Early bands and concerts 1977-1983


Pål and Magne

Spider Empire

Band members: Magne Furuholmen (guitar/lead vocals) Pål Waaktaar Gamst (guitar), Harald Ødegård (bass), Jan Erik Ødegård (drums)

17 May 1977: Havreveien, Manglerud, Oslo
(Concert held in the Furuholmen family’s garden. Included “Smoke on the water”.)


Thala & the Layas Blues Band

Band members: Pål Waaktaar Gamst (guitar/lead vocals), Magne Furuholmen (guitar/vocals), Viggo Bondi (bass), Jan Erik Ødegård (drums)

09 November 1978: Askerfestivalen, Bondisenteret, Asker
(Also performing: Hurricane, The Dolls, Dr. Geir and his DB-show, Friends & Neighbours)


The Bridges

Band members: Pål Waaktaar Gamst (guitar/lead vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keyboard), Viggo Bondi (bass), Erik Hagelien (drums)

07 February 1979: Venskaben, Asker
(Charity concert in support of the liberation movements in Eritrea)

11 March 1979: NM For Rockeband, Chateau Neuf, Oslo
(Also performing: Jydske Rev, Villblomst, Broadway News, Gummgakk and others)

17 March 1979: Solstadlia, Hvalstad
(Setlist: Face in mirror/Born between the battles/Bakimoti/Imagination/Blues/Dejavue)

27 May 1979: Chateau Neuf (Storsalen), Oslo
(IAB concert. Also performing: Pull Out, Trafo, Hexagon and others)



Band members: Pål Waaktaar Gamst (guitar/lead vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keyboard), Viggo Bondi (bass), Øystein Jevanord (drums)

16 December 1979: Asker Gymnas, Asker
(Also performing: Binders, Headache, Grannfuzz.)

05 February 1980: Rockekroa, Dovrehallen, Oslo
(Co-headlining w/ Kjøtt)

13 March 1980: NM For Rockeband, Chateau Neuf, Oslo
(The band participates for the second year in a row. They perform one song.)

27 May 1980: Chateau Neuf (Kjellern), Oslo
(Co-headlining w/ Schlappe Waffla)

28 September 1980: “AfghanerRock”, Asker Gymnas, Asker
(Charity concert in support of refugees from Afghanistan)

September/October 1980: Hartmann Pensjonatskole, Hvalstad
(Natur og Ungdom [Nature and Youth] meeting)



Morten started his musical career playing the trombone in the school band Heggedal Skoles Musikkorps, during the late 1960s and early 1970s. His brothers Gunvald and Håkon were also members of the same school band, both playing the cornet.


Laelia Anceps / Bird of Prey

Formed ca 1975, Morten’s first band Laelia Anceps was named after one of his favorite orchids. The band eventually changed its name to Bird of Prey.
Band members included Morten Harket (bass/lead vocals), Håkon Harket (guitar) and Tormod Risnes.

31 December 1978: Nyttårskonsert, Askertun, Asker
(Although recently disbanded at this point, some of the band members plus a few friends performed a New Years Eve concert at the local church hall in Asker. The setlist included songs by Queen, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Genesis and John Miles.)


Anthem Drama- og Gospelgruppe

Both Morten and his brother Håkon were part of a musical version of Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”, performed by the 80-piece Anthem Drama and Gospel Group.

16 June 1978: “Peer Gynt”, Askertun, Asker
June 1978: “Peer Gynt”, Jondal, Hardanger

24 September 1978: “Peer Gynt”, Askertun, Asker *

31 January 1979: “Peer Gynt”, Askertun, Asker *

17 March 1979: “Peer Gynt”, Sandvika Kino, Bærum *
24 March 1979: “Peer Gynt”, Askertun, Asker *

27 April 1979: “Peer Gynt”, ABC-teateret, Oslo (18:00 performance) *
27 April 1979: “Peer Gynt”, ABC-teateret, Oslo (20:30 performance) *

21 May 1979: “Peer Gynt”, Blakstad Sykehus, Asker *


Østenstad Ten Sing

Morten first received serious attention as a singer when he performed the part of Judas in the Christian rock musical “Vitnet” – a Norwegian version of “The Witness”, written by Jimmy and Carol Owens. Morten performed the song “Penger av sølv”, originally sung in English by Matthew Ward as “Silver and gold”.

