Part 1 – I’ve Been Losing You / Part 2 – The Blood That Moves the Body / Part 3 – The Sun Never Shone That Day / Part 4 – Sycamore Leaves / Part 5 – Shapes That Go Together / Part 6 – Lie Down in Darkness
ANALOGUE (ALL I WANT)
“Can I have four pints plea…” Morten Harket started to ask the barman.
“A pint of what?”
Morten returned to the table where his wife and two friends, Vicki and Larry Nail, were seated. He handed the pints to Vicki and Larry.
“I haven’t been to a karaoke night in about 10 years,” Vicki giggled. “Do you remember the last time we were at karaoke, Lar? Remember?” She nudged her husband in the ribs.
“No! What happened?” he asked, rubbing his torso.
“Remember after…?” She winked knowingly at him and rolled her tongue appealingly.
“I’ve never been to karaoke with you,” he said, looking blankly.
“Oh. Um, well, that might have been someone else…”
“Eh, so,” Mrs Harket interrupted right on cue, “what do you think you’re going to do tonight?”
“I fancy doing a bit of Whitesnake,” Vicki laughed. “If you know what I mean.” She winked and clucked at Mrs Harket.
“You like Whitesnake?” Morten asked, looking slightly bemused.
“I think she’s being suggestive,” Larry said, diverting his eyes downwards.
“Oh, right!” Morten exclaimed. “Right! Snake! Yes…ummm…What about you Larry?”
“I fancy doing the Spice Girls.”
“I bet you do,” Vicki giggled, nudging him in the sensitive rib area again. “One at a time!”
“No, I mean I’d like to do ‘Viva Forever’. It’s a timeless ballad about love and hope.”
“Now you haven’t put my name forward, right?” Morten asked.
“Uh, no!” Vicki said, nudging her husband in the ribs again.
“Will you stop!?”
“Ok, ladies and gentlemen,” the MC announced from the stage, “it’s time to get our first performer up!”
The 40 or so people in the pub gave a half-hearted reception preferring in the early hours of the night to drink as fast as they could.
“Our first name is … Martin Hairnet!”
Morten sat unmoved.
He turned slowly to the MC. “God, no.”
“Is that you Martin?”
“Uh, not quite…”
“Get up here! Come on folks! Big cheer for Martin Hairnet!”
A handful of the gathered drinkers put their hands together slowly as Martin, um, Morten made his way on to the stage.
“It’s Morten,” he muttered to the MC.
“Sorry, Morten Hairnet!”
“No, Morten Harket.”
“Sorry, Morten Hark…” He looked curiously at Morten.
“Morten Harket?” You’re not Morten Harket!”
“Well I get what you’re saying and you’re right. But at the same time you’re wrong because I am. I’m just not that one.”
The MC nodded slowly before swinging around to face the expanding crowd.
“Do you want to hear Morten Harket sing one of his own songs?”
“No!” Morten shouted, seemingly at the wall.
“Would you like to hear Morten Harket’s beautiful Greek dulcet tones!?”
“They’re Norwegian! Although I’m not Norwegian! They are! Although I’m not him!”
Mrs Harket put her head in her hands as Vicki nudged Larry in the ribs.
“Alright, here’s one for you guys.” The MC whispered to the DJ and a few seconds later “Analogue” by a-ha blasted out over the speakers.
“Come back my darling one,” Morten sung awkwardly, “I’m calling on you.”
“He hasn’t got a note in his head,” Vicki observed.
“At least he has a brain,” muttered Mrs Harket under her breath, thinking that she’d love to throw her glass of beer over Vicki if she weren’t so broke.
“All that I need is the time to show you how I feeeeeeel,” Morten screeched, sending several revellers to the bathroom.
“Ok, ok, stop,” the MC cut across as the music faded out.
“What?” Morten asked.
“It’s karaoke! I’m not Elton John.”
“No, you’re Morten Harket.”
“I’m not, well, I am. But I’m not him.”
“Look,” the MC said, “‘Analogue’ was a terrific modern chart single. I mean a-ha came from nowhere to record their first top 10 hit in 18 years and you’ve just murdered it.”
“It’s still alive.”
“Just about. I mean I’d happily give that song 9/10, that’s how good it is. While the chorus may not be as strong as the verse and bridge, the middle instrumental or powerful closing bars, the song still gets inside your head. The only thing about that performance that gets inside my head is a noise!”
“What is this?” Morten asked. “An audition?”
“You probably don’t even know the original version of the song, ‘Minor Key Sonata’. That was due to be a single before Max Martin was brought in to co-write the new version you’ve just butchered. That song had it’s moments but was just not as catchy. The mid-section was furiously cute but overall it comes up a few notches short at 7/10.”
“I’ll get my coat,” Morten said as he did the walk of shame off to stage to virtual silence.
“Yeah, and don’t come back you butchering monster! Morten Harket, my arse!”
Vicki nudged Larry in the ribs again.
Morten turned the key in his front door where he wasn’t met by his expectant wife as she was already with him. He closed it behind them.
“I guess that’s the a-ha curse in action,” she said with a grimace.
“Yes,” he replied, tightening the hinge on the battered front door to ensure it at least stayed up another night.
“Never mind, darling,” she said, embracing him. “Maybe we’ll be able to get singing lessons for you so you won’t stink out the place next time.”
He looked at her. “All I want you to know is that I love you,” he said, smiling.
She smiled back, winked, walked halfway up the stairs before turning back to Morten in the hall.
“Come on! It’s ‘adult time’!”
“Oh, sorry!” he said, scurrying up the stairs behind her.