Archive for 2010

DVD director revealed

An article on the website of audio company Lawo reveals that a-ha’s upcoming live DVD from the final concerts in Oslo is directed by Matt Askem.

Askem previously worked with a-ha when he directed the live webcast from Kiel in September 2007. His directing credits feature a long list of artists, including Muse, Faithless and U2.

An excerpt from the article:

The final four shows of the “Ending on a High Note” tour were played in the band’s home town of Oslo at the famous Spektrum venue. Leading broadcast facilities company Cinevideogroup was called in by film-makers Serpent Productions and director Matt Askem to provide a 10-camera HD recording of the event, complete with digital audio, for future release.

Inside the sound control room of the state-of-the-art OB14 were British sound engineer Toby Alington, well known for his work on the BRIT Awards and MTV Europe Awards, and Huub Lelieveld, Cinevideogroup’s senior audio engineer. Alington has responsibility for the final 5.1 mix of the project, while Lelieveld was responsible for the multitrack recording in Oslo.

The full article – which incorrectly claims that this will be a-ha’s first live DVD – but which also provides a lot of fascinating technical details, can be found here.

(Thanks to “greeneyedgirl” for the find)

Movie premiere

Heidi Rydjord and Magne Furuholmen, December 15th 2010

Heidi and Magne, December 15th

Magne and Heidi attended the premiere of Marius Holst’s new movie Kongen av Bastøy (King of Devil’s Island) last night, at the Colosseum cinema in Oslo.

The movie, which has Stellan Skarsgård and Kristoffer Joner in the leading roles, is based on true events and tells the story of a group of boys in a youth prison on the island Bastøy in 1915. The trailer can be seen on YouTube here.

We’re looking forward to seeing it“, Magne told Nettavisen as they entered the cinema.

Marius Holst’s previous movies include Ti Kniver i Hjertet (1994) and Øyenstikker (2001), which both featured music composed by Magne and Kjetil Bjerkestrand. Holst also directed the music video for Magne’s song “Dragonfly”, in connection with Øyenstikker.

New book from Magne

Magne Furuholmen, February 2009

Planning new book

Dagbladet presents a list of some of the upcoming books to be published in Norway in spring 2011. It includes Magne Furuholmen – in transit, which is described as “a presentation of his activities as a visual artist”.

Magne’s previous art books/catalogues include Kutt (1995), Lerkrukker & Glasbilleder (2002), Foci (2004), Payne’s Gray (2004) and Monologues (2007). He has also illustrated Henning Kramer Dahl’s poetry books Blue Note Boulevards (1997) and Stjerneskutt (2004).

More details about the book and publishing date is not yet available.

In other news, Budstikka reports that Magne has signed a three-year contract to rent parts of the second floor at Galleri Trafo in Asker. This is the same gallery where he held his “Monologues” and “Camera”-exhibitions in 2007 and 2009, and Magne is reportedly planning to use the space as a new atelier and for further exhibitions.

Photos from Oslo Spektrum

Here is a gallery of some of the photos I took at the concerts in Oslo Spektrum. Click on each photo to enlarge:

The final concerts

a-ha - Oslo Spektrum, 4 December 2010

a-ha – in red, white and blue – saying goodbye at the end of the last concert, December 4th
(Picture by Jakob)

“one thing is certain: we did it together.
now a-ha will be a memory of a life we once shared.”

– read the whole message from Magne on


Picture by Jakob

Picture by Jakob

Fans from all over the world gathered in Oslo this past week to celebrate a-ha’s music, as the band played their last four concerts at the Oslo Spektrum arena.

Although it was a sad moment when the guys walked off the stage on December 4th, the overall atmosphere during these concerts was a joyful appreciation of a long and unique career.

For those of you who couldn’t be there, the last two nights were filmed and will be edited into a live DVD to be released sometime next year.

As a special surprise on the last night, and as a tribute to their first manager Terry Slater (1983 – 1994), they played an acoustic version of the Everly Brothers song “Bowling Green”. Slater, who was in the audience, was a musician for the Everly Brothers back in the 60s and wrote that song in 1967.

It’s up on YouTube here (thanks Chris).


Picture by Jakob

Picture by Jakob

Here is the full setlist from the last concert:

1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Move To Memphis
3. The Blood That Moves The Body
4. Scoundrel Days
5. The Swing Of Things
6. Forever Not Yours
7. Stay On These Roads
8. Manhattan Skyline
9. Hunting High And Low
10. The Bandstand
11. We’re Looking for the Whales
12. Butterfly, Butterfly
13. Crying In The Rain
14. Minor Earth Major Sky
15. Summer Moved On
16. I’ve Been Losing You
17. Foot Of The Mountain
18. Cry Wolf
19. Analogue
20. The Living Daylights
21. Bowling Green
22. Take On Me


“Even though a-ha is sort of turning off the life support,
we’ll all be making music – the three of us – for years to come.
Hopefully we’ll see you guys, some other place.”

– Paul, on stage December 4th


Thank you, a-ha.
It’s been fun.

