a-ha perform at Telenor Arena

a-ha live at Telenor Arena, performing for 3500 people on August 17th

a-ha performed at another corporate event in Oslo this past weekend, August 17th, as the cooperative building association OBOS celebrated its 90th anniversary with a big concert for its employees at Telenor Arena on Saturday night.

Other acts performing were Silya, Hkeem, Ina Wroldsen, Ole Paus, Ingrid Bjørnov, Timbuktu and Gyllene Tider.

a-ha’s setlist included The Sun Always Shines on TV, Stay On These Roads, Hunting High and Low, The Living Daylights and Take On Me.

Like their previous Oslo performance in June, they were joined on stage by Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums, Even Ormestad on bass and Erik Ljunggren on synth.

Minor Earth | Major Sky and Lifelines remasters coming soon

The vinyl editions of the new Minor Earth | Major Sky and Lifelines remasters

The long-awaited remasters of Minor Earth | Major Sky (2000) and Lifelines (2002) will finally be released next month, 27 September.

Both albums will be available in 2CD Deluxe Editions, which will include previously unreleased songs such as “Sole Survivor”, “To Show It is to Blow It”, “Life’s Not Fair” (early version of “I Wish I Cared”) and “One in a Million” (early version of “White Canvas”), plus a-ha versions of “We’ll Never Speak Again” and “The Breakers”.

The 2CD Deluxe Edition of Minor Earth | Major Sky has a total of 33 tracks, while Lifelines has 37 tracks. The booklets include new liner notes by Kieron Tyler.

Both albums will also be available on vinyl for the first time, but only featuring the original album tracks.

Pre-order here:
Minor Earth | Major Sky (2CD Deluxe Edition): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk
Minor Earth | Major Sky (2LP Vinyl): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk

Lifelines (2CD Deluxe Edition): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk
Lifelines (2LP Vinyl): Amazon.de   Amazon.co.uk

Two sample tracks are already available for download/streaming now; “The Sun Never Shone That Day” (Early Version) and “Forever Not Yours” (Demo).

Read the full press release on a-ha.com.

a-ha to visit Australia and New Zealand

The latest tour announcement for next year’s HHAL tour is that a-ha will tour Australia for the first time in 34 years, plus New Zealand for the first time ever.

There will be eight dates in total, of which five of them will be part of the A Day on the Green outdoor summer festivals:

19 February: Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia (A Day on the Green)
22 February: Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, Australia (A Day on the Green)
23 February: Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne, Australia
26 February: ICC Sydney Theatre, Sydney, Australia
29 February: Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley, Australia
(A Day on the Green)
01 March: Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton, Australia (A Day on the Green)
05 March: Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, New Zealand
07 March: Villa Maria Winery, Auckland, New Zealand
(A Day on the Green)

The support act will be the British singer Rick Astley.

“Australia was the country we played our first ever live concerts and was our first brush with worldwide fame. It was a thrilling adventure to be there on the opposite side of the world and it’s a thrill to return in 2020 – finally we will be back where it all started!”, Magne said in a press release.

To promote the tour announcement, Morten was interviewed on the Australian morning talk show Studio 10. A video clip of the interview can be seen on the Australian a-ha fansite on Facebook.

Japanese HHAL tour dates added

Five a-ha tour dates in Japan next year were announced today:

10 March 2020: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo
11 March 2020: Tokyo Dome City Hall, Tokyo
14 March 2020: Civic Hall, Fukuoka
16 March 2020: Festival Hall, Osaka
17 March 2020: NTK Hall, Nagoya

The band has previously toured Japan in 1986, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2009 and 2010.

This follows last week’s announcement that a-ha will also play in Dubai next year, their first ever show in the United Arab Emirates:

11 February 2020: Dubai Opera, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The total number of shows on the Hunting High and Low Tour has now reached 24, with plenty more dates to be added.

Ticket info for all shows on the official site.

New book about Morten coming in September

Picture by Jakob

A new book about Morten Harket, written by Norwegian journalist Ørjan Nilsson, is set to be published in September 2019.

The book is called Hjemkomst (Morten Harket årene 1993 – 1998) [Homecoming (Morten Harket in the years 1993 – 1998)] and will focus on this particular period of the 1990s, which were Morten’s most busy years in terms of solo projects and political activism.

“I have long wanted to explore what happened to the activist and politically involved Morten Harket – the one who appeared when a-ha took a break and seemingly disappeared again when the band reunited. During those years he was everywhere, he had an entirely different edge than he’s had before or since”, Nilsson told VG in an article yesterday.

“It seems to me that he wants to speak in detail about these years – years that are important for him to shed a light on. He has become extremely involved in the book project and wants the end result to be good. I had envisioned three or four interview rounds, but by now it’s become more like 25.”

Among the other topics covered in the book will be Morten’s unreleased solo album from 1993, which was produced by Alan Tarney. It was eventually abandoned, in favour of Wild Seed. Although Morten has talked about the unreleased album in past interviews and two of the songs were leaked online fifteen years ago – “A Place I Know” and “Sounds of Rain” – the new book goes into more detail about the songs and recording process than ever before. Nilsson was even granted a listening session in Alan Tarney’s studio outside London.

Ørjan Nilsson has previously written Tårer fra en stein [Tears From a Stone] about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s life and music, which was published in Norway in 2017 and Germany in 2018.

South African tour dates announced

The first international tour dates of the 2020 tour have been announced today, and they will be in South Africa:

14 February 2020: Green Point A Track, Cape Town
15 February 2020: Marks Park, Johannesburg

This will be the first time a-ha visit the African continent since they played in Senegal in 2006, and their first visit to South Africa since the Memorial Beach tour in 1994, when they did a six-date tour of the country.

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 26 June at 10am. For more info, visit the website of promoter BreakOut Events.

More tour dates for next year are expected to follow soon, including “areas the band hasn’t visited since their 1986 world tour”, which would mean North America or Australia – or both. According to one report, the HHAL tour will continue until December 2020.

Update: To promote the South African dates, Paul has been interviewed by Texx and the City and radio station KFM 94.5 (audio).

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