playing that first night in Birmingham. After all, it’s classic ground in terms of pop music.”
Paul Cole, Birmingham Mail online – April 5, 2014
I'm amused that journalist Camilla Lundberg has written the liner notes for the album [Piano]. Forty years ago she wasn’t exactly a fan of Benny’s music. In her review of ABBA’s Birmingham concert in February 1977 she wrote about their music that, “It is anything but varied, as is well-known. Nor is it beautiful, nor innovative.” Admittedly, while more or less dismissing three quarters of the group, she noted that “Benny Andersson is the most interesting ABBA member. He is actually a real musician, he is the most spontaneous and most credible of them,” but for the most part the review was a discussion of ABBA as a product, pushing the angle of how everything they did was part of a “plan”, as was quite common back then. Lundberg is of course allowed to change her mind about Benny’s music, but it still surprises me how critical assessment of ABBA and their members has evolved and changed over the years, to the extent that some of their fiercest critics are now a part of Benny’s circle of friends.
Carl Magnus Palm, Benny Andersson’s Piano album - a review and some further thoughts – October 3, 2017
Rapport (SVT) – ABBA on tour in 1977, no live recordings in this report, but it features some interviews with the audience at the doors of the Odeon and an interview with ABBA directly after the concert at Birmingham, released on The Album Deluxe
Audience: 5,600 each (sold out); it is reported that there have been more than 3 million pre-orders
The concerts at the Albert Hall in England were unforgettable. The English were crazy about us. The Albert Hall was sold out a long way in advance and we could easily have stayed and packed it out for weeks. When the concerts began it was ecstatic. After the opening number, when both we and the audience had calmed down, it was great when the tempo got its second wind. Some magic moments ensued.
Agnetha in As I Am, p. 87
‘I remember a moment in the middle of the Albert Hall night when I thought, Good grief, Benny, this is you sitting here playing at the Albert Hall. For a little while I could not believe it was me there. It was very hard for me to sit steady on my stool.’ Anni-Frid added: ‘I managed to control my nerves. At the end of the show, when the audience went wild, it was a real pleasure to be on stage!’ Agnetha had a different impression: ‘I was terribly nervous during the first show. I felt really strange and couldn’t move, I couldn’t calm myself down.’ Björn concluded by saying: ‘Some people say that London audiences are difficult. Maybe they are at first, but after that: wow!’