Posts Tagged ‘a-ha’

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.

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.

Pre-order Bridges’ second album “Våkenatt”

“Våkenatt” album cover: Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, Viggo Bondi, Øystein Jevanord and Magne Furuholmen.

The second Bridges album Våkenatt [Sleepless Night], originally recorded in December 1980 and January 1981, is finally being released for the first time on 15 August.

The newly-formed label Rockheim Musical Archives, run by the Rockheim national museum of popular music in Norway, will release the album as a limited edition green vinyl (180 gram), presented in a box with a 16-page booklet.

The 10-track album has been described as the missing link between Bridges and a-ha, and includes several songs that were later recorded by a-ha, such as “Soft Rains Of April”, “All The Planes That Come In On The Quiet” and “The Leap” (early version of “Scoundrel Days”).

The album can be pre-ordered from Rockheim Musical Archives for 649 kroner + shipping and handling.

Tracklist:
1. Fakkeltog
2. The Leap
3. Soft Rains Of April
4. Waterworks
5. All The Planes That Come In On The Quiet
6. Asleep
7. Superior
8. Faceless City
9. Need No Doctor
10. Wildfire

a-ha in Israel: “We’re here to connect with people”

a-ha interviewed by Walla News in Tel Aviv, 19 June 2018

After starting their Electric Summer tour with seven dates in the UK and Ireland, a-ha are now in Tel Aviv to prepare for tomorrow’s concert at the Ra’anana Park Amphitheater – their first ever show in Israel.

Yesterday they were interviewed in the studio of news website Walla. The 9-minute video interview is in English and can be seen at walla.co.il.

They also did a press conference at the Sheraton Hotel, from which a short video has been posted on YouTube.

There have been some protests from the BDS Movement against a-ha playing in Israel, urging the band to cancel the concert. But for the band, this was never an option.

“For us, we think the most positive thing we can do is go wherever, whenever and play to our fans. We’re not here to support or protest anything. We’re here to connect with people we’ve made music for, that has hopefully meant something to them. So for us it’s a very simple choice”, Magne told Walla News.

“We disagree with [the BDS’] way of doing things. If we were to boycott for reasons here, where do we stop? There are so many countries you would boycott in the end and I personally don’t believe it is right. It was not a difficult decision to come”, Morten added.

When asked if music can contribute to peace, Magne said:

“I think it can contribute to people talking together and people coming together. And I think that’s the primary function of music as a language, to bring people from different parts of the world together to celebrate that moment or that common bond.”

The setlists at the Electric Summer concerts so far seem to have been the same as the opening night in Canterbury – the only exception being “This is Our Home” being replaced by “Sycamore Leaves” since Cork.

Other links:
Jerusalem Post
Israel Hayom
10.tv

Electric Summer tour opens in Canterbury

The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury, 7 June 2018
(Photo by Sabrina Maria)

a-ha opened their Electric Summer Tour at The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence in Canterbury last night, the first of 31 concerts across twelve European contries this summer. They were joined by support acts Tom Bailey and OMD.

The 18-song setlist apparently included several new arrangements, of particular note “Minor Earth Major Sky” and “Train of Thought” both being played similarly to the early demo versions, and a more electric version of “This is Our Home”.

Additionally, “The Blood That Moves The Body”, “Minor Earth Major Sky”, “The Weight of the Wind” and “Train of Thought” were all performed live for the first time since 2010.

High-quality video clips of “The Blood That Moves The Body” and “The Weight of the Wind” have been posted on YouTube by Chris Fournier.

“You have to reinvent things. It has to feel fresh, so even the ones we always play, you try to give them a different spin or really bring it back to the way it was at the core. It changes with each song. We might have had a demo of one of the hits that we are fond of so we might play something like that”, Paul told The Northern Echo in an interview earlier this week.

The backing band was mostly the same as on the MTV Unplugged tour, only Lars Horntveth was missing. Production rehearsals took place at the LH2 Studios in London from 2 – 5 June.

 
Setlist:
1. Cry Wolf
2. The Blood That Moves The Body
3. Minor Earth Major Sky (demo version)
4. Lifelines
5. The Weight of the Wind
6. Crying in the Rain
7. Foot of the Mountain
8. Analogue
9. Train of Thought (demo version)
10. Stay on These Roads
11. This is Our Home
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

The tour continues at Huish Park in Yeovil on Saturday.

