MOODY Blues singer and guitarist Justin Hayward is undertaking his first ever solo tour of the UK in July in support of his recent solo album and DVD Spirits of the Western Sky.
Talking to the Daily Echo during a break in preparations for a show in Philadelphia, he said: “I think the time is right and I’ve got so many new songs.”
Justin is famous for being the lead vocalist of The Moody Blues as well as the writer of such amazing songs like Nights in White Satin, Question, Your Wildest Dreams, and his personal favourite, I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.
He was also the singer on Forever Autumn from Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
For him to tour featuring mainly his solo album must mean that he thinks that it is special.
“Yes, I think it is, and it works in this format.
"There is just the three of us on stage – myself, guitarist Mike Dawes and Julie Ragin from The Moodies’ touring band and the songs are almost exactly as I wrote them on my acoustic guitar.”
He laughs. “In this format, you can’t hide as you hear every nuance.
“I find that the test of a song is if it works with just an acoustic guitar and voice. If it doesn’t work, then I don’t do it.”
As well as the recent album, Justin will also be performing tracks from his other solo work and The Moody Blues.
“Yes, I’ll be doing a lot of different numbers. Things evolve and some songs I used to do have gone but a lot change. I’ll be able to do Forever Autumn as we don’t play our solo material when in the Moodies.”
And we will be given an insight into the songs themselves.
“That’s right. I’ll be telling the story behind the songs and the story of how I came to record Forever Autumn, as I generally don’t record songs that I haven’t written.”
Even though this is Justin’s first solo tour of the UK (which comes just after the UK tour by The Moody Blues), it isn’t his first solo jaunt.
“No, this is actually my fifth solo tour. It’s just that the previous four have all been in the States,” he says.
As well as his solo and band performances, Justin has a very full workload.
“I’ve been overseeing the remastering of The Moody Blues catalogue and thinking a lot of the time how we managed to do what we did and still writing new songs.”
“I’m just getting busier and busier, plus we have the fiftieth anniversary of me and John (Lodge) joining The Moodies and the Days of Future Passed album coming up in the next couple of years.”
Summing up, Justin says: “This tour is a joy for me. I’m able to present these songs as they were written on the guitars that I played on the original sessions.”
Justin Hayward is appearing at The Anvil, Basingstoke, on Tuesday July 7