And so a new chapter begins…

Wembley concert

Watch “The Living Daylights” from a-ha’s last concert in the UK at Wembley Arena on 27 November (filmed by Chris):

Oslo signing session

a-ha will do a signing session at the Tanum bookstore on Karl Johan street in Oslo on Wednesday 1 December at 4PM, where they will sign the new edition of “The Swing Of Things”.

This was announced on the bookstore chain’s website.

Jan Omdahl’s updated edition of TSOT was published back in August, and is available in Norwegian, English and German versions.

For those who are able to go – please note that the band will only sign copies of the book, and no other items. The books also have to be bought at the Tanum store.

Later the same day, at 7PM, the book publisher Press is hosting a discussion about a-ha at the House of Literature in Oslo. “The Swing Of Things” author Jan Omdahl and music journalist Audun Vinger will take part.

Last UK TV appearance / Nearing the end

a-ha made their last ever UK TV appearance on Monday, when they appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV1. Following a short interview, they did a live performance of “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. Thanks to Chris for uploading the clip above to YouTube.


Brighton, 15 November 2010

Brighton, 15 November
(Photo by Elliott Wright – more on the gallery page)

The UK part of the tour started in Brighton last Monday, November 15th. The setlist was the same as before, but in later concerts “(Seemingly) Nonstop July” has been replaced by “The Swing Of Things” and the order of the songs has been changed around somewhat.

For some good video clips from Brighton, check out this playlist on YouTube by Chris.


Recent UK interviews:
22 Nov: Manchester Confidential (Paul)
21 Nov: Bournemouth Echo (Paul/Magne – also includes audio interviews)
18 Nov: Wales Online (Magne)
14 Nov: (All 3)
12 Nov: The Star (Morten)
12 Nov: Chronicle Live (Morten)
5 Nov: This is Nottingham (Morten)


MTV in the UK aired a special called “a-ha’s Greatest 80’s Videos” on October 31st, where the band introduced 40 music videos from the 1980s. Most of the video introductions have been compiled by Chris into a 7-minute clip on YouTube, which can be seen here.

The last four concerts in Oslo next week are fast approaching. There is no support band in Oslo, and the stage time will be 8:30pm – so don’t be late! also announced last week that the final concert on December 4th will be filmed for a DVD release. Hopefully it will be available on Blu-ray as well.

Some fans are planning a “fan action” moment during the last concert, where the audience should hold up “thank you”-signs. More info is available on Facebook.

For those of you going to Oslo, the a-ha exhibition at the National Library is open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, December 4th.

There is also an exhibition at Galleri MAP, showing a-ha photos taken by Janne Møller-Hansen between 1985 and 1987, which is open from 1pm to 8pm on November 30th and December 2nd, 3rd and 4th. On December 1st, it’s open from 1pm to 5pm.

Tour update / More links

a-ha in Vilnius, 2 November 2010

Siemens Arena, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2 November
(Picture by Agne)

a-ha played at the Palace of Sports in Minsk, Belarus yesterday. Since the last news update the band has also performed in Braunschweig, Mannheim, Hamburg, Berlin, Riga, Vilnius and Kiev.

They are playing it safe, with the setlist continuing to be the same at all the gigs. But the press reviews have been good all along.


a-ha in Vilnius, 2 November 2010

Vilnius, 2 November
(Picture by Agne)

Sadly, Morten’s mother Henny passed away on Tuesday, November 2nd. She was 80 years old. The funeral will be held on November 12th, the day after the concert in St. Petersburg.


The Shropshire Star had an interview with Magne on Thursday, November 4th. Read it here.


A radio interview that the guys did on Absolute Radio in the UK last month is now also available for viewing on the station’s website.

The 25-minute interview can be seen here.


Morten made a surprise appearance in a comedy sketch on BBC1’s The Armstrong and Miller Show last Saturday, October 30th.

The musical number, which sees Morten appear as a seller at a farmer’s market, is available on YouTube here (after 2:30).


And I’ve been contacted by a fan named José, who wants to share the YouTube clips he filmed at the Royal Albert Hall concert on October 8th – from behind the band.

He has posted all the songs on his YouTube channel here.

Tour update / Media links

a-ha in Basel, 17 October 2010

Basel, 17 October
(Picture from

The band played for 5000 people at the Stadthalle in Rostock yesterday, after having said farewell to audiences in Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Basel, Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Lepzig during the last couple of weeks.

The setlist seems to have remained the same at every gig so far.

For extensive fan coverage of each concert, with links to picture galleries, video clips and more – visit the tour forum on WOTM.


Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Munich 18 October 2010

Munich, 18 October
(Picture from

Yet another date has been added for the final week in Oslo. This very last (?) addition to the tour schedule takes place on 30 November and tickets go on sale on Tuesday, 26 October.


Jimmy Gnecco has announced in a blog entry on his official website that he’ll be supporting a-ha at all the 10 UK dates in November as well.