UK press:
Review: A-ha, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Thompson Twin’s Mark Bailey play Canterbury
7 things we learned from A-ha’s Magne ‘Mags’ Furuholmen ahead of their show at Huish Park in Yeovil
Fresh approach a hit for a-ha – Norwegian trio set for Darlington gig
A-ha: ‘It’s like any marriage, we share this fateful bond’
Audio: Magne interviewed on YO1 Radio

MTV Unplugged Tour update

Oslo Spektrum, 10 February 2018
(All pictures by Jakob)

a-ha’s MTV Unplugged Tour ended at London’s O2 Arena last Wednesday, 14 February. The 21-song setlist included the only tour performance of “The Killing Moon”, featuring special guest Ian McCulloch, making it the longest concert of the tour. McCulloch also joined the band on “Scoundrel Days”, like he did on the Summer Solstice album last year.

Oslo Spektrum, 10 February

Oslo Spektrum, 10 February

Oslo Spektrum, 10 February

The previous Friday, 9 February, they were joined on stage at Oslo Spektrum by special guest Susanne Sundfør, who sang with Morten on “I’ve Been Losing You” and “The Sun Always Shines on TV”. Since winning one of the a-ha talent grants in 2010, Sundfør has gone on to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed performers in Norway.

While on tour with a-ha in Germany, Paul and Lauren took the opportunity to do some promotion for the new Savoy album. The interviews included Mucke und Mehr, Focus.de, bleistiftrocker.de and a video interview with Buch und Ton.

There was also a book launch of the German edition of “Tears From a Stone” at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin on 29 January, where Paul was joined by author Ørjan Nilsson. Together they were interviewed by the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine. While in Berlin, Paul also did a new interview with Richard Green for BBC Radio Devon, which was broadcast on 10 February and can be heard here.

Speaking of Berlin, an additional German concert on the Electric Summer tour was recently announced; it will be held at the Zitadelle Spandau in Berlin on 21 August. Tickets for the concert are available at eventim.de.

London setlist, 14 February:
1. This is Our Home
2. Lifelines
3. I’ve Been Losing You
4. This Alone is Love
5. Forever Not Yours
6. Analogue
7. Manhattan Skyline
8. Foot of the Mountain
9. Stay On These Roads
10. A Break in the Clouds
11. Memorial Beach
12. Over the Treetops
13. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
14. The Killing Moon
15. Scoundrel Days
16. Summer Moved On
17. Hunting High and Low
18. The Sun Always Shines on TV
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
19. Sox of the Fox
20. The Living Daylights
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
21. Take On Me

MTV Unplugged tour opens in Stuttgart

Stuttgart, 23 January 2018
(Picture by Carolyn Londer-Ward)

a-ha opened their 13-date MTV Unplugged Tour 2018 at the Schleyerhalle in Stuttgart, Germany last night, for an audience of around 6000 people.

The setlist was the same as the concert at Giske last summer – apart from not playing the cover version of “The Killing Moon” and a different song order.

Aftenposten’s music journalist Robert Hoftun Gjestad attended the concert in Stuttgart and gives it a 5/6 review, saying that “this was a-ha at its finest”.

“Impressively, for the most part it turned out to be equally touching and musically warm inside the concrete hall in Stuttgart as it was in the far smaller venue at Giske where the live album was recorded”, Hoftun Gjestad writes.

The stage design is among the most stylish setups a-ha have used to date, utilising two large, curved screens; one behind the band and one above the stage. Live video of the band is combined with animations and footage from Norwegian nature, including Morten Skallerud’s short-film Året Gjennom Børfjord from 1991, which was used in a-ha’s “Lifelines” music video.

Fan pictures and videos have been fewer than normal for an opening night of a new tour, but this may have to do with an announcement that was made before the show discouraging photography and video. Apparently people who were taking photos/videos with their phones were asked not to by the ushers, one fan said.

The merchandise stand seems to offer four new MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice T-shirt designs with tour dates on the back, plus a hoodie/jacket. The new Savoy album on vinyl is also available.

Stuttgart setlist:

1. This is Our Home
2. Lifelines
3. I’ve Been Losing You
4. This Alone is Love
5. Forever Not Yours
6. Analogue
7. Manhattan Skyline
8. Foot of the Mountain
9. Stay On These Roads
10. A Break in the Clouds
11. Sox of the Fox
12. Memorial Beach
13. Over the Treetops
14. Living a Boy’s Adventure Tale
15. Scoundrel Days
16. Summer Moved On
17. The Living Daylights
18. Hunting High and Low
19. The Sun Always Shines on TV
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
20. Take On Me

German reviews:
a-ha liefern Akustikpop mit Charme
Von Oho bis naja

(Thanks to Sain Alizada)

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