‘See The Beauty…’ enters album chart at #7

Savoy’s new and well-received album

See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown has entered the Norwegian album chart at #7 in its first week, making it Savoy’s sixth top ten album in Norway. See the whole chart at vglista.no.

Here are the band’s previous first-week positions on the Norwegian album chart:

Mary Is Coming (1996): #1
Lackluster Me (1997): #12
Mountains Of Time (1999): #1
Reasons To Stay Indoors (2001): #8
Savoy (2004): #7
Savoy Songbook Vol. 1 (2007): #7

In other news, Paul and Lauren were guests on another radio show on 14 January, Søndagsåpent on NRK P1. The whole interview is in English, and available here.

Additional Norwegian album reviews have been posted by musikknyheter.no and arildronsen.no, while the first German review has appeared on bleistiftrocker.de.

Great reviews for Savoy album and concert

Paul and Frode at Parkteatret, 11 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

The good reviews for See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown have kept coming since the album release last Friday. Here are a few more from the Norwegian press:

Dagsavisen (5/6): “Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s songs are more vital than in a long time and oozing of confidence.”

Aftenposten (5/6): “An album that demands some time, but offers a lot of good and timeless pop music.”

Klassekampen (5/6): “After more than 20 years Savoy are reaching new creative heights, while maintaining a down-to-earth playfulness.”

Morgenbladet: “The frustration and (passive-)agressiveness that was a part of the previous albums has been replaced with a likeable musical optimism.”

Hamar Arbeiderblad (4/6): “The band make a departure from their previously guitar-driven sound in favour of a shameless flirt with 80s electro-pop. And as long as the result is this good, there’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

Åsane Tidende (4/6): “Low-key pop with a soul.”

Bergens Tidende (3/6): “The album includes both the alternative pop-rock they’re known for, and a more surprising element: synthpop.”

Lauren at Parkteatret, 11 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

There have also been some album reviews on blogs and fansites:

Campaign For More a-ha Remastered Deluxes: “This album contains a truly great collection of songs. At this stage in his career, nobody needed any further proof that Pål Waaktaar-Savoy is a genius but we can all be thankful that he has once again supplied us with some.”

Popklikk: “See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown features so many melodious and utterly fine songs that I’ve almost become addicted.”

The Wilhelmsens (6/6): “Paul deserves credit for his lyrics. He has an excellent way of combining music and lyrics, which always puts the song at the center.”

Dave’s Place Music: “See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown is an album that shines from various lights, sometimes glowing like a nocturnal sun, sometimes glimmering like a candle in plain daylight, as it is surely intended to do with such an album-title.”

The Savoy concert at Parkteatret last Thursday has also been getting good reviews:

Musikknyheter (8/10): “A strong release concert, featuring many old songs. (…) Waaktaar sings better than ever, and with great authority and confidence. In particular on “End of the Line” and “Rain”. As a guitarist he was also impressive throughout the concert. (…) Savoy appeared as a skilled live band.”

Norway Rock Magazine (4,5/6): “Despite low expectations, this turned out to be a very enjoyable evening with Savoy in front of a crowd of 3-400 people.”

There are some great photo galleries from the concert on Flickr, taken by Johannes Andersen and Carlos Maciá. And a selection of video clips have been posted on YouTube.

Lauren and Paul signing albums at Big Dipper, 13 January
(Picture by Carlos Maciá)

No additional Savoy concerts are scheduled at the moment, but hopefully there will be more:

“We’ll probably do a few more concerts eventually, and we’re hoping to do some festivals. Unfortunately we had to turn down an offer from Bergenfest, due to other commitments, but of course we’re hoping to do a concert in my hometown”, Frode Unneland said in an interview with Åsane Tidende yesterday.

“We have actually talked about doing a club tour, just the three of us. We recently rehearsed as a trio in New York. It’s tempting. Savoy is a project without any stress. There’s no outside pressure to sell a lot of tickets. So there’s a great atmosphere when we’re working together”, Frode told Bergens Tidende in another interview last Friday (paywall).

Even though Savoy has only recorded one of Frode’s songs (which remains unreleased), he still feels that he’s actively contributing to the creative process:

“Savoy is basically our joint rock project. We all sing as well. The vocal work is very important to the band – and I think many struggle to hear the difference between Paul and myself.”

Frode also mentions that he’s been working on a new solo project, with 15 songs ready.