BBC Radio 2 broadcast parts of the Royal Albert Hall concert on Thursday night; the whole HHAL album + 3 songs from SD. The broadcast is available for a few more days on the BBC website. Or you can find details on how to download a high-quality recording made by Chris on WOTM.


The German website has a 12-minute video interview with Morten that was recorded back in July. It can be seen here.


And it turns out the radio interview that Jian Ghomeshi did with the band for Studio Q on CBC in Canada on 14 May was also filmed. The whole 43-minute interview can be watched in HD on Q TV’s YouTube channel.

Jimmy Gnecco interview

Jimmy Gnecco - The Heart

The cover of Jimmy Gnecco’s first solo album
The Heart, released earlier this year.

The support act in Amsterdam was Paul’s good friend and collaborator from New York, Jimmy Gnecco, who will open for a-ha at another five concerts this week.

Gnecco, who did the lead vocals on “The Breakers” and backing vocals on “Shooting Spree” for Savoy’s self-titled album in 2004, revealed in a recent interview with that Paul actually asked him to join the band at one point – an idea that was shot down by Savoy’s record company:

So how did you get to know Paul Savoy?

I met him in ’96. My friend was playing with Savoy and I met him then. And then I got my deal. It was weird because I’m a huge fan of a-ha and Savoy’s first record [‘Mary Is Coming’]. I mean I like a lot of his records but the first one I’m such a huge fan of. And then I started making records and he genuinely became a fan and he called me – he loved ‘Precious’ – he asked me if I wanted to sing on anything I said: “in a second!” then I went down and I sang on a bunch of songs and then he asked me to join the band and I said: “sure” – I’d be like an honorary member you know.

Then they went back and talked to their record company and the record company was like: “we like your voices that’s why we signed you” – they didn’t really want me to do it. They didn’t know me. I’m sure they liked it but…I’m hoping to do something with Paul in the future.

Amsterdam concert

Morten Harket and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Amsterdam, 10 October 2010

Amsterdam, 10 October
(Picture from

The final leg of the farewell tour started at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on Sunday night, featuring some changes compared to previous indoor concerts earlier this year.

The stage was basically a scaled-down version of the Norwegian stadium concerts, using parts of the butterfly-screen as backdrop.

The setlist also seems to have been identical to the stadium concerts – 21 songs starting with “The Sun Always Shines On TV” and ending with “Take On Me”.

Some pictures from Amsterdam has been posted by Sandra here.

For videos from the show, check out Malin’s YouTube clips here. She has also written a report on the WOTM Forum.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the 25 collection has entered the album chart at number 10, selling 10,835 units in its first week. It’s the fifth a-ha album to reach the UK top ten. Well done!

Royal Albert Hall concert / UK promo

a-ha at Royal Albert Hall, 8 October 2010

Royal Albert Hall, October 8th

a-ha played at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the 6th and final time yesterday.

Like in Oslo earlier in the week, they were joined by members of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and played both Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days in their entirety.

For some high quality videos from the concert, check out the ones that Chris is uploading to YouTube here.

HMV signing session, 6 October 2010

HMV signing session, October 6th

On Wednesday, following a signing session for the 25 compilation at the HMV store in Oxford Street, the band did an intimate gig at the Heaven nighclub for 300 lucky competition winners.

The setlist (with links to YouTube videos by Chris):

1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Train Of Thought
3. The Blue Sky
4. I Dream Myself Alive
5. Here I Stand And Face The Rain
6. The Swing Of Things
7. The Weight of the Wind
8. Take On Me


Earlier in the day, they did a few TV-appearances on ITV. A short interview on Daybreak (YouTube), then an interview on Lorraine Kelly’s show (YouTube) and a live performance of “The Sun Always Shines On TV” (YouTube).

On Thursday Magne and Morten were interviewed on Loose Women (YouTube), and Paul joined them for a live performance of “Take On Me” at the end (YouTube).

a-ha perform two full albums in Oslo

a-ha, Olso Konserthus, 4 October 2010

Oslo Konserthus, October 4th

a-ha surprised the audience at Oslo Konserthus last night, by not only playing the Hunting High and Low-album, but also the entire Scoundrel Days-album – 20 songs in all.

Another surprise was that Paul and Magne had decided to change sides on stage for the first time since 1994.

Clips up on YouTube so far:
Take On Me
Train Of Thought
Hunting High And Low
And You Tell Me
Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale
Here I Stand And Face The Rain
Manhattan Skyline
The Weight Of The Wind
Soft Rains Of April

The audience of 1300 people included Queen Sonja, Princess Märtha Louise and her husband Ari Behn.

Aftenposten has an article about the concert here, while Dagbladet has a review here.

There is also a review in Dagsavisen (5 out of 6) and an article at

Dagbladet’s reviewer Sven Ove Bakke gives the concert 4 out of 6, and is not entirely satisfied with a-ha’s collaboration with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra:

(…) Adding string arrangements to cool and quite minimalistic synthpop is a challenge.

The strings should preferably seek out the darkest and coldest corners, and bring out the underlying unease and dark melancholy that run through the early a-ha material.

