On Valentine’s Day, Cape Town was flung back to 1985 in a miracle of time travel set to the soundtrack of a-ha’s album Hunting High and Low, released that year.
Echoes of Friday nights in the 80s, being glued to the TV watching Alex Jay on Pop Shop, finger ready at the VCR ‘record’ button, hoping to tape a-ha’s The Sun Always Shines on TV, floated through the warm summer air at Green Point Track.
The Norwegian band, together since the early 80s, is celebrating the 35th anniversary of Hunting High and Low, with a world tour. Their debut album sky-rocketed, achieving number one in Norway, two in the UK and 15 in the USA. The two runaway tracks on the album – The Sun Always Shines on TV and Take On Me – had the world singing along … and the 40-ahem-year old crowd at the track on Friday.
It wasn’t only the music that the band had, it was the look, too. Many a 13-year old heart burst with love for the band members, Morten Harket, Magne Furuholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy, and plenty of 80’s bedroom walls were plastered with posters and pictures cut out of magazines of a-ha.
The concert was well-attended by an obviously adoring crowd and it was the perfect evening for it. The first set was the full album, something concert-goers don’t often get to experience. The band has matured – obviously – as has Harket’s voice and that is meant as a compliment. His range is superb.
The second set included some of their more recent tracks, lesser-known by the audience. It’s, unsurprisingly, not as 80s-centric … less synth, more acoustic, more melodic. It was a perfect concert for the 40-something crowd.
As one concert-goer said: “As a 12-year old, I dreamt of having Morten Harket as my Valentine … it turns out dreams can come true. Sometimes you just have to wait 35 years for it!”