Archive for the ‘a-ha’ Category

a-ha concert in Hamar announced

From a-ha’s outdoor concert in Bergen, May 2016 (Picture by Jakob)

A fifth and final outdoor concert in Norway next summer has been announced today; a-ha will be playing in the city of Hamar on 14 August 2018.

The concert will be held at Stortorget (main square) in Hamar, which has a capacity of 10,000 people. Previous shows at Stortorget have included Sting and Elton John.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, 31 October, through Ticketmaster. There will also be a fan presale the day before.

This will be the first time a-ha perform in Hamar. Savoy played there in 2004.

Elsewhere, the a-ha concert in Trondheim on 15 August has sold out, and the concert at Kongsberg Jazz Festival on 6 July has sold 9000 out of 12000 tickets so far.

Articles:
A-Ha kommer til Stortorget
a-ha til Stortorget i Hamar – på en tirsdag

a-ha at BBC Children in Need concert

The SSE Arena, Wembley, October 19th
(Screenshot from YouTube video)

a-ha performed one song, the acoustic version of “Take On Me”, at the “BBC Children in Need Rocks the 80s” charity concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Thursday night, October 19th.

They were joined on stage by Martin Terefe on pump organ, who has arranged and co-produced this new version of the song on MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice.

A video of the performance can be seen on YouTube (thanks to Chris).

Some pictures of a-ha on the red carpet have been posted on Getty Images.

The concert is set to air on TV sometime next month.

While in London, Paul posted a few pictures on Instagram and promised “lots of Savoy news coming soon”.

Morten talks summer tour 2018

Picture by Jakob

Morten was a guest on Richard Green’s show on BBC Radio Devon today. The interview is available here (starts at 23 minutes).

Among the topics discussed was next year’s summer tour/world tour. As we learnt several months ago, a-ha is planning to go on the road again next summer with a full electric band, starting in the UK in June 2018 before continuing through mainland Europe, the USA and South America.

Although only four outdoor concerts in Norway have been announced so far, a-ha manager Harald Wiik said there will be 30-40 concerts in total. Later reports have mentioned as many as 60 concerts.

When asked about returning to the UK for more gigs next summer, Morten says:

“I believe, from where I stand now, that it will be more outdoor venue influenced. It’s not gonna be like the [Cast in Steel] tour, for instance. It will have elements of that, I think. I can’t promise that, but it’s what I think today. It will have elements, to an extent, from the Giske sessions, to create the dynamics that we would want. Certain songs might work in outdoor arenas, based on what we did in Giske, but only some of them would work that way. Then certain songs work by far best the way we have normally set it up with our full electronic stuff. And then certain songs will come to their form in a sort of analogue type of live playing. Sometimes we’ve played to synthesizers and computers, so it’s a mix of our live playing against the computers, that’s partly a-ha’s music. And some will be like that, some will be maybe all analogue and some will be stripped. I think it will be a mix.”

Planning such a major tour has raised questions if the band might be aiming to release a new studio album before next summer, but that will not be the case, according to Morten:

“Not an a-ha album, [that’s] not planned. But we have plans in that we’re now releasing this album from Giske, which leads on to the acoustic tour in January and February. And then we go into rehearsals and planning of the shows in the summer later on. So that will take us through most of next year. But the autumn is fairly open. And then there are other plans, there are a lot of offers for the band. But we have no concrete plans for a studio album.”

There are also no immediate plans for another solo album, he says:

“It would be wrong for me to make plans for my own stuff now, but there is a lot of stuff that is available and ready to be responded to, whenever it opens up for that.”

Earlier in the week, on Monday, Morten and Magne were guests on Becky Want’s show on BBC Radio Manchester. That interview is available here (starts at 1:45:30).

‘MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice’ enters album chart at #3 in Germany and #6 in the UK

MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice

a-ha’s new live album MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice has entered the German album chart at #3 in its first week. This is a-ha’s 13th top-10 album in Germany.

In the UK the album has entered the album chart at #6, making it their seventh UK top-10 album. A total of 6,982 copies were sold in the first week, this number includes physical sales, digital sales and streaming (1500 streams equals 1 album sale).

But if the UK album chart had been based on physical sales only, MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice would actually have been at #2, only beaten by Liam Gallagher’s new album, as can be seen on the physical albums chart.