But Kjetil Bjerkestrand’s bombastic, light romantic string arrangements did little else than rub the a-ha material with the hairs.

On its best, it gave the durable a-ha classics a sort of extra pomposity, predictably mood-enhancing, but not too annoying.

Luckily “Here I Stand And Face The Rain” and “Soft Rains Of April” – both strong endings on their respective albums – benefited from effectively sweeping and ending credits-like dramaturgy.

In the worst cases – where “And You Tell Me” stood out as a horrible low point – you got an overly sweet Disney-Christmas feeling.

Mostly, they were positioned somewhere in between – arrangements so dead that Princess Märtha Louise in the seventh row was probably the only one who got something of value out of them. (…)

On Friday, the audience in London will get a chance to hear the same concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Just Loomis photos – now on

Passing along a message from photographer Just Loomis:

Thank you all a-ha fans who purchased prints from my website: This site is no longer live.

The time has passed to do this on my own and I now announce that I am happily working with the official a-ha site now.
If you are interested in getting a print please go to the official site.

thanks again to all that supported my site,
Just Loomis

BBC Radio 2 live session


a-ha are now in the UK to promote 25, which is being released there next Monday.

Today they did a live session on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2 – their third live session at the BBC Maida Vale studios since 2006. In addition to playing five of their own songs, the band performed a cover version of Soft Cell’s 1982 hit “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”.

1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Butterfly, Butterfly
3. Analogue
4. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (Soft Cell cover)
5. Take On Me
6. (Seemingly) Nonstop July (Bonus online track)

The whole show, featuring the live tracks and interviews with the band is available on BBC’s website for 7 days here.


On Sunday, a special programme about a-ha called “A Life in Music” was broadcast on Smooth Radio. The 25-minute radio special, featuring interviews with all three members, can now be heard again here.


In addition to the standard version of 25 there will also be a 3-disc Deluxe Edition released in the UK, which features a DVD with 17 music videos. Although not a complete video collection, the DVD includes “Dark Is The Night”, “Angel In The Snow”, “Shapes That Go Together”, “Butterfly, Butterfly” and “Take On Me” (1984 version) – all of which are being released on DVD for the first time. The DVD also includes the videos for “I’ve Been Losing You”, “Lifelines” and “Did Anyone Approach You”, which were previously only available on a 2003 Spanish promo DVD.

The 3-disc deluxe edition of 25 can now be ordered from

Oslo press conference

Morten at the press conference

Morten at the press conference

Morten held a press conference in Oslo on Friday, to talk about the upcoming concert in Oslo Konserthus on 4 October, where all the proceedings will go to the Christian organization Mercy Ships.

Also present was Lord Ian McColl, medical surgeon and chairman of Mercy Ships UK, who has done volunteer work for the organization since 1996.

Morten first heard about Mercy Ships one year ago, when a cabin neighbour told him about it. The neighbour, Erling Natvig, turned out to be the chairman of Mercy Ships Norway.

I couldn’t understand that I hadn’t heard about this fantastic project before. Therefore the most important thing about this concert is to spread the word about Mercy Ships“, Morten says.

They take care of people with limited resources, and heal them. It’s an impressive work.

For the concerts in Oslo and London, a-ha will be backed by 30 musicians from Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.

This won’t be an ordinary charity show, where the program has been put together at the last minute. The audience will get to hear our whole debut album, “Hunting High And Low”, in a unique concert“, Morten says.

TV2: a-ha synger for sykehuskip i Afrika (with video clip)
Dagbladet: Morten Harkets giver-iver
VG: a-ha gir bort billettpenger til flytende sykehus
Dagen Magazinet: Harket hyller Mercy Ships

“Singin’ in the Rain”

Kristiansand, 11 September (Picture by Jakob)

Kristiansand, 11 September
(Picture by Jakob)

It was a rather wet evening on Saturday, when a-ha played their last-ever outdoor concert in front of 15.000 people at Sør Arena in Kristiansand. So instead of the usual Tchaikovsky intro we got Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain”.

The roof over the middle part of the stage didn’t seem to be of much help, when the rain came in sideways. From behind a large protective plastic case, Magne commented that his keyboard had turned into an aquarium, while during the acoustic set Morten said that he was almost sliding off his chair, as it was so wet.

Kristiansand, 11 September (Picture by Jakob)

Kristiansand, 11 September
(Picture by Jakob)

But despite the weather and some technical problems, the show went ahead as planned. “We’ll try to do our part to make this night as memorable as possible for you“, Magne said before “Stay On These Roads”. The setlist was the same as in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim – 21 songs starting with TSASOTV and ending with TOM.

Our very first concert in Norway took place in Kristiansand, back in 87. Thank you so much for inviting us back“, Magne told the audience at the end.

The concert gets 5 out of 6 from the local newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.

For Karl Oluf it was a special night, as he is originally from Vennesla, not too far from Kristiansand.

The audience sang along loudly and created a good atmosphere, even if the rain was pouring down. That was great. Magne was super-happy afterwards and Morten thought it was a special show, since Kristiansand is partly home territory for him as well“, he said in an interview afterwards.

