A-Ha at the Royal Albert Hall
As striking black and white images and sketches were projected onto the large backdrop at the Royal Albert Hall, the leather jacket-clad Norwegian trio A-ha stepped onto the stage, to rapturous applause from a sea of middle-aged, misty-eyed fans. They opened the show with their 80’s classic Take on Me, while the original and iconic videography unfolded on the screen behind them and the fan-girling crowd mouthed every single word in utterly perfect sync.
Part of their latest arena tour, Hunting High and Low Live, the band promises an “evening with…” format, and the show was divided into two halves. They opened with ten songs from their album Hunting High and Low in the original running order, before showcasing familiar and new songs spanning their entire musical career.
The audience reignited their love for heartthrob lead singer Morten Harket; fellow band member Magne Furuholmen cheekily shouted “Welcome to 1985, everyone” before the chisel-chinned Harket slowly peeled off his signature leather jacket and lowered his dark sunglasses. Unfortunately, the frontman then proceeded to display a rather wooden stage presence. His mixture of modesty and frustrating detachment left the energetic Furuholmen to do most of the talking. The crowd tried desperately to engage, taking the opportunity when they got it to sing along with him to High and Low or to reach out and shake his hands as if he was the 80s Messiah. But what he lacks in onstage charisma, he makes up for with his ethereal and hauntingly unique voice. Warming up through the set, his stunning vocal range became as strong as it ever was, particularly in the gorgeous ballad Stay on the Roads and a sublime cover of the Everly Brothers hit Crying in the Rain.
The band delivered their new song Digital River to a sea of mobile phone torches, but it was their standout synth-pop track The Sun Always Shines on TV and the Bond theme song The Living Daylights that the audience were really there for. A-ha ever so briefly took this nostalgic crowd back to a time of school discos and band posters on their teenage bedroom walls.
Photos: Guifre de Peray
For further information and future events visit A-Ha’s website here.
Watch the video for the single here: