What's old is definitely cool again and music is no exception.
Pop icons a-ha and '80s superstar Rick Astley are returning to our shores for A Day On The Green in February, performing at Bimbadgen.
This will be a-ha's first tour of Australia since 1986, when they played their first ever live shows to sold-out audiences around the country. The trio dominated pop charts worldwide during the '80s and are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their hugely influential debut album Hunting High And Low and its timeless classic Take On Me.
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Follow up hits to Take On Me include The Sun Always Shines On TV, Train Of Thought and Hunting High And Low. The trio have also scored global hits with the James Bond theme The Living Daylights as well as Cry Wolf, I've Been Losing You and the 2005 Max Martin-collaboration Analogue.
Coldplay's Chris Martin cites a-ha as one of his early inspirations and "favourite bands of all time". During 2008's Viva La Vida tour, Coldplay covered Hunting High And Low and were joined by Magne "Mags" Furuholmen at the Oslo concert, with Martin introducing him as "the best keyboard player in the world".
Weekender caught up with Furuholmen, his quick wit and his dry sense of humour - and it's safe to say he's excited about returning Down Under.
"It's been a long time coming, this tour," he says.
"We don't muck around - when we decide to do something, it happens, even if it takes us 35 years.
"Australia is where we started our first ever world tour, which was the first time we performed in front of an audience. In Perth, as it were."
So, why the decades-long wait for a return tour? It appears we are to blame.
"I think what happened is that our first record did really well and then our second and third records didn't do quite so well in Australia," he explains.
"We had the same situation in America - a massive tour to begin with and then gradually we couldn't play arenas there the same size that we could elsewhere in the world.
It was a case of chasing ourselves around the world, grabbing onto the tail of a dragon.Magne "Mags" Furuholmen
"There was always a feeling of sadness in the band like 'Why, why can't we go back there? We had such a good time there and it was such an important part of our career'. We kept telling our agents to keep trying to find us a tour in Australia that would work, and finally we have. Slow-moving bastards that we are."
I ask why and how, in his opinion, did the band's debut album and single strike such a chord with the public?
"Look, it's one of those things that you only dream could happen. We came from a small country up north with a bunch of songs and a burning ambition," he replies.
"We put our heart and soul into the record and then suddenly it took off in ways that we never really expected. And then it was a case of chasing ourselves around the world, grabbing onto the tail of a dragon at that point."
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Single Take On Me, which Furuholmen co-wrote, remains one of the most unique, innovative and unforgettable music videos of all time. It won six MTV Awards and seven Billboard Music Awards and is approaching one billion views on YouTube.
It peaked at number one in Australia and remained in the chart for 16 weeks and is still one of the most streamed and played songs today. It reached a new generation of fans when it was featured in a key scene in 2018's Deadpool 2.
"That song and that album became a very career-defining thing. I don't think any of us expected our first record and our first single to do that," he says.
"You wake up one day and you're at the centre of the music universe with kids screaming at you and you walk with bodyguards and there's schedules and flights and concerts and it's all a bit of a blur. All you can do is to keep your focus on the next record and the next record, doing your best and developing musically.
"When you're right in the middle of it you don't think 'Well this is the moment that I'll be talking about in 40 years' time' - and yet it is, and here we are," he says, laughing.
The band had the good sense to run with animator Michael Patterson who created the Take On Me video, having seen a short film he had made (Commuter) that was on the art film circuit at the time.
"He used this new technique, cartoonish but with real film underneath, which gave a different feel from your average video of the time. And it worked really well with the narrative of chasing love in and out of dimensions, and in and out of this world," Furuholmen says.
"It's still a beautiful piece, you know.
"I still think it's one of the most watchable of all the mini films from that era and I think it's due to the craftmanship of the animation - I mean, he literally spent six months doing 14,000 original drawings to get it together.
"We've talked about it a lot, and I think that video gave us enough time for people to latch onto the song. The song isn't your average hit. First of all, it's a highly energetic song in a minor key with some strange notes here and there, and it's got a chorus that nobody really can sing, you know, it's just keeps going up and up."
I tell him I beg to differ, especially after a few drinks. Furuholmen laughs.
"I've heard a few karaoke versions in my time and I still hold on to my belief."
Still musing over Take On Me, he continues.
"It's got a catchy riff and is infectious but it's still quite a melancholic song," he says.
"We did a version of the song for MTV Unplugged that was more ballady and melancholic. Suddenly the song sounded like a lot of the darker songs that we have done over the years.