27 March 1980: “Vitnet”, Østenstad Kirke, Asker

26/27 April 1980: “Vitnet”, Østenstad Kirke, Asker (Bispedømmemøte) *

01 June 1980: “Vitnet”, Spikkestad Ungdomsskole, Røyken *

03 October 1980: “Vitnet”, Eik Lærerskole, Horten *
04 October 1980: “Vitnet”, Larvik Kirke, Larvik *
05 October 1980: “Vitnet”, Strømsgodset Kirke, Drammen *

01 November 1980: “Vitnet”, Østerås Kirke, Bærum *
20 November 1980: “Vitnet”, Østenstad Kirke, Asker *

14 February 1981: “Vitnet”, Chateau Neuf (Storsalen), Oslo


Souldier Blue

The soul/blues band The Bluebirds was formed in January 1982, with Morten on lead vocals. They played their first concert in March, but after a few months changed the band name to Souldier Blue.
Even though Morten started working together with Paul and Magne in September 1982, he also kept playing live with Souldier Blue well into 1983. Later a-ha bassist Jørun Bøgeberg joined the band on some of the dates.
Band members: Morten Harket (lead vocals/percussion), Arild Fetveit (guitar/vocals), Espen Farstad (guitar), Arild Evenby (bass), Knut Lie (drums).

26 March 1982: Askim Kafeteria, Askim (as The Bluebirds)

16 April 1982: Cavalero, Trondheim (as The Bluebirds)

01 May 1982: Arbeidersamfundet, Halden

18 June 1982: Reenskaug, Drøbak
19 June 1982: Guderudparken, Askim (midday)
19 June 1982: Hot House, Oslo (evening)
30 June 1982: Club 7, Oslo

04 September 1982: Cavalero, Trondheim
19 September 1982: Kroa, Bø
23 September 1982: Hot House, Oslo
24 September 1982: Hot House, Oslo **
25 September 1982: Hot House, Oslo

08 October 1982: Chateau Neuf (Kjellern), Oslo
09 October 1982: Studentsamfunnet, Ås
15 October 1982: Prelaten, Tromsø
16 October 1982: Prelaten, Tromsø
22 October 1982: Reenskaug, Drøbak
23 October 1982: Verdensteatret, Sarpsborg

05 November 1982: Taverna, Askim
12 November 1982: Hot House, Oslo

15 December 1982: Hot House, Oslo
17 December 1982: Kråkereiret, Moss
30 December 1982: Eidsvoll Rock og Bluesklubb, Eidsvoll

Unknown date 1982: Bergen

18 February 1983: Chateau Neuf (Kjellern), Oslo
23 February 1983: Club 7, Oslo

09 March 1983: Hot House, Oslo
10 March 1983: Hot House, Oslo
(as Sporty Morty & The House Rockers)
11 March 1983: Hot House, Oslo (as Sporty Morty & The House Rockers)

As a farewell to Souldier Blue, the band joined forces with the local Oslo band The House Rockers (featuring the Bøgeberg brothers) and performed its last two concerts using the tongue-in-cheek name Sporty Morty & The House Rockers.


Morten, Pål and Magne


While recording demos at the Rendezvous Studios in London in 1983, a-ha did several showcase gigs in order to get a record deal.

22 August 1983: Rendezvous Studios, London (showcase for MCA)
23 August 1983: Rendezvous Studios, London (showcase for Phonogram)
24 August 1983: Rendezvous Studios, London (showcase for Warner Brothers)

* = unclear if Morten took part
** = a concert at Reenskaug in Drøbak on the same date was cancelled

List compiled by Jakob Sekse.

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