a-ha in Cape Town – some thoughts

Last night was really very special. Right up there with the Bergen concert.

A balmy evening, a really well-organised experience, some decent support acts, an appreciative crowd, and – of course – Morten, Magne and Pål doing their stuff up on stage. Really fantastic.

As a celebration of the 35th (weep!) anniversary of their first album, they played all ten tracks in full and in order before moving on to some of their more well-known songs. As a fan and a purist, this was so perfect: the opportunity to hear them play some stuff which I hadn’t heard live since (literally) 1986. Just a remarkable experience.

The Blue Sky was gorgeous, the demo version of I Dream Myself Alive was unique and such a rush for the true fans. Here I Stand And Face The Rain  was powerful, energetic and evocative.

And then done with the old stuff, and straight into the bassy, rocky Sycamore Leaves. Wow.

Shall we play something you all know, now?

asked Magne, and the crowd roared as they launched into I’ve Been Losing You. But I just wanted them to keep playing – whatever.

Foot Of The Mountain, Analogue and The Swing Of Things sounded better than I have ever heard them, Stay On These Roads was beautiful and so well-received and respected, and although we didn’t get Crying In The Rain or the new Digital River, that was just fine. It was almost as if they had tailor-made the setlist for me.

Thanks, boys.

The short, but sweet encore of Scoundrel Days (a personal favourite) with a scary echoey reverb, and a rousing The Living Daylights rounded the evening off perfectly.

Not that I couldn’t have done with another hour and a half.  A really wonderful experience, and one I was so chuffed to have shared with the kids.

Was this my last a-ha concert? Who knows? (After all, I have been to my last a-ha concert several times already…!) I hope not, obviously, because I just love their music and hearing it live is so special for me.

But… but, if it was, then this was a fitting send off. What a truly exceptional evening.


All my photos from the concert (15)

Morten and me

We go back a fair distance…

10th December 1986: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

11th December 1987: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

26th April 1991: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

25th June 2002: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

12th October 2002: Wembley Arena, London, UK

2nd December 2010: Spektrum, Oslo, Norway – MISSION FAILED (link)

7th May 2016: Festning, Bergen, Norway – (togs)

And now:

14th February 2020: Green Point A Track, Cape Town, South Africa.

Cannot. Wait.

He’s In A Pond!

These days, it must be hard for the imagineers and directors of music videos to find an original idea for their next project. However – and I admit that I may be displaying a certain amount of bias here – I think that Harald Zwart has done something a bit different with the new Morten Harket video, which premiered on VGTV this weekend.

Yes. He’s put him in a pond.

I’m hoping that this hotlinked (naughty, I know, sorry) video stays up until a more stable version is published on Youtube.
Now sorted.

The song continues to grow on me, the soothing voice helping, and the new album – of which this is the title track – is already pre-ordered. I can now only hope that Morten survives the onslaught of Aeromonas hydrophila and Leptospira borgpetersenii for which bathing in Nordic ponds is a notorious risk factor.


Morten’s new one (and allegedly the title of the new album as well), Brother, as performed at Norway’s Spellemannprisen last week:

Peter Kvint’s influence is obvious to those in the know. And as for the meaning of the song:

It has been written about brothers in general. It can be a Muslim brother or my own brother. It is about human relationships. It’s about humanity.

So, there you have it. Much promise for the new album here.

Nytt album fra Morten Harket

Good news from the former a-ha frontman is that:

Morten Harkets «Brother» får verdenspremiere under Spellemannprisen den 18. januar

All of which means that the new single Brother (following on from the recently released There Is A Place) will be premiered at the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammies i Stavanger konserthus next month. From there, the album will be released in March and then there’s a European tour starting in May. Other dates will follow later in the year, but there’s no mention of Cape Town just yet (nor will there be).
The album will only be finished this month, meaning that the release in March is some five months behind schedule. This also means that it is now ineligible for the 6000 miles… 2013 Album Of The Year Award, although it has an infinitely higher chance of being selected for the 2014 version.

I guess we need an a-ha video to pass the time:


Forever Not Yours from the Lifelines album of 2002. Almost 12 years ago *weeps quietly*. Bit of a bizarre Socialist Noah’s Ark theme to this one, with an interesting twist at the end. Not quite sure what message the boys were trying to put across here, but if it was anything important, I haven’t got it. Sorry.