European tour rescheduled for 2022

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As expected, the European Hunting High and Low tour planned for April and May this year has now officially been rescheduled for 2022, due to Covid-19.

Here are the new dates, as announced on a-ha.com:

28 April: Partille Arena, Gothenburg, Sweden
29 April: Royal Arena, Copenhagen, Denmark
01 May: O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
04 May: AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
05 May: Forest National, Brussels, Belgium
07 May: Le Zenith, Paris, France
09 May: Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany
11 May: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, Germany
12 May: Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg, Germany
14 May: Arena Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
15 May: Lanxess Arena, Cologne, Germany
18 May: DNB Arena, Stavanger, Norway
20 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
21 May: Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway
24 May: BIC, Bournemouth, UK
25 May: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, UK
27 May: The SSE Arena, Wembley, London, UK
28 May: Utilita Arena, Birmingham, UK

Original tickets remain valid. See a list of all upcoming dates here.

Update: The special screening of a-ha – The Movie has also been rescheduled accordingly. The new date is 19 May 2022 at Colosseum Cinema in Oslo. Original tickets remain valid for this screening as well.

Please note that the world premiere of a-ha – The Movie is now planned for sometime in 2021, meaning 19 May 2022 is now billed as a “special screening” instead.

Morten guest on This Morning

On ‘This Morning’, 1 February 2021

Morten was a guest on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ today, joining in live from Norway, to talk about his time on The Masked Singer. The whole interview can be seen on YouTube.

“I needed to get out of my comfort zone, and this was a good way of doing that”, he said of why he chose to take part.

On the Masked Singer panel not recognizing him, even as he sang “Take On Me”:
“I thought it was blatantly obvious, [even] before then, that it was me.”

On singing inside the costume:
“My personal sound system was failing me, so it was very confusing. That made it harder. It also made it impossible for me to dodge my voice or to play with it in other ways, because I had no center.”

On the a-ha tour being postponed:
“We had to pull the plug on a big tour, because of the pandemic, like a lot of my peers have had to do. The fortunate thing for people like myself is that you would use this period as a hiatus and that means you can write songs and do other things that we would have been doing in off-times anyway.”

Morten was also a guest on Heart Breakfast today. A video clip of that interview is available here.

There were also additional comments in interviews with RadioTimes and Mirror.

Morten is unmasked on The Masked Singer

This viking has broken records and forged his own way.

After appearing in four episodes of The Masked Singer UK, tonight it was time for Viking to take off his mask. And as most people had guessed for weeks, it turned out to be Morten Harket under the helmet.

The song he performed tonight was “The Scientist” by Coldplay, but he received the fewest votes from the studio audience and had to be unmasked.
Here is the moment when his identity is finally revealed:

 
“My main reason for joining was that I knew how much I would be exposed to performing conditions of which I would have very little control. It’s the complete opposite of my usual mindset. Knowing I would hate that, was an excellent reason”, Morten says in an interview with a-ha.com.

He admits that performing inside the viking costume was quite challenging:

“It was decidedly uncomfortable to navigate, especially as my sound system was getting wonky… that and the confines of the helmet sometimes reaching my elbows. At times I kind of felt like a drunk trying to cross the M4. To be inside the costume made my movements even clumsier than my usual standard :)”

Morten was also interviewed by Will Njobvu on Unmasked on ITV Hub.

Before the unmasking, one of the additional clues on tonight’s episode was Viking quoting a lyric from one of Morten’s solo songs: “I cannot take what you cannot give” from “I’m The One” (2012).

Updates from Magne and Paul

A moment from the 2017 documentary a-ha Unplugged – På innsiden

Magne posted another new demo recording on Instagram last Thursday, which appears to be called “Time is on Your Side”.

This is the third new song he’s posted during the last month, following “I’m In” and “God is in the Details”.

Meanwhile, Paul has been sharing some newly drawn sketches on his Instagram, which can be seen here, here, here and here.
Paul has also been known to make paintings on canvas, some of which were part of his solo exhibition “Rammer” at Lillehammer in 1998. A selection of his paintings can be seen in this picture, posted by Augie some years ago.

As for new music, Savoy-drummer Frode Unneland was interviewed on the radio earlier this month, saying that Paul is working on lots of new songs at the moment. And according to last year’s Down To The Tracks-book, Paul already has a solo double album just waiting to be released.

Viking sings “Take On Me”

Viking on The Masked Singer, 23 January

The viking was back for his third appearance on The Masked Singer on ITV yesterday, as all eight remaining singers competed against each other for the first time. This time, each song would be a clue to the singer’s identity.

In a surprising move, Viking got on stage and performed the acoustic version of “Take On Me”, perhaps the most obvious clue ever presented on The Masked Singer.

Anyone with functioning ears would by now have worked out that Morten is behind the mask – apart from the show’s panel, consisting of Mo Gilligan, Davina McCall, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross. They keep coming up with entirely random and bizarre guesses.

As Viking himself puts it: “One thing’s for sure; this panel has no clue as to who I am”. But much of their dialogue is obviously scripted, so they have probably been asked to keep the suspense by not naming Morten.

New clues from Viking on this episode:
“Vikings might have been around for millennia, but my career has been one of billions. It was over a billion people who watched me do my thing” = “Take On Me” reached a billion views on YouTube last year.
“As a viking I rely on tools I was born with and tools I can create. Like my sword for example, which was forged in the silver mines of my homeland” = the “sword” is his voice, which he was born with in Kongsberg, a town known for its silver mines.
“As precious metals go, steel has proved rather useful in my career” = a-ha’s last studioalbum was Cast In Steel (2015).

This time Morten was among those chosen to go directly to the next episode, so he will be back on 30 January for a new performance.
Meanwhile, Bush Baby was unmasked and turned out to be actor/comedian John Thomson. The complete episode from yesterday can be seen here.

Two new songs by Viking on The Masked Singer

The Viking’s movements on stage are familiarly sparse.

Anyone who may still have had the tiniest amount of doubt that Morten is behind the Viking mask on The Masked Singer UK, would have been convinced yesterday – as we were presented with two different songs performed in his unmistakable voice.

First up was Harry Styles’ hit single “Watermelon Sugar” from 2019, which may not have been the best choice for Morten to sing, as he didn’t sound entirely comfortable. Morten is known to be extremely sensitive to the acoustics surrounding him and needing constant adjustments to his in-ear-monitors, so singing live with a big mask on is clearly a challenge. It also makes his vocals sound somewhat muffled.

New clues to the Viking’s identity included him waving an American flag, which would point to “Take On Me” topping the Billboard chart in 1985. The Viking throwing away sheet music hints to the fact that Morten took piano lessons for a number of years as a child, but never learnt to read music, instead preferring to discover music on his own. Breaking records would include a-ha setting a world record for the largest paying concert audience in 1991 and Morten setting a record for the longest note held in a pop song with “Summer Moved On” in 2000. He is also the “proud owner of a Blue Peter badge”, which he got when he was a guest on the show in 1986.

Other masked singers in this episode included Grandfather Clock, Harlequin, Bush Baby and Blob. At the end Viking and Grandfather Clock were the singers with the least amount of votes, so they had to do a sing-off.

Morten chose Seal’s “Crazy” from 1990 as his second song, in which he also appeared to be struggling to maintain the right pitch. But luckily for Morten it turned out he was only up against a former football player and manager, as the Grandfather Clock had to take off his mask and reveal himself to be Glenn Hoddle. So Morten is on to the next episode, to air Saturday 23 January, when he’ll compete against all the seven other masked singers who remain in the contest.

The whole episode from yesterday can be seen here.

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