Here is the first of my YouTube clips from Kristiansand:
Crying In The Rain

Kristiansand, 11 September (Picture by Jakob)

Kristiansand, 11 September
(Picture by Jakob)

The next concert is the Hunting High And Low-performance at Oslo Konserthus on 4 October. There was a ticket presale today; more info on

And Happy Birthday to Morten, who is 51 today!

“It’s our gift to the audience”

Kristiansand, September 7th

Kristiansand, September 7th

Magne and Morten were in Kristiansand yesterday to promote a-ha’s last ever stadium/outdoor concert.

Fædrelandsvennen has a video interview here, while Radio Sør has an audio interview here.

There was also a TV report on NRK Sørlandet, which can be seen here (starts after 7.45 minutes).

Magne:We’re now ending the most grandiose stadium tour in Norwegian history in Kristiansand on Saturday, so that will be a special concert for us and it will be very special for those who are coming to see it as well.

We have lots of friends and family down here, so it will be really cool to put on a real show at Sør Arena. We have brought along the world’s most amazing stage production and I think people’s jaws will drop. There’s never been anything like it in Norway and I don’t think any other band besides us could have done the same. And I don’t think anyone would have been crazy enough to pay for such a big production for so few shows. You need to tour for a year in order to pay for a production like this. It’s our gift to the audience.

13.500 tickets have been sold for the Kristiansand concert so far. The rigging of the stage is being streamed live here.

And here’s a new interview with director Steve Barron about the “Butterfly” video:

Stavanger, Tromsø and Trondheim

Stavanger, 2 September (Picture by Jakob)

Stavanger, 2 September
(Picture by Jakob)

The band had a busy few days this past weekend, with three concerts in three days in different parts of Norway.

Stavanger, 2 September (Picture by Jakob)

Stavanger, 2 September
(Picture by Jakob)

In Stavanger they played at the first annual Rått og Råde Festival in front of 10.000 people. The setlist (18 songs) was a bit shorter than the stadium concerts, leaving out the acoustic set. The local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad gives the concert 5 out of 6.

I will be uploading some of my video clips from Stavanger on YouTube – here is the first one:
Stay On These Roads.

In Tromsø, 13.000 people saw the band at the Døgnvill Festival – where a-ha also played in 2007. Anneli Drecker, who was a-ha’s backing vocalist from 2000 – 2002, came on stage for a duet with Morten on Crying In The Rain. Many of the other songs can also be seen on YouTube here. The concert gets an outstanding review from (6 out of 6) and a more moderate review from (4 out of 6).

At Lerkendal Stadium in Trondheim on Saturday they were back on their own Butterfly-shaped stage, with an audience of 15.000 people. The concert included the full 21-song set for an appreciative crowd, despite a chilly temperature. Some reviews can be found at and NRK also has a picture gallery here.

Apparatjik have announced their third concert, which will take place in London on 23 September at the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park. More info on

And happy birthday to Paul, who turns 49 today!

Trondheim, 4 September (Picture by Jakob)

Trondheim, 4 September
(Picture by Jakob)

Magne and Morten visit Rockheim

"How on earth could you wear that, Morten?" Magne studies old a-ha photos at the Rockheim museum in Trondheim today. (Picture from NRK Trøndelag)

“How on earth could you wear that, Morten?”
Magne studies old a-ha photos at the Rockheim museum in Trondheim today.
(Picture from NRK Trøndelag)

Magne and Morten were in Trondheim today to promote Saturday’s concert at Lerkendal stadium. Adresseavisen has a video interview with the guys here.

They also made a visit to Rockheim – the new interactive center/museum for Norwegian pop and rock, which opened earlier this month. The a-ha exhibit seems to be prominently featured at Rockheim, and Magne found some early Bridges photos that he had never seen before.

They are both touched by the reception they’ve been getting at the Norwegian concerts.

Morten: “It’s special for us to be at home in Norway and be met like this. I’m proud of the band“.

Magne: “There’s a really good atmosphere, we can feel that we’re being embraced and that this means a lot to people“.

A video report from their visit to Rockheim can be seen here (starts after 13.30 minutes): NRK Midtnytt 31.08.10


Here is another of my video clips from the Bergen concert: Cry Wolf

Be also sure to check out Lena’s videos from the soundcheck (there are 7 so far):
a-ha Bergen 28.08.2010 Soundcheck Part 1

And Claudia’s videos from the concert, like “Crying in the Rain”.


Several fans have asked me to mention a new petition for a-ha to stream the last concert on December 4th online. So, here it is:

But, as Catherine writes on WOTM, management is already well aware that fans want the final show to be streamed, so there really is no need for another petition.


And here is an interview with graphic designer Jeri Heiden about the HHAL album cover: Uncovered: a-ha, “Hunting High and Low”

Bergen concert

Bergen, 28 August (Picture by Jakob)

Bergen, 28 August
(Picture by Jakob)

a-ha continued their Norwegian tour in Bergen last night, where they played another excellent concert in front of 25.000 people at Brann Stadium.

