Roundhouse Entertainment and Frontier Touring are excited to announce the return of pop icons a-ha for their first Australian tour in 34 years next February and March. a-ha will also tour New Zealand in what will be the band’s first ever visit to the country, and also mark the return of a day on the green to New Zealand. They’ll be joined by very special guest Rick Astley at all their Australian and New Zealand shows.
The Norwegian trio, who dominated pop charts worldwide during the ’80s, are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their hugely influential debut album Hunting High And Low and will be performing the classic album in full as well as other favourites from across their career. Selling more than 11 million copies worldwide, it includes the unforgettable Take On Me, which reached number one on the Australian charts, as well as follow-up hits The Sun Always Shines On TV, Train Of Thought and the title track.
a-ha – singer Morten Harket, keyboardist Mags Furuholmen and guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy – have sold more than 55 million albums and remain one of the UK and Europe’s most loved pop bands, regularly playing stadiums and festivals. However, they have not ventured to Australian shores since 1986 and not surprisingly they are also excited about making their long-awaited debut in New Zealand.
“We have so many great memories of our Australian tour of 1986 and look forward to making new ones. And we can’t wait to play in New Zealand for the first time – we’ll be comparing your fjords with our Norwegian ones!”
to make this one poptastic
event not to be missed is another superstar who dominated the ’80s, Rick Astley
.With a treasure trove laden with shimmering pop hits, a-ha
and Rick Astley
are set to thrill fans with shows in Melbourne at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday February 23; ICC Sydney Theatre on Wednesday February 26; as well as a day on the green
events at Perth’s Kings Park & Botanic Gardens on Wednesday February 19; Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley, VIC on Saturday February 22; Bimbadgen, Hunter Valley NSW on Saturday February 29; and Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton, QLD on Sunday March 1.
The a day on the green events in Australia will also feature synth-pop stars Pseudo Echo and I Know Leopard.
In New Zealand, a-ha and Rick Astley play Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on Thursday March 5 and a day on the green at Auckland’s Villa Maria on Saturday March 7.
Joining a-ha and Rick Astley at a day on the green in Auckland will be New Zealand indie pop band The Beths.
“Australia was the country we played our first ever live concerts and was our first brush with worldwide fame. It was a thrilling adventure to be there on the opposite side of the world and it’s a thrill to return in 2020 – finally we will be back where it all started!”
a-ha have 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, while their most recent release was an MTV Unplugged collection in 2017 featuring collaborations with Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch and Alison Moyet. NME recently declared Hunting High And Low as “one of the albums that have stood the test of time and still sounds great today”.
“Joyful comeback! When a-ha roll out their whoppers the atmosphere goes through the roof. Harket delivers
The Sun Always Shines On TV and
Take On Me to scenes of unadulterated adult joy. Four stars!”
The Guardian“The spine-tingling moment when we hear Morten’s haunting high notes …
Hunting High And Lowtakes this surreal atmosphere up a notch and, as the audience sing along, it’s an almost spiritual experience.”
Manchester Evening News
“Screams of instant recognition greeted the insistent drumming and hard-to-resist keyboards ofTake On Me. With Harket hitting that high note like it’s 1985, it was worth the wait.”
Still so unique decades on, the unforgettable music video for Take On Me won six MTV Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, was nominated for Grammy and American Music Awards and is approaching one billion views on YouTube. It’s been covered by artists as diverse as Metallica, Madonna and Tori Amos, and most recently Weezer and performed with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots on “The Tonight Show”.
High-profile admirers like U2’s Adam Clayton, Robbie Williams, Pet Shop Boys and Kanye West have all professed themselves a-ha fans, as has Coldplay’s Chris Martin who named them as one of his early inspirations and “favourite bands of all time”. During 2008’s Viva La Vida tour, Coldplay covered Hunting High And Low and were joined by Mags at the Oslo concert, with Chris introducing him as “the best keyboard player in the world”.
“The first band I ever loved was a-ha. I put a-ha’s first record on – I just remembered how much I loved it. It’s incredible songwriting – some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard … Everyone asks what inspired us, what we’ve been trying to steal from and what we listened to as we were growing up. Back when we didn’t have any hits of our own, we used to play a-ha songs.”
Chris Martin, Coldplay
is also enjoying a major career resurgence. The British star has sold more than 40 million albums fuelled by hits like Never Gonna Give You Up
, Whenever You Need Somebody
, When I Fall in Love
, She Wants To Dance With Me
and Cry For Help
.In 2016 Rick’s album 50
was released to mark his milestone birthday and became his first UK number one since his 1987 debut album. The platinum selling album has to date sold more than 350,000 copies. Last year he followed it up with another wholly self-penned, performed and produced album, Beautiful Life
, and continued his heavy touring schedule and has just completed a 38-date UK arena and stadium tour as special guest for Take That.
In 2007, Rick became an internet phenomenon becoming the subject of a viral meme known as Rick-rolling, with Never Gonna Give You Up garnering millions of hits on YouTube, introducing him to a whole new audience.
Pioneers of the ’80s electronic and new romantic sound, Pseudo Echo released their first album,Autumnal Park, in 1984, skyrocketing the band to national success with the singles Listening, Stranger In Me, Dancing Until Midnight and A Beat For You. Their follow-up, Love An Adventure,spawned another string of hits including its title track, Don’t Go, Try, Living In A Dream and their remake of Lipps Inc’s Funky Town, which brought them international chart success while also spending 7 weeks at number one in Australia. Pseudo Echo’s music continues to influence and resonate today.
I Know Leopard recently released their debut album Love Is A Landmine featuring catchy singles Landmine, Heather and Seventy Lies. Revelling in glam, dreamy synth pop and the kind of playful, upbeat, ’70s soft rock made famous by ELO, 10cc and the The Alan Parsons Project, I Know Leopard are sure to captivate audiences with their glorious vintage analogue synths and retro-futuristic sounds.
With a career spanning four decades, secure your spot now for a-ha’s first Australian tour in 34 years and their first ever tour of New Zealand. Together with very special guest Rick Astley, they have created the pop soundtrack to countless lives, and this promises to be a highlight on the summer concert calendar.