Posts Tagged ‘a-ha’

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.

Trondheim concert announced for 2018

a-ha at Lerkendal Stadium in Trondheim, 2010
(Picture by Jakob)

A fourth Norwegian outdoor concert has been announced for next year’s a-ha world tour, following dates in Kongsberg, Ålesund and Bodø:

15 August 2018: Sverresborg Museum, Trondheim, Norway

The Sverresborg Museum is one of Norway’s largest open air museums, and has a capacity of 10,000 people for concert events.

“We are really looking forward to returning to Trondheim. It’s been way too long, and Sverresborg is a fantastic concert venue”, the band said in a statement.

This will be the seventh concert a-ha have played in Trondheim. Their last concert in the city was held at Lerkendal Stadium during the Farewell Tour in 2010.

There will be a ticket presale this Thursday, 31 August (10:00 am), for followers of Trondheim Concerts on Facebook. The general sale starts on Friday, 1 September (09:00 am) through Ticketmaster.

According to press articles in connection with the Trondheim announcement, the 2018 tour has now been extended to 60 concerts in total. a-ha manager Harald Wiik has previously said the tour will begin in the UK in June, followed by concerts through Europe, USA and South America.

Adressa.no: Nå kommer A-ha tilbake til byen
NRK.no: Nytt storband kommer til Sverresborg i 2018

MTV Unplugged: Album cover and title

Summer Solstice album cover

The official site has now revealed the cover art of a-ha’s MTV Unplugged album and its title; Summer Solstice.

The album, which features cover photos by Just Loomis and artwork by Matthias Bäuerle, will be released on 6 October.

On that same day, MTV Germany will air the Summer Solstice concert on TV – but only a shortened 50-minute version.

No tracklist has been posted yet, but the regular album will probably only include a selection of the 21 songs performed at Giske.

Whether there will also be a 2CD-version with all the songs is unknown. But hopefully the Blu-ray/DVD will include the whole concert.

a-ha to perform in Ålesund and Bodø next year

Two new festival dates on a-ha’s 2018 summer tour have now been announced, adding to the already known date at Kongsberg Jazzfestival on 6 July:

17 August 2018: Jugendfest, Ålesund, Norway
18 August 2018: Parkenfestivalen, Bodø, Norway

Jugendfest is held at Color Line Stadium, the same football stadium where a-ha played in August 2006, as part of the Analogue tour. Parkenfestivalen is held at the Rensås park, and this will be a-ha’s first ever concert in Bodø (Morten and Paul have both done solo concerts in Bodø).

Tickets for Jugendfest go on sale on Friday, 25 August at tikkio.com, while tickets for Parkenfestivalen won’t be available until 1 November.

Press articles:
A-ha bekreftet til Jugend 2018
Nå kommer tidenes norske band til Parken

New a-ha world tour in 2018

Photo by Just Loomis

According to a-ha manager Harald Wiik, the band will be embarking on a new world tour in June 2018 – and this time fully electric. There will be 30-40 concerts in total.

“We’ll start in England in June and continue through Europe, before going to the USA and South America”, he tells VG today.

This may perhaps indicate plans to release a new studio album sometime in the spring/early summer next year?

The first date to be announced is Kongsberg Jazz Festival in Norway on 6 July next year, where a-ha will headline. The concert will be held at Kirketorget (Church Square), with a capacity of 12,000 people.

“Kongsberg will be fun because that’s where Morten is from. It’s also a very cool festival. They’ve kept it going for a long time and created something very special”.

Morten actually attended the Kongsberg Jazz Festival on Wednesday this week, to check out the area and hear current a-ha backing band member Morten Qvenild perform his commissioned piece “Area 51”. The local newspaper Laagendalsposten has posted a picture of him here.

Tickets for the Kongsberg concert go on sale tomorrow through Ticketmaster.

There will probably be two additional concerts in Norway as well, but Kongsberg will be the only one in the eastern part of the country.

