Norwegian trio A-ha have spent the best part of 30 years living down their dimpled pop star status with a succession of sensitively crafted albums and sober shows.
A-ha | Rating: *** | SSE Hydro, Glasgow
At times, this efficient performance was overly serious but there were occasional slivers of humour, such as the animated groovy wolves nodding along to Cry Wolf on the big screen.
The sleek stadium pop of Move to Memphis was bound to go down well in the city of Simple Minds but it’s their capacity for understated, bittersweet sentiment which sustained interest through the overall lack of audience engagement. Instead, frontman Morten Harket communicated through his poignant delivery of Stay On These Roads and bittersweet harmony duet with backing singer Anneli Drecker on The Everly Brothers’ Crying In The Rain.
There were cheers for unassuming guitarist Pål Waaktaar-Savoy and his lovely crooning lead vocals on Velvet. Keyboard player Magne Furuholmen appealed for fans to “lift me over the hill” on Lifelines, but protested too much about his lack of vocal ability, exhibiting the band’s trademark yearning tone, also present on a melodious Foot Of The Mountain and an encore stuffed with their biggest hits, Take On Me, The Sun Always Shines On TV and their Bond theme The Living Daylights, which has aged as well as they have.
But the one truly moving moment of the evening was the beguiling, dynamic Hunting High And Low, elevated by Harket’s exquisite, soaring vocals and the sweetest, softest crowd singalong I have heard in a long time.
READ MORE: Album reviews: The Libertines