The setlist was identical to Oslo, but the band seemed to be a bit more relaxed this time and Morten almost remembered all the lyrics.

Here are some HD videos that I have uploaded to YouTube (more to follow):
The Bandstand
Butterfly, Butterfly
(Seemingly) Nonstop July

Bergen, 28 August (Picture by Jakob)

Bergen, 28 August
(Picture by Jakob)

The good reviews continue in the local press, with 5 out of 6 from both Bergens Tidende and Bergensavisen. There’s also a positive review from NRK Hordaland.

And Natt og Dag has a lot of photos from the concert here.


Bergen, 28 August (Picture by Jakob)

Bergen, 28 August
(Picture by Jakob)

1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Move To Memphis
3. The Blood That Moves The Body
4. Scoundrel Days
5. Stay On These Roads
6. Manhattan Skyline
7. Hunting High And Low
8. The Bandstand
9. We’re Looking For The Whales
10. Butterfly Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)
11. (Seemingly) Nonstop July
12. Crying In The Rain
13. Minor Earth, Major Sky
14. Forever Not Yours
15. Summer Moved On
16. I’ve Been Losing You
17. Foot Of The Mountain
18. Cry Wolf
19. Analogue
20. The Living Daylights
21. Take On Me

Additional Oslo concert announced / More interviews

Morten on the front page of Stavanger Aftenblad Pluss.

Morten on the front page of Stavanger Aftenblad Pluss.

The second “Hunting High And Low”-concert that Magne mentioned earlier this week, has now been officially announced on

The concert will be held at Oslo Konserthus on 4 October, and will benefit Mercy Ships – a Christian organization that operates hospital ships in developing nations. Only a limited amount of tickets will be available.


There is a lot of promo for the Norwegian concerts going on at the moment.

Morten is on the front page of Stavanger Aftenblad’s weekend magazine today. Inside there is a 3-page interview.

There is also a 2-page article about Morten in Vårt Land today, while Bergensavisen has an article about a purchase agreement for a guitar amplifier that Morten bought in 1976 (!).

Fædrelandsvennen has a 2-page interview with Karl Oluf, who talks about his experiences touring with a-ha over the last two years.


Karl Oluf on the front page of Fædrelandsvennen's culture section.

Karl Oluf on the front page of Fædrelandsvennen’s culture section.

In Bergen, the last preparations are being done before the concert at Brann Stadium tomorrow night. Between 25.000 and 30.000 people are expected to attend the largest concert ever held in the city. Bergens Tidende has documented the process of building the stage with an article and slideshow here. You can also view a 360° panorama picture of the stadium.

And here are some more interviews from Magne and Morten’s promo day in Bergen on Tuesday:
NRK Hordaland: – Har hatt en fantastisk karriere
Bergens Tidende: Gleder seg til å ta farvel med Bergen
Bergensavisen: A-ha lover kjempefest

NRK Hordaland: Ettermiddagssending 24.08 (Radio interview – starts after 50 minutes)

There will be a-ha stuff happening in the future as well“, Magne says in the interview with Bergensavisen. “Not albums and concerts. But certain people are interested in making musicals and fictional movies about a-ha. And that’s something that we have to consider.


And the 25 collection has finally entered the official Norwegian album chart (at number 9), as it’s now also available outside the COOP chain – earlier than originally planned.

In Europe as a whole, the album is at number 8 in its second week, as Billboard reports. It’s currently number 3 in Germany, 6 in Switzerland and 14 in Austria.

“Førkveld” interview

Førkveld, August 24th

Førkveld, August 24th

Magne and Morten are already in Bergen to prepare for Saturday’s concert at Brann Stadium, and tonight they were guests on the live talkshow “Førkveld” on NRK1, with host Halvor Folgerø.

They were very pleased with last weekend’s concert at Ullevaal.

Morten:It was great. There was a special atmosphere.

Magne:When we’re meeting our home crowd here in Norway for the last time, all the lines of lyrics that we have been singing through 25 years, like “Wave goodbye”, take on a different meaning.


Førkveld, August 24th

Førkveld, August 24th

The interview also addressed an issue Italian fans have been wondering about:

Halvor Folgerø:We have asked our viewers to send in questions via our Facebook page, and most of them, or at least 50 percent come from abroad. Quite a lot of Italians, actually…

Magne:They are mad at us, because we haven’t managed to include Italy on our Farewell Tour. And we’re feeling sorry about that.

Halvor Folgerø:Serena Renzi writes that Italian fans are so sad that you’re not coming to say farewell in her country. Do you have something against Italians or Italy, she asks?

Morten:Except Berlusconi? No.

Magne:Not at all. Italy was, for my part, one of the most fun countries to be touring. In addition to the excitement of playing concerts, it was also a culinary journey. I am incredibly fascinated by Italy in every way. So this is simply about two things; the fact that we haven’t been successfull enough in Italy in recent years that agents want to provide the support we need. We have a production at the moment of arena/stadium size. It costs a lot of money and someone has to take the risk. We have been willing to take our part of the risk, but… I mean, we do have a lot of fans in Italy, but I don’t think the agents are feeling confident enough about it. The other thing is that we have had so many offers from other places that in the end we’ve just decided that we’ll tour where we know that we are wanted.


