MUDKISS FANZINE

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A-HA: A NORDIC  FAREWELL – @ THE NORDIC BAR, LONDON BY LORRAINE 14/05/11

Yes, I know, we’ve all heard it before…FINAL CONCERT….EVER, but Norway’s own synthpopsters A-ha have taken a final bow after selling more than 36 million albums and 35 million singles worldwide during a career spanning almost three decades, leaving them as one of the worlds largest grossing bands. Formed by Morten Harket in 1982,  Pål Waaktaar-Savoy on guitar and Magne Furuholmen on keyboard, the trio set off for South London and the eventual resplendent unravelling of the A-ha global media scorch that made Norway hot.

Their final 2010 tour ‘Ending On A High Note’, which alone is rumoured to have accrued over 500 million Norwegian Kroner. (I believe the rate of exchange is 9 Kroner to the British Pound, but I will leave the maths) gave flag waving fans around the world a chance to dance, sing, cry, laugh, scream and generally pay homage through the laser beams to monumental screens and three small figures who leave the stage as giants. For the many fans who witnessed the show and for those who did not or indeed those who just wish to savour a piece of musical history the good news is that A-ha s final concert, which fittingly took place at Oslo’s Spektrum on December 4th 2010 has been released on four separate formats: standard CD, limited deluxe album (2CD + DVD), standard DVD and Blu-Ray. Despite the worldwide farewells fans still flocked to a below zero Oslo from all corners of the globe.                                                                                              

To celebrate the release of the DVD titled ‘Ending On A High Note’ we were invited to a screening held at London’s Nordic Bar last Saturday 14th May. As soon as you approached the bar you could feel the party atmosphere, the railings adorned with balloons, the balloons adorned with the Norwegian flag. Down the steps to be greeted by party girls and cocktail vouchers the bar was crowded and buzzing. The invitation had forewarned of “positive and rapturous response”. Girls screamed and ran to hug each other amidst glitter, camp boys, blonde girls, shiny dark tresses, sparkles, pink, A-ha T’s . A diversity of accented chatter offered “Are you here for long? Are you now going sightseeing?” before cheers went up and the three strategically placed screens finally cut across the excited verbal whooshing with “The Sun Always Shines On TV”. As the screens continued to compete with conversation some sat transfixed singing every word as others seemed oblivious while engaged in conversational high. These A-ha fans had become a real family, the band almost incidental. There was no sadness amongst this crowd this night; maybe they had found comfort in each other and in Morten’s own words,

It doesn’t kill the music. All three of us are still around. This is the end but it is also a beginning. It opens doors up. But we don’t know what that will be. I do not feel any sadness. We end with victory”. Morten Harket, talking to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

We clambered up the steps to the coolness of the night air and left these party boys and girls to celebrate the sound track to their lives and to relive their final farewell….victoriously!

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