In Norway the album enters VG-lista at #14 in its first week.

Elsewhere, the album enters at #35 in Belgium (Wallonia), #50 in Ireland, #93 in Belgium (Flanders), and #98 in The Netherlands, according to the UKMIX forum.

Additionally, the DVD/Blu-ray has entered the German Top-30 Music DVD chart at #4, the Belgian (Wallonia) Top-10 Music DVD chart at #4 and the Dutch Top-10 Music DVD chart at #8.

As for the UK, below is a list of all first-week entries and first-week sales on the UK album chart in the last twelve years, including solo albums:
2006 – Analogue: #24 (9,911 copies)
2009 – Foot of the Mountain: #5 (18,744 copies)
2010 – 25: #10 (10,835 copies)
2011 – Ending on a High Note: #43 (2,966 copies)
2012 – Out of My Hands: #37 (3,455 copies)
2014 – Brother: #56 (1,461 copies)
2015 – Cast in Steel: #8 (7,828 copies)
2016 – Time and Again: #75 (???? copies)
2017 – Summer Solstice: #6 (6,982 copies)

‘MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice’ and ‘Tårer fra en stein’ now available

The new book and Blu-ray

A big release day on Friday, as a-ha’s new live album/video MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice was released in eight different versions and the Norwegian edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book about Paul Waaktaar-Savoy was published.

If you haven’t yet ordered MTV Unplugged: Summer Solstice, here are the links:
Fanbox (amazon.de), Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), DVD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+Blu-ray (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk), 2CD+DVD (amazon.de), 3LP (amazon.de / amazon.co.uk) and 1CD (amazon.co.uk). Plus download and streaming.

BBC Breakfast, October 5th

For those of you wondering about the Blu-ray and DVD, they have now both been officially confirmed to be region-free.

To promote the live album, Magne and Morten were guests on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, while Morten visited ITV’s Loose Women on Friday.

Morten also did radio interviews with BBC Radio Oxford (starts at 30:30), BBC Hereford & Worcester (starts at 1:17:00) and BBC Radio Devon (to be broadcast on October 14th).

Paul Waaktaar-Savoy and Ørjan Nilsson

In Norway there has been extensive media coverage of Tårer fra en stein and the first printing of the book is actually already sold out, with a second printing set to follow soon, according to BA (paywall).

I won’t reveal too much of the 300-page book here (stay tuned for possible translations into other languages), but it goes in-depth about Paul’s songwriting, inspirations and career in a way that has never been done before.

“We’re unlikely to ever get a more detailed portrait of Waaktaar Savoy”, VG says in its review of the book.

There was a book launch at Tronsmo bookstore in Oslo on Friday, where author Ørjan Nilsson was interviewed by Audun Vinger in front of an audience which included Paul’s mother Gerd. A video of the full conversation has been posted on Facebook.

The Norwegian edition of the book can be ordered from haugenbok.no, tanum.no, platekompaniet.no or bigdipper.no.

For more information about the book in English, read a new interview with Ørjan Nilsson at The Electricity Club.

Summer Solstice reviews:
VG (CD: 4/6, DVD: 5/6)    Aftenposten (4/6)    Dagsavisen (4/6) (paywall)
The Irish News (6/10)    Scandishop online

Articles/reviews on Tårer fra en stein:
VG: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy i a-ha med ny bok: Lammes av sosial angst
NRK: Vurderte å starte duo med Morten Harket
Gaffa: Nå vil han prøve å rette opp i navneforvirringen
Gaffa: Mener katastrofe-konserten på Øya ødela mye
Dagbladet: Pål Waaktaar Savoy røper konfliktene som har ødelagt for a-ha (paywall)
Dagsavisen: Et stille mysterium (paywall)
Morgenbladet: Sjenert Mussolini (paywall)

a-ha to headline BBC charity concert

a-ha will be headlining the charity concert “BBC Children in Need Rocks the 80s” at Wembley Arena (aka The SSE Arena) in London on October 19th.

Some of the other acts taking part include Bananarama, Boy George, Europe, Erasure and Jason Donovan.