Following a montage of live clips, Morten talked about how touring can become a blur after a while, which made Magne remember an infamous incident from last year. I have posted a translation here.

And Magne revealed that there will be a second HHAL-concert this autumn. But he didn’t say if it will be held at the Royal Albert Hall or somewhere else.

The Førkveld interview can be seen online here.

Magne and Morten were also interviewed on Vestlandsrevyen (local news) tonight. The video clip can be seen here.


And here is an update from Just Loomis, who is selling some of his own high-quality a-ha photos at (see August 7th news story):

Due to the many, many requests that I have received from the fans, I am now offering a smaller print size for a limited time, for the fans of Aha. The cost of an 8×10 will be $50 plus shipping.

Ullevaal concert

Confetti at the end, followed by fireworks. (Picture by Jakob)

Confetti at the end, followed by fireworks.
(Picture by Jakob)

a-ha impressed audience and critics alike when they opened their Norwegian tour at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on Saturday, featuring a massive stage and an amazing video show.

The concert was a special celebration of a-ha’s career in front of their home crowd, and after performing “Butterfly, Butterfly”, Morten said:

We would like to thank you for 25 years. [Long applause] During these 25 years that we have created together, the three of us… I read in the paper today that we are incompatible. I’m no a-ha expert myself… [Audience laughs] …but that statement is not compatible with how I have experienced things. But these are 25 years that you have been a part of as well, and which I would like to thank you for.

The reviews in VG, Dagbladet, Aftenposten and Dagsavisen all give the concert 5 out of 6.

An amazing video show. Here's the moon during "Minor Earth, Major Sky" (Picture by Jakob)

An amazing video show. Here’s the moon during “Minor Earth, Major Sky”
(Picture by Jakob)

The concert had a bizarre opening though, with the classical Tchaikovsky intro suddenly interrupted by Nelly’s hip-hop tune “Hot in Herre”, before leading into “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. Who came up with that combination?

No new songs in the setlist, but “Butterfly, Butterfly” was done acoustically for the first time, “Crying In The Rain” was back and “(Seemingly) Nonstop July” was performed live only for the second time since 1994. And unlike all the other concerts on the Farewell Tour, the songs were not played in reversed chronological order this time, but instead old and new songs were mixed up. “The Sun Always Shines On TV” was back as the opener, like it was on the FOTM tour in 2009.


Picture by Jakob

Picture by Jakob

Setlist (with YouTube links):
1. The Sun Always Shines On TV
2. Move To Memphis
3. The Blood That Moves The Body
4. Scoundrel Days
5. Stay On These Roads
6. Manhattan Skyline
7. Hunting High And Low
8. The Bandstand
9. Looking For The Whales
10. Butterfly Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)
11. (Seemingly) Nonstop July
12. Crying In The Rain
13. Minor Earth, Major Sky
14. Forever Not Yours
15. Summer Moved On
16. I’ve Been Losing You
17. Foot Of The Mountain
18. Cry Wolf
19. Analogue
20. The Living Daylights
21. Take On Me

More video clips:
TV2 interview with Magne and the vocalist in Shining before the concert:

The opening song filmed by TV2:
The Sun Always Shines On TV

On Saturday, NRK had an interview with P. A. Stenersen, who owns the biggest a-ha collection in the world. Stenersen, who has donated parts of his collection to the upcoming a-ha exhibition at the national museum in Oslo, meets up with Morten in the clip and receives a few very rare additions to his collection:

Getting ready for Ullevaal

Setting up the stage at Ullevaal, August 18th

Setting up the stage at Ullevaal, August 18th

The largest concert of the farewell tour is now being prepared at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.

The stage construction – reportedly the largest ever built in Norway – weighs 1500 tons and takes four days to set up. 65 meters wide and 18 meters tall, with a 600 square meters video wall, it has been specially designed for these Norwegian concerts by Stageco. It will be brought around Norway using more than 40 semitrailers, and a team of 200 people working on the rigging.

Parts of the stage have been tested indoors at Oslo Spektrum during the last few days. A video clip from this can be seen at

An additional 1500 tickets have now been released, which means that nearly 30.000 people will be in the audience on Saturday night.

Dagsavisen article

Oslo, August 16th.

Oslo, August 16th.

Dagsavisen had an article on Tuesday, which further shows the conflicting views within the band about the break-up.

We’re tired, 25 years is a long time for any band, but I wish a-ha could have existed longer. I have songs that I know would have been valuable additions to the catalogue“, Paul says.

The article also includes a few quotes by Paul from the new and updated edition of “The Swing of Things” (English edition available for ordering from now):

A part of me feels it’s cowardly to end now. I don’t think we have achieved enough. But I was voted down. (…) It feels like tactics to me. Too cold and hard.