"Pal Waaktar and I, when we write, we naturally write songs that maybe would have had a smaller audience had it not been for a few important triggers like Morten (Harket's) voice and also that video. If it had just come out as a single on radio it might have been a different story."
Chris Martin described him as the best keyboard player in the world. Furuholmen laughs, again.
"My only comment regarding Chris Martin is that he is a very, very smart man and a very perceptive individual," he replies.
"It's a strange thing because we watched Coldplay go from a band wanting to break through in the industry and professing their love for our music on the way.
"There's a lot of love between the bands and it's founded on the fact that, musically, it's coming from more or less the same place. There is a fundamental sense of heartwarming and yearning to our respective sounds that come from the same place."
The British star with the rich, deep voice has sold more than 40 million albums fuelled by hits like Never Gonna Give You Up, Whenever You Need Somebody, Together Forever, When I Fall in Love, She Wants To Dance With Me and Cry For Help.
In 2007 he became an internet phenomenon by becoming the subject of a viral meme known as Rick-rolling, with Never Gonna Give You Up garnering millions of hits on YouTube and introducing Astley to a whole new audience.
Album 50 - released in 2016 to mark his milestone birthday - became his first UK chart-topper since his 1987 debut album and sold more than 300,000 copies. Last year he followed it up with another self-penned album, Beautiful Life, and continued his heavy touring schedule including supporting Take That.
Astley is happy to have taken time out on his career - arguably at its peak - to spend time with his daughter Emilie and wife Lene Bausager. He is also relieved his career resurgence has been achieved on his own terms.
"I am enjoying singing my old songs. I think if I'd done it for 30 years' straight I'd want to be doing something else by now," he tells Weekender, sipping on a cup of tea.
"Having 15 years or whatever it was where I didn't gig, where I didn't actually go out there night after night and do the same set, was a good thing.
"Some people are just born to it and have to keep going. It defines them. But I can take it or leave it, if you know what I mean. I had some hits and they gave me a life where I could choose whatever I wanted to do with my time."
Astley says he "still messed around with music and was a producer and writer" during his "time out" but his main focus was his daughter.
"Now I'm not saying I was super dad but I was there to sit and watch The Simpsons with her, chill on the couch with her and walk her home from school. I look back on that and think how lucky I've been to have had that luxury.
"And I've come full circle in a way in that I'm back doing gigs again, have been for 10 or 12 years, and that was because of my wife and daughter, too."
Astley had been knocking back tour offers for years. One day he was offered a three-concert tour of Japan and it was his wife and daughter who made up his mind for him. He was going, and they were coming with him.
"I sang the songs and it was really good fun and I haven't really stopped doing it since then, although it's slowly built up to get bigger and bigger," he says.
"I've been releasing new music in the UK and had a lot of success with it there - it's not anywhere near like it was back in the day, of course not, but it's also been more enjoyable, I think, because I make the decisions.
"My wife has managed me for the past seven years and between the two of us we've got a little family business which takes us around the world and we do amazing things.
"I made the album 50 in my garage and I did it for fun really. It just happened to go to platinum and number one in the UK, which took me by surprise and everyone involved with it."
He was also taken aback by "going viral" with his song Never Gonna Give You Up in an internet phenomenon known as "Rick-rolling".
"That song has just become it's own little thing on the internet and that's spread into the real world," he says.
"I was in Japan a few years ago doing a festival that the Foo Fighters were headlining, and I ended up singing with them on stage - a mash-up of something that sounded like Smells Like Teen Spirit but was Never Gonna Give You Up - in front of 60,000 people.
"Believe me I will never forget that night, going out on stage and having Dave Grohl whisper in my ear 'So, we are going to play your tune and it's going to sound a little bit like Teen Spirit. Are you OK with that?' and I'm like 'Yeah Dave, I'm OK with that'. It was such a fun, mad, crazy thing to do, especially when I was jetlagged - and I'd also had a few beers by that point.
"That song has repaid itself to me a million times over. I was lucky enough that it did what it did back in the day, but it's the song that keeps giving."
He's looking forward to returning to Australia, particularly so that he's playing in a vineyard. Astley, who choked on a cup of tea as we spoke, is fond of a good red. As for touring, he'll keep doing it while he enjoys it.
"I am doing it for the right reasons, doing it for the fun of it and doing it to see if I can still do it.
"I'm 53 years old and I still feel lucky every time I walk onto a stage. I'm like 'Just enjoy it because you don't know when you won't be able to do this any more'."
Tickets to A Day On The Green at Bimbadgen on February 29 are on sale now.
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