The decision to perform seems somewhat puzzling, as a-ha have always been careful to avoid 80s-themed nostalgia events. Obviously, they are in a totally different league when it comes to continued success and credibility than any of these acts. But the promotional opportunities in the UK must have been limited at the moment.

According to independent.ie “the concert will be broadcast on BBC1 in the run-up to the annual BBC Children In Need appeal”.

More info and ticket links on bbc.co.uk.

Surprise a-ha performance in London

Morten and Paul on stage in London, 17 September

a-ha did a surprise live performance at the Tobacco Dock in London last night, to entertain guests at an Emporio Armani afterparty as part of London Fashion Week. But not unplugged this time.

Backed by Karl Oluf, Even and Erik, they played “The Sun Always Shines On TV” and “Take On Me”. Possibly more, but only video clips of those two songs have appeared online so far.

Update: According to an article on wwd.com, a-ha did a four-song set, including “Crying in the Rain”. Also performing at the party was Ellie Goulding.

Several video clips of a-ha’s performance have been posted on Instagram:

The Sun Always Shines On TV: Clip 1

Take On Me: Clip 1   Clip 2   Clip 3   Clip 4   Clip 5

Some pictures of a-ha with Giorgio Armani and Morten on stage have been posted by Emporio Armani on Facebook.

Pre-order ‘MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice’

Limited Edition Fanbox with 2CD, Blu-ray, DVD, hardcover book, poster, wristband, badge, button

The new a-ha live album/concert film MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice will apparently be released in eight different versions on October 6th, and can now be pre-ordered from various online stores.

Thankfully, all the 21 tracks performed at the Giske concerts in June will be included in all versions (except the 1CD Acoustic Hits edition). This is the first time an entire a-ha concert is released without songs missing. But if you want to buy the 3LP vinyl version, be aware that 11 of the 21 tracks have been edited for time.

Blu-ray and DVD bonus features are called “Friendship”, “Songs” and “Project”.

The version that many fans will be interested in getting is the Limited Edition Fanbox, which not only includes the 2CD, Blu-ray and DVD, but also a hardcover book about the recording process, a poster, wristband, badge and button. Currently only available from Germany, but at a good price. The book seems to be in English, based on the fanbox image on Amazon. Update: the book is confirmed by a-ha.com on Twitter to be in English.

Note: When ordering from amazon.de – if you don’t understand German, you can change the language to English at the bottom of the page.

Here are pre-order links through Amazon Germany and Amazon UK:

Limited Edition Fanbox: amazon.de

Blu-ray: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

DVD: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD+Blu-ray: amazon.de   amazon.co.uk

2CD+DVD: amazon.de

3LP vinyl: amazon.de

1CD (Acoustic Hits): amazon.co.uk

Press conference in Berlin

a-ha interviewed by NRK after the press conference in Berlin, 12 September

a-ha presented their new live release MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice at a press conference at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin on Tuesday, September 12th. A video of the whole event, hosted by Norwegian musician and author Jo Nesbø, is available on a-ha.com’s Facebook page.

After the press conference, the band did a number of interviews with German and Norwegian media, including TV2 and NRK. Another video report appeared on ARD’s Brisant.

On Wednesday, September 13th, a-ha did further promotion in Berlin. Twelve pictures from a DPA photocall can be seen at belgaimage.be.

The first single from MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice is called “This is Our Home” and is now available on for purchase/streaming. Watch the video on YouTube.

a-ha to present ‘Summer Solstice’ in Berlin

a-ha at the Cast in Steel press launch in Berlin, 2015

a-ha will present their new MTV Unplugged live album and concert film Summer Solstice at the Nordic Embassies in Berlin on Tuesday, September 12th [date corrected] according to Berliner Morgenpost.

The press launch will include an interview with the band members, moderated by the Norwegian musician and author Jo Nesbø.

a-ha have previously used the Nordic Embassies in Berlin to launch three albums; Lifelines in 2002, Foot of the Mountain in 2009 and Cast in Steel in 2015.

It’s safe to assume the band will do lots of other promotion as well, while in Germany.

Still no confirmed tracklist for the Summer Solstice album/video coming on October 6th, but four different formats are up for pre-order on CDON.eu; Blu-ray // Deluxe 2CD+Blu-ray // Deluxe 2CD+DVD // Triple vinyl.

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