Archive for the ‘a-ha’ Category

a-ha perform 6-song set in Oslo

a-ha on stage in Oslo, June 6th

a-ha performed a 6-song set in Oslo last night, as part of the closing party of the Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership Conference 2019. They were joined on stage by Karl Oluf Wennerberg on drums, Even Ormestad on bass and Erik Ljunggren on synth. Serving as a preview of the upcoming Hunting High And Low Tour, all the songs were taken from the first album.

Setlist (with video links):
1. The Sun Always Shines on TV
2. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
3. The Blue Sky
4. Hunting High and Low
5. Train of Thought
6. Take on Me

This marked the first time “The Blue Sky” had been performed live since 2010, and only the fourth time since the 1980s. “Train of Thought” was the album version, instead of the demo version they did on the Electric Summer tour last year.

Other performers at the outdoor concert included the boys choir Sølvguttene, Sissel Kyrkjebø and Andrea Bocelli. The event was only open for invited guests with a 4-day Conference Pass which cost 4000 kroner ($460). Although the weather forecast had predicted heavy rain in the evening, the rain storm passed over Oslo earlier in the afternoon and there were only a few drops during the concert.

Update: The Nor-Shipping website has a few seconds of official footage from the a-ha performance here (at 2:35) and here (at 1:08).

New page: The early days 1977 – 1983

Magne, Morten and Paul in the 1970s

In recent years I have been looking through old archives, working on compiling a list of Paul, Magne and Morten’s early concerts/performances in the years between 1977 and 1983. From Spider Empire to Bridges and from Laelia Anceps to Souldier Blue.

The list, which currently includes 54 performances can now be seen on this page:
Early bands and concerts 1977-1983

If you have any corrections or additional dates, contact me here.

HHAL Tour to be extended into 2020

The tour continues…

The upcoming Hunting High and Low Tour will be extended into 2020, the official site announced today, with the first date being Trondheim, Norway on 7 February 2020:

Due to popular demand, a-ha’s ‘Hunting High and Low Live’ tour is extending into 2020!

Today we’re announcing the first show of 2020, taking place in Trondheim, Norway!

The show will be on 7 February 2020 at the brand new indoor stadium, Trondheim Spektrum, opening in October 2019. a-ha is the first band to be announced to play at the arena.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday 11th March at 9:00 am CEST, however there will be a fan pre sale on Saturday 9th March from noon CEST!

Pre Sale Link – Click here

General Sale Link – Click here

More dates in 2020 will be announced soon, including areas the band hasn’t visited since their 1986 world tour. Stay tuned and spread the word!

According to the organizers in Trondheim, this will be the only Norwegian concert on the HHAL Tour. But such statements should be taken with a pinch of salt, as we’ve seen numerous times in the past.

Article: A-ha fremfører sitt legendariske debutalbum i Trondheim Spektrum

“Hunting High And Low – The Early Alternate Mixes” vinyl release

Album cover

A special a-ha vinyl album, Hunting High And Low – The Early Alternate Mixes, will be released in connection with the upcoming Record Store Day 2019 on April 13th.

The 10-track album (1LP, black vinyl) will include the same alternate mixes first released on disc 4 of the 30th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Hunting High And Low in 2015, and comes with an alternate cover image from the original album cover shoot by Just Loomis.

According to the Record Store Day website, the release will be limited to 6000 copies worldwide.

Tracklist:
1. Take On Me (Video Version) [2015 Remastered]
2. Train Of Thought (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
3. Hunting High And Low (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
4. The Blue Sky (Alternate Long Mix) [2015 Remastered]
5. Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
6. The Sun Always Shines On T.V. (Alternate Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
7. And You Tell Me (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
8. Love Is Reason (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]
9. Dream Myself Alive (Early “NYC” Mix) [2015 Remastered]
10. Here I Stand And Face The Rain (Early Mix) [2015 Remastered]

This will be third a-ha release in connection with Record Store Day, following the “Take On Me” 7″ picture disc in 2015 and the a-ha hits South America 12″ live EP in 2016, which were limited to 3000 copies each.

See a list of participating record stores in your area here.

a-ha on BBC’s The One Show

a-ha on The One Show, November 9th

a-ha made an appearance on BBC’s The One Show on Friday night, performing “Take On Me” live with an orchestra outside the BBC Broadcasting House in London.

