Popular Norwegian band A-ha are gearing up for a visit to our shores in February next year and tickets go on sale today, Wednesday June 26 at 10am.
This is the very first time since 1994 that the band, known for their haunting and appealing melodies and songs like Take on Me, Love is the Reason, The Sun Always Shines on TV and Dream Myself Alive will be visiting the country.
They''ll take to the stage on Valentine's Day February 14 next year in Green Point stadium and in Marks Park, Johannesburg the day after, on February 15. Speaking on the phone from Oslo, Norway, Pål Waaktaar-Savoy, main songwriter and guitarist said today, despite the fact that the group have been around for more than three decades, they are as impactful as ever.
Waaktaar-Savoy said he, along with Magne Furuholmen and Morten Harket will be performing new and old, familiar and less-familiar songs, as well as the 10 songs off their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in the same order of the original release.
He commented, "We've always set ourselves challenges. In 2018, our MTV Unplugged tour proved our songs could be given new settings and remain as alive and hold as much impact as ever.
"And I want to tell you that today, we're pushing even further. Our tour will be different from anything we've ever done before," he says as a teaser.
"There's a whole different dynamic now and what we are trying to do is bring people's minds into that first album. So we are are starting where we came from. It's really nice to visit and there'll also be music from the our nine other albums," says the star musician.
He adds that after all these years and all they have done, things pretty much remain the same: " We are still consumed by music."
Back in October 2010, a-ha had played the whole of Hunting High And Low just twice, first at Oslo’s Konserthus and then at London Royal Albert Hall. For their latest tour now, from France to Poland and from Germany to our shores, audiences will be in for a treat in revisiting the album.
In addition to the songs mentioned above, The Blue Sky, Living A Boy’s Adventure Tale, And You Tell Me, Love Is Reason, and Here I Stand And Face The Rain, are pretty much those songs which captured A-ha’s heart and soul (and the hearts and souls of fans the world over).
“There’s not one song on that album that we’re not looking forward to playing live. We had done quite a few versions of the songs before recording the actual album and they all contain great bits and cool ideas which will be nice to incorporate into the new show.”
Pål goes on to say, "With the song selection and the set in the album’s running order, it will turn it into a totally different type of show to anything we have done before,”. When the album was made he says, the group was living together in a tiny apartment in London and working on the songs 24/7. "By when the album was finally released it had been a long and bumpy ride, and we poured all our ambitions into the record as if it would be our one and only shot.”
Their world-wide tour is timed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Take On Me's release. That happened in the UK on October 19 1984. Apparently at the time, a mere 300 copies were sold.
The re-recorded version, released in Britain in April 1985 was also to little fanfare. It was only in the US that it made waves after a promotional video was seen on TV and then it became a hit.
All a far cry from two years before when the three members of A-ha were making demos on a four-track, reel-to-reel tape recorder in a holiday cabin owned by Pål’s family in Nærsnes, near Oslo.
Pål is in fact the first to admits the group's road to success had many twists and turns. "We've been through all of that. Now it's nice that people of all ages and all generations love our stuff," saysPål.
Call it a-ha reloaded.. as a final bit of info, the trio also scored global hits with the James Bond theme The Living Daylights as well as Cry Wolf, I've Been Losing You and the 2005 Max Martin-collaboration Analogue.
Their most recent release was an MTV Unplugged collection in 2017 featuring collaborations with Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Alison Moyet.