Magne serves the following comment back at Paul:
To continue would have demanded something else from him, and something else from all three of us. I don’t want a-ha to be used as a purely commercial tool to serve our own individual agendas. It’s not like only one of us should define what a-ha is. We’re three members. You can’t just think about getting as much as possible of your own material released.

I would wish for a band where the level of conflict wasn’t so high, a band where team effort was valued, a band where you gave each other the necessary feedback. That’s not where we are at the moment, and we have to acknowledge that.

In the article, Paul also reveals that the band had originally planned more events like the HHAL-concert at the Royal Albert Hall:

Two or three years ago we came up with the idea to perform the entire first album to mark its 25th anniversary. We were planning to do the same thing with our other albums as well, but then we only got so far as the first one.

Here is some more press from Monday:
NRK Østlandssendingen (video report)
NRK Østlandssendingen (14-minute radio interview with Magne)

The “God Morgen Norge” interview with Magne and Morten is now available to watch here.

Norwegian press meeting

a-ha in Oslo, August 16th

a-ha in Oslo, August 16th

a-ha met the Norwegian press at Hotel Grims Grenka in Oslo today, to talk about the farewell concerts and to present the updated edition of Jan Omdahl’s The Swing Of Things, which is published in Norway later this week.

A photo session with the band was followed by individual interviews with Magne and Morten, while Paul and Lauren tried their best to dispel the ever-returning John and Yoko comparisons by uh… doing their interviews in bed.

A few video clips from the press meeting can be seen here:      TV2 Nyhetene

And here are some of the articles published so far: Tankeprosessen har startet Paul har A-ha-låtene du aldri får høre A-ha-farvel på godt og vondt


Paul and Lauren interviewed in bed by TV2.

Paul and Lauren interviewed in bed by TV2.

Some selected quotes:

Paul:I’m not the one who wanted this to happen. To me, there are four parts; it’s Magne, myself and Morten, but it’s also a-ha. It’s like a unit on its own. And a part of me wants to fill it with as much great material as possible. I have read every book there is about other bands, and the hell that they’ve been through in order to record an album. But it’s worth it in the end. In my opinion we should have just put up with things in order to get [another album] done.

I have at least half a new a-ha album ready. I wrote many new songs before we decided to end the band. So I would have liked to continue. We have a potential for more, at least one more album.

It’s strange and a bit sad to retire. We just got back from Japan, where the fans were crying in despair when we left our hotels.

Lauren:It’s sad, but I’m also happy for him, because he has so many options now. He can write songs for other artists. It’s an exciting time.

Paul:Since we announced our retirement, I’ve been contacted by a few people who have asked me if I’d be interested in various projects. That’s what I have in mind now, there are so many great voices out there that really speak to me. It would be cool to write for some of those, I have already made a list of names that I would like to write for. But I won’t show it to you“, he smiles.

Morten:There are many interesting things that I’m currently considering. I’m not writing songs at the moment, there’s no room for that. But I do feel a small tingling coming along, so it would be strange if the urge for songwriting shouldn’t return. But I feel it’s best to just let things happen and leave the horizon open.

Interviewer: – Can you see yourself fronting another band?

Morten:No comment.


Magne:We’re around 50 years old, and we’ve been doing this for 25 years. If I were to do something else, this would be the right time.

There are many reasons to split. The time has come. It would have been easier to continue, but it’s more brave to end it. I wouldn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel.

a-ha will live on, without us.


Magne and Morten on God Morgen Norge.

Magne and Morten on God Morgen Norge.

Earlier in the day, Magne and Morten appeared on God Morgen Norge on TV2.

Magne talked about how, after the Japanese concerts, he and the family had travelled up into the mountains and lived together with buddhist monks.

It was a powerful experience. We had to get up at 6 in the morning and take part in an hour-long ceremony where you sit on the floor until your feet get numb, as you’re not used to sitting with your legs crossed. It gave me insight into another way of life.

Kamille interview

They say some dogs look like their owners. Magne's dog Kiz appears to be in a category of her own. (From Kamille, issue 17 - 2010)

They say some dogs look like their owners.
Magne’s dog Kiz appears to be in a category of her own.
(From Kamille, issue 17 – 2010)

There is a 5-page interview with Magne in the current issue of Norwegian women’s magazine Kamille.

WOTM member Magnet has posted an English translation of the interview here.


An English translation of last month’s Dagbladet interview can be found on the a-ha fan cafe blog. It’s in 6 parts, starting with part 1 here.


For those of us in Norway, a-ha will be guests in the studio on TV2’s “God Morgen Norge” tomorrow morning to talk about the farewell tour. They are set to appear around 9:40am.


And I’ve been asked to post a link to a new Facebook group, which aims to put the “Butterfly” single on the charts in the UK and Ireland. Here’s the link:
Make a-ha’s Butterfly fly to number one in UK + Ireland

Premiere of “Butterfly, Butterfly” music video


a-ha’s final music video, directed by Steve Barron, premiered on MySpace today.

Watch the video here. And then discuss it with other fans in the WOTM forum.

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