MTV Unplugged – second night

According to fans who attended the second MTV Unplugged concert at Giske on Friday, it was even better and more relaxed than the first night. It was also longer; around 2,5 hours in total. This was partly because they played several songs multiple times. “Hunting High and Low” was played three times, while “The Living Daylights” and “Take On Me” were played twice.

Ingrid Helene Håvik was the only special guest on Friday, joining a-ha on “The Sun Always Shines on TV”. Lissie and Ian McCulloch both had other commitments, but a-ha still played “The Killing Moon” without McCulloch. Alison Moyet also did not appear on stage, as she had already recorded her duet with the band earlier in the day – a version of “Summer Moved On”.

Apparently some of the video screens behind the band malfunctioned on Friday night, but hopefully this will be possible to fix in the editing process, when footage from both nights (plus Alison’s Moyet performance) will be combined into the final version for MTV broadcast and Blu-ray/DVD.

On Saturday a-ha were back at Giske to do a photo shoot for the album cover with Just Loomis, who has been documenting the MTV Unplugged recording. Norwegian director Thomas Robsahm and his crew have also been at Giske, shooting material for the upcoming documentary film about a-ha, which is expected to premiere in 2019.

Video: a-ha walking on stage second night     Alison Moyet and a-ha
A shot from the editing room     a-ha and Lars Horntveth
Ian McCulloch at Giske     Morten and the catering team
a-ha.com: Day 1     a-ha.com: Day 2     Bypatrioten: En a-ha opplevelse

Interview with a-ha at Giske

a-ha on stage at Giske this week.
Picture by Monica Strømdahl for Aftenposten.

Aftenposten has published a big article (subscribers only) about the MTV Unplugged concerts at Giske. Here’s a small summary.

The main focus of the story is how good this process has been for the band, and how they decided to stick together against a “common enemy” – producer Lars Horntveth.

“We have ended up joining forces in a weird way, in a battle against our “common enemy” Lars. Suddenly we’re a band again, suddenly we understand why we’re together, and we’re in agreement like never before. We’re usually always in disagreement, and that’s kinda how it’s supposed to be, but not this time. It’s almost touching”, Morten tells Aftenposten.

“Working with the three of them has been enjoyable and fun and very frustrating. I have been utterly pissed off at times, and so have they. After all, they’re not used to a stubborn bastard like me interfering like this, but it’s been very healthy. Deep down I think they like it, even if they have hated me at times”, Lars Horntveth says.

Paul, who suggested Horntveth as producer, is also very pleased with the process:

“It’s been incredibly inspiring just to sit in the same room and test out ideas on the fly. That’s when you see how much we’re capable of together. When outside elements are introduced, we immediately know when things feel right, and when things don’t work or doesn’t suit us.”

Magne joins in on the praise:

“This has been similar to how we used to work in the 80s, when we lived in the studio, in search of cool stuff. One is pushing things forward, one is holding back, while one is focused on himself. That’s been an important three-headed thing for a-ha, but this current process has given us an incredible team spirit and a creative exchange that we haven’t had in many years.”

Deciding where the MTV Unplugged recording would take place was not an easy task, a-ha manager Harald Wiik says:

“I wanted to build up a whole TV-studio near London, but the band didn’t want that. They wanted to go to the Amazon or the Brazilian city of Belém, but that proved to be too difficult. Then Magne figured we could do something “Norwegian”, inside a stave church, but it would be too small [for such a production]. Morten suggested we solve it by simply using the mannequins from the “The Sun Always Shines on TV”-video as our audience. Finally we ended up here at Giske, which is a completely unique place.”

The article also mentions plans for more a-ha concerts to be added next summer.

As for what this experience could mean for future a-ha collaborations, Paul says:

“Who knows. We’re still like planets spinning around each other, but right now we’re in the same orbit. I can’t remember the last time we had such a natural and easy way of working together.”

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