The performance, for which both Magne and Paul had brought out their custom Everly Brothers acoustic guitars, can be seen on YouTube.

This was in connection with tickets for next year’s Hunting High and Low tour going on sale, as well as the release of a new compilation album called 80’s Symphonic, on which “Take On Me” is one of 15 songs from the 80’s where the original vocal track has been combined with new string arrangements, recorded at Abbey Road by the 50-piece London Studio Orchestra.

The 80’s Symphonic album is available now from amazon.co.uk and amazon.de.

While in London, Magne also attended the Queen Sonja Print Award 2018 ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts on Thursday night. Magne is on the board of directors of the award, which was presented to Canadian artist Emma Nishimura this year.

2019 tour will focus on Hunting High and Low

New promo shot by Stian Andersen

Today it was announced that next year’s 15-date a-ha tour will focus on playing their debut album Hunting High and Low in full, along with a selection of other songs. And thereby crushing any hopes of a new a-ha studio album next year.

“Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pål Waaktaar-Savoy will be performing in An Evening With format, with an interval. For the first half of the concert, they will play new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs. Then, after returning to the stage, they will play the ten songs of their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the running order of the original release.”

Some fans may feel this is quite an unimaginative move, considering this will be the third tour in a row not supporting a new studio album and the fact they’ve already done Hunting High and Low-concerts in Oslo and London back in 2010, while others – who perhaps missed out the first time – will be looking forward to hearing some songs that are seldom played live.

The full list of tour dates:

29 October: 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland
30 October: SSE Arena, Belfast, UK
01 November: The Armadillo, Glasgow, UK
02 November: First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK
05 November: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK
06 November: Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK
08 November: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
09 November: Seine Musicale, Paris, France
12 November: SAP Arena, Mannheim, Germany
13 November: Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany
15 November: König Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
16 November: ÖVB Arena, Bremen, Germany
18 November: Torwar Arena, Warsaw, Poland
20 November: Ice Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
22 November: Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia

There will be a fan presale later this week, before the general ticket sale starts on November 9th.

New a-ha tour in 2019

Back on the road in 2019

Although a-ha have done two major tours this year; the MTV Unplugged Tour and the Electric Summer Tour, the band will be going on the road again in October and November 2019, the official site announced on Friday:

The tour will take place in October and November of 2019. We will be announcing all the dates and cities at once, several days in advance of the ticket on sale, which starts November 9th. The venues will be all seated. And the band will be returning to a few cities they haven’t played in over 15 years!

Over the coming days, we will reveal a new tour city each day on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to follow along and share in the excitement as we count down to the full announcement in early November!

Four cities have already been announced: Dublin, Bremen, Glasgow and Paris, with more cities to follow in the coming days.

But what kind of tour is it? Will it be in connection with a new a-ha album?

No one knows for sure yet, but Morten was at Peter Kvint’s Studio Brun in Stockholm earlier this month. In addition to being the place where Morten has recorded much of his solo work in recent years, Studio Brun is also where parts of a-ha’s Cast In Steel album was recorded in 2014/15.

Meanwhile, Paul has been working in the studio in New York with engineer Chuck Zwicky. In addition to assisting on Savoy and Waaktaar & Zoe projects, Zwicky also worked on the Cast In Steel album.

Bridges album release in Trondheim

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Viggo Bondi, Magne Furuholmen and Øystein Jevanord at the “Våkenatt” album launch in Trondheim yesterday

All four members of Bridges were at the Rockheim museum of popular Norwegian music in Trondheim yesterday, for the official release of their second album Våkenatt. Originally intended for release in 1981, as the follow-up to 1980’s Fakkeltog, the album is finally seeing the light of day this week, 37 years later.

The band members talked to the press and signed copies of the vinyl box set for fans who had pre-ordered it. An NRK TV news report from the event can be seen here (starts at 04:12).

“For me this is not just an historical document, but a new release. When I sat down to have a proper listen to the music again a couple of years ago, I was shocked by how good it sounded. We were an incredibly tight band, and this was music recorded live by four guys in a studio. We would often nail a song on the first or second take”, Paul told Aftenposten in an interview last week.

Mixing the album was done over a few days in Paul’s New York studio, and he wanted to keep things simple.

