Pop icons a-ha get ready to Take On resort

A moment from the Take On Me video
A moment from the Take On Me video
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Pop fans will be stepping back into a black and white sketch of 80s nostalgia, when Norwegian hitmakers a-ha run out at Bloomfield Road tomorrow night.

And as the midsummer sun sets over the resort, the trio - lead vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Pal Waaktaar-Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen - are looking forward to what should be a ‘magical’ show.

Norwegian pop stars a-ha. From left, Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pal Waaktaar-Savoy

Norwegian pop stars a-ha. From left, Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pal Waaktaar-Savoy

The Electric Summer tour, which brings The Sun Always Shines On TV stars back to Blackpool more than 30 years after they played the Opera House, follows an MTV Unplugged album and subsequent winter tour.

The unplugged offering was something the band had been ‘putting off for 10, 12 years’ but finally felt the time was right, Pal told the Gazette, paying tribute to their UK fan base.

“We had a great show at the O2 in London to end it,” he said. “It’s always special with UK shows and fans; we lived here for five or six years before everything happened for us, it’s where we started so always feels special.

“We were dreaming of being musicians from being 12 or 13, we got through high school and left for London where we spent three years chasing different avenues; it felt like a really long preparation to get a record deal.

“By then we’d spent so much time in London it felt like our new home.”

So are their UK fans the best?

“You see different temperaments as you tour to different places; some places are more measured, and wait to see what’s what and others jump at it from the very first song,” he said.

“It also depends on the venue and the season.

“This show should be fun because it’s outdoors and that always gives it something, although we have to work harder to create a mood because it’s lighter and it’s trickier because our songs are atmospheric.

“But at the same time, you always remember outdoor shows as something magical.”

While plenty of 80s acts and 90s boy bands - which a-ha sat somewhere in bet-ween - have seen line-up changes over the years, the set up for the Take On Me stars has stayed consistent, despite taking breaks from the industry at various points.

After their initial run from the mid-1980s to early 1990s - when sales of albums including Hunting High And Low, Scoundrel Days and Stay On These Roads hit an estimated 100 million records, the band took time out until 2000 when they reformed and have been recording and touring consistently until their Ending On A High Note world tour in 2010.

But that wasn’t the end, and they were back once more in 2015 with Cast In Steel, and the recent acoustic work.

“We have definitely taken our breaks, especially in the 90s,” Pal said. “It’s easier if you’re five guys for one or two to leave and for the line-up to change, but with three of us, we are so tight knit, if we lost one of us it wouldn’t be the [same] band.

“It’s either the three of us or it’s not the band.

“There’s a lot of stuff to go through to keep it together though; you change, your personal lives change, you live in different countries - it’s not the same as living in the bedsit back then.

“Life goes on but we are still finding that when music moves us, it moves all three of us and that’s important.”

With heydays hits included Take On Me and its iconic era-defining video, Bond theme The Living Daylights, Touchy and Cry Wolf, what can fans expect to hear at Blackpool Football Club tomorrow?

“We’ve just done an unplugged tour this winter, and we’re using the same band we had for that, which will be fun for everyone involved - with strings and a whole different set up for us, and we’ll be doing our songs, but in a different way.

“We have 10 albums to choose from, it’s fun trying to figure out what to include - so we’re looking forward to seeing what ends up in the set list ourselves.

“There are quite a few versions of some of the songs around, and our favourite might not be the one which made it to the album.

“For me, sometimes the demo versions sounded more like ‘us’, and it got dressed up more for the final version; that’s the cool thing with touring, to show the different sides of a song.”

* a-ha, Blackpool Football Club, tomorrow, gates 4pm. Visit www.lizhobbsgroup.com for tickets.