A-ha create electric atmosphere as they take on the Marquee

By Esther N McCarthy

Think of A-ha and then try NOT to hum Take on Me, (take on me). Take meeee ooooon. Go on, I dare ya.

The song was on repeat in my head all day yesterday, along with a vision of a monochrome Morten Hartnet, looking sketchy but sultry in THAT iconic 80s video.

A-HA performing live at the Marquee. Pic: Darragh Kane

The soundtrack to a generation's coming of age, in 1985 that song and A-ha, (helped in no small way by Morten's shy smile, quivering quiff and stonewash jeans), ruled our hearts and the charts.

More than 30 years later, the lads and their jeans are back touring.

Cork is their fourth stop on their European Electric Summer tour, which kicked off in Canterbury, UK, and culminates in Germany at the end of August.

Coming back from a day trip in Dublin and I don't know if it's coincidence or part of that phenomenon of when you're pregnant and you suddenly spot babies everywhere, but the whole carriage seems to be on the way to the Marquee for tonight's A-ha gig.

There's a group of glamorous ladies in their 40s sitting adjacent to me, ringing around hotels for a bed for the night, once they get that sorted, they start googling restaurants near the venue for dinner reservations.

"Did you get a babysitter alright?" asks one.

"I had to call in a few favours, now. Tuesday's a hard one for a sleep over, isn't it? But I wasn't missing this girls!"

Indeed it seems she's not the only one, with Morten, Mags and Paul easily selling out the Marquee tent.

A-HA's Morten Harket performing live at the Marquee. Pic Darragh Kane

The crowd is mostly of a certain vintage, fairly even gender-wise and all out for a jolly good time.

The atmosphere is one of the best I’ve ever experienced in the tent.

The Norwegian trio have a DJ as support and it's close to 9pm before they swagger on stage.

They and their jeans have evolved, as has the 1980s synth-pop sound, aided and abetted by the array of accompanying musicians.

Morgan’s neck is a bit saggier but he’s weak for himself, as we say in Cork. And so are the crowd.

The multi-Platinum selling band treat us to all the old favorites, opening with Cry Wolf and keeping the pace up throughout the set.

Crying in the Wind, The Sun Always Shines on TV and Hunting High and Low really getting the crowd going.

But there’s only one song we’re really waiting to hear and they keep the tent on tenterhooks, waiting until the very last song to give us Take on Me.

With a bespectacled Morten hitting that high note like it’s 1985, it was worth the wait.


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