“I didn’t want the music to sound too modern, even if that would have been possible now. That’s why I came up with a dogma that only equipment invented and available pre-1981 could by used when doing the mix. That became my way of doing it. To make the album sound as good as possible, but not by cheating.”

 
When asked if there’s more to come from Bridges, Paul says:

“There are a few more songs [in the archives], but they didn’t fit in and would have been wrong to include on this album. Playing this material live again would have been cool, obviously, but it would be quite an undertaking to pull it off.”

“In any event, it feels really good and fitting to release it now. Many will view this as the story of an album being released 38 years later, but personally I’m just a really big fan of the album itself”, Paul told Aftenposten.

900 vinyl copies of the Våkenatt album have been pressed in total, of which 700 numbered copies are available for sale. The album can be ordered from Rockheim Musical Archives.

The album has already received in-depth reviews in English by Greg Lansdowne for The Electricity Club and by Christopher Hopkins for Campaign For More a-ha Remastered Deluxes.

Links:
NRK: Forgjengeren til A-ha ute med skjult album – 38 år etter at de laget det
Dagsavisen: Broen over til a-ha (paywall)
Aftenposten: Forløperen til A-ha slippes nå – etter 38 år (paywall)
Adresseavisen: – De prøvde å ta musikken vår til utlandet. Vi burde jo bare ha dytta etter (paywall)

a-ha in Hamar, 14 August

Hamar, 14 August 2018
(Picture by Jakob)

a-ha were back in Norway yesterday, to play in front of 10.000 people at the main square in Hamar – the first of four outdoor shows in their home country this week.

The setlist included the same 18 songs that have been played at almost every show on the summer tour, but the song order in the first half of the set had been shuffled around compared to last month.

The band was in fine form and there was a great energy coming from the crowd. Here’s a video clip of Minor Earth Major Sky live in Hamar.

Morten struggled with some sound issues and at one point told the FOH engineer that he couldn’t hear himself due to “strange frequencies” at the front. Magne jokingly suggested the whole audience could all move one metre to the side to correct the issue.

The tour continues in Trondheim tonight, with two festivals in Ålesund and Bodø to follow this weekend.

 
Hamar setlist:
1. Cry Wolf
2. The Blood That Moves The Body
3. The Weight of the Wind
4. Minor Earth Major Sky
5. Crying in the Rain
6. Foot of the Mountain
7. Analogue
8. Lifelines
9. Train of Thought
10. Stay on These Roads
11. Sycamore Leaves
12. Manhattan Skyline
13. Hunting High and Low
14. I’ve Been Losing You
15. The Sun Always Shines on TV
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
16. Scoundrel Days
17. The Living Daylights
18. Take on Me

Links:
Stangeavisa: a-ha fenget fansen

Electric Summer video playlist

Ra’anana Park Amphitheater in Tel Aviv on 21 June
(Screenshot from YouTube video by Yuval Erel)

The Electric Summer tour resumes tomorrow night, at the unique Dalhalla outdoor venue in Sweden, followed by Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway on Friday.

Here’s a collection of good quality YouTube-videos from the Electric Summer tour in June. Includes all 19 songs performed so far, taken from all of the eight cities visited, from Canterbury to Tel Aviv:

1. Cry Wolf – live in Tel Aviv
2. The Blood That Moves The Body – live in Canterbury
3. Minor Earth Major Sky – live in Doncaster
4. Lifelines – live in Yeovil
5. The Weight of the Wind – live in Blackpool
6. Crying in the Rain – live in Cork
7. Foot of the Mountain – live in Tel Aviv
8. Analogue – live in Blackpool
9. Train of Thought – live in Doncaster
10. Stay on These Roads – live in Tel Aviv
11a. This is Our Home – live in Yeovil
11b. Sycamore Leaves – live in Blackpool
12. Manhattan Skyline – live in Cork
13. Hunting High and Low – live in Tel Aviv
14. I’ve Been Losing You – live in Tel Aviv
15. The Sun Always Shines on TV – live in Darlington
16. Scoundrel Days – live in Blackpool
17. The Living Daylights – live in Cambridge
18. Take On Me – live in Darlington

There are also a few compilation videos worth checking out; from Cork and Tel Aviv.

Thanks to the uploaders.

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