On Saturday Paul and Lauren signed copies of the new album at Big Dipper record store in Oslo. A lot of fans showed up, and the album was sold out within minutes after the signing started.

The album will be released in Germany tomorrow, 19 January, and the CD and vinyl can be ordered from amazon.de. In the UK the album will be out on 9 February and amazon.co.uk has the CD and vinyl available for pre-order.

Savoy at Parkteatret

Savoy and Zoe Gnecco performing “Velvet”
(Picture by Jakob)

Savoy played their first concert in nearly ten years at Parkteatret in Oslo tonight, to celebrate tomorrow’s release of See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown.

Paul

The 18-song setlist featured songs from all of their albums, including four songs from the new album.

Paul, Lauren and Frode were joined by Linn Frøkedal on keyboards and Chris Holm on bass.

Lauren

Special guest Zoe Gnecco had flown in from New York for the show, and joined them on stage for a few songs from the World of Trouble album, plus a Waaktaar & Zoe version of “Under The Makeup” with slightly different lyrics. She also did the female vocals on “Velvet”.

Frode

Here’s the full setlist:

1. Tears From a Stone
2. I Still Cry
3. Manmade Lake
4. January Thaw
5. Girl One
6. End of the Line
7. Whalebone
8. Night Watch
9. Rain
10. Fearlist
11. Sycamore Leaves
12. Beautiful Burnout (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
13. World of Trouble (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
14. Under The Makeup (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
15. Daylight’s Wasting
16. Star
17. Velvet (w/ Zoe Gnecco)
18. Falls Park

The fansite a-ha France has posted a 45-minute video clip from the concert on Facebook, which can be seen here.

Some selected live pictures from Instagram:
Picture 1    Picture 2     Picture 3    Picture 4    Picture 5    Picture 6

Paul and Lauren on NRK radio

Picture by Spillerom on Instagram

Paul and Lauren visited NRK’s radio studios in Oslo yesterday, to promote the new Savoy album.

First up was Nitimen on NRK P1. The full interview, which is mostly in English, can be heard here.

They were also guests on Spillerom on NRK P2, which included the radio premiere of the song “Bump”. Hear the interview here.

More pictures from the interviews have been posted by Drabant Music on Instagram.

New Savoy single “January Thaw”

Single cover

“January Thaw”, the second single from Savoy’s new album See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown, was released by Drabant Music on Friday 5 January. Listen to the song here.

VG has published a new interview with Paul and Lauren, along with the premiere of the “January Thaw” music video, directed by Jason Brandenberg.

They have also been interviewed by Dagsavisen (paywall), which mentions that Paul and Lauren will be promoting the Savoy album in different countries while on the road with a-ha.

The first reviews of the new album, which is released on 12 January, have already started to appear:

Dagbladet (5/6): “In many ways the album seems to build a bridge between a-ha’s synth-dominated universe and Paul’s roots in 60s and 70s classic pop.”

VG (4/6): “Paul Waaktaar’s best vocal performance ever, and definitely one of the most consistent set of songs the married couple has delivered since [Mary is Coming].”

The Electricity Club: “Overall this is a confident – and surprisingly seamless – collection; playful, adventurous, and boasting a production that benefits from retaining its rough edges.”

On Thursday Savoy will be playing their first concert in nearly ten years at Parkteatret in Oslo. Tickets are still available from ticketmaster.no. According to Electricity Club, they will be joined by two musicians who haven’t played with Savoy before; Linn Frøkedal on keyboards and Chris Holm on bass. Zoe Gnecco will also be there as a special guest.

It’s been a very long time since Paul last visited the Parkteatret venue, which previously used to be a cinema. “I haven’t been there since I watched a Tarzan-movie as a 7-year-old”, he tells Dagsavisen.

On the contrast between playing live with a-ha and Savoy, he says:

“It’s like two different beasts. I always get something from one of them that I don’t get from the other. But everything is more vulnerable with Savoy. There’s more of a nerve to it, without a parachute. a-ha is a bigger production, with more you can lean on.”

On Saturday at 14:00, Savoy will be signing copies of the new album at the Big Dipper record store in Oslo. It might be possible to get other items signed as well; “I’ll sign any album I’ve worked on…anything but blank checks”, Paul wrote in a comment on Instagram, alongside a preview of the gatefold vinyl edition.

Fans who aren’t able to be at the signing session on Saturday can pre-order the album from Big Dipper now and receive a signed copy in the mail (only inside Norway).

New tour dates in France and the Netherlands

A second tour date in France was announced last week, while the first date in the Netherlands followed today:

14 July 2018: Bospop Festival, Weert, Netherlands

24 July 2018: Théâtre Jean-Deschamps, Carcassone, France
(as part of the Festival de Carcassone)

For a list of all 29 dates announced so far, visit the Electric Summer Tour page.

In Ireland, all 5000 tickets for the Live at the Marquee concert in Cork sold out within a few hours last week. While in Norway, all 8400 tickets for next year’s Parken Festival in Bodø recently sold out in only 17 minutes.

Several of the other a-ha summer concerts are also close to selling out. More info on how to get tickets is available on the official site.

Kongsberg Jazz Festival has announced that Anneli Drecker’s Bel Canto will be supporting a-ha on July 6th, while support acts on the MTV Unplugged Tour starting next month will be Alexander Knappe in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and Jess Morgan in Oslo and London. More info here.

German edition of ‘Tears from a Stone’ available for pre-order

Book cover

The German edition of Ørjan Nilsson’s book Tårer fra en stein is set to be published on 26 February 2018, using the original English title Tears from a Stone.

The book cover is also different, with the picture of Paul in colour instead of black-and-white.

The 304-page book can be pre-ordered directly from the German publisher Riva or from Amazon.de.

Still no word on an English edition of the book, but there’s a petition that can be signed here.

Speaking of pre-orders; the upcoming Savoy album See The Beauty In Your Drab Hometown can now be pre-ordered on CD or vinyl from Tiger record store in Oslo. They will ship worldwide.

Fans here in Norway can also order the album from Platekompaniet.

1993 concert date rediscovered

 
I have now added a new date to the Memorial Beach Tour page:

4 September 1993: Fylde College, Lancashire, UK

Not much is known about this concert, but it was probably a “secret” rehearsal gig before the Memorial Beach tour in Holland, Denmark and Germany, which started three days later. If anyone reading this attended the concert at Fylde College, let me know here.

Thanks to Christopher Hopkins for the info.
Concert photos by Still Photography.

The Voice: Season finale

Morten singing “Something Just like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Last night it was time for the big season finale of The Voice, live from Fornebu in Oslo, where Andrea from Team Yosef, Sebastian from Team Morten, and Thomas and Agnes from Team Lene were competing to be named “the best voice in Norway”.

The show opened with Morten and the other mentors performing together for the first time, doing a cover version of the 2017 hit song “Something Just like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay, before the four finalists took over on stage.

Watch the video here:
Morten, Lene, Yosef and Martin: “Something Just Like This”

The four finalists then performed one song each:
1. Sebastian James Hekneby: “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson
2. Thomas Løseth: “Heal” by Tom Odell
3. Agnes Stock: “Home for Christmas” by Maria Mena
4. Andrea Santiago Stønjum: “Halo” by Beyoncé

The two finalists who received the most votes from the viewers would then go on to the “super finale”, and that turned out to be Thomas and Andrea. After a break, they each performed another song:

1. Andrea: “Try” by Pink
2. Thomas: “With or Without You” by U2

Thomas Løseth is the winner of The Voice 2017

And the winner was…Thomas!
He wins a new car and a recording contract with Universal Music.

“There’s been a lot of great talents on the show. The level of quality has been very high. (…) Shows like this offer a great learning curve. It’s a taste of what [the music business] can be like. It’s a fantastic opportunity, and that’s one of the things I like about The Voice”, Morten said at the end.

A picture of Morten at the afterparty with the last five talents on his team; Dina, Sebastian, Knut, Ingeborg and Isabelle, was posted by Isabelle on Instagram.

a-ha perform on German TV

a-ha in Hamburg, 8 December 2017

a-ha were in Hamburg yesterday, where they performed the acoustic version of “Take On Me” on the “NDR Talk Show” on NDR.

Up until an hour before the show it was not clear if they would be performing, as Morten was struggling with a cold. But they did, and it sounded good.

A video of the performance + interviews with Morten and Magne can be seen here.

a-ha also played the acoustic version of “Take On Me” on the RTL talkshow “Die 2- Gottschalk & Jauch gegen ALLE” last Friday, 1 December, but that performance was taped in Cologne on 23 October. A video clip is available here.

Powered by WordPress