Yusuf/Cat Stevens to tour SA in 2017
British singer-songwriting legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, will tour South Africa for the first time in November this year. The “Peace Train Tour” commemorates the 50th Anniversary of his first major hit single and debut album, ‘Matthew & Son’ released in 1967.
The three-city 2017 concert tour commences on Thursday, November 9, at GrandWest, Cape Town and then moves to the brand-new Sun Arena at Time Square, Menlyn Maine, on Sunday, November 12, and finishes on Wednesday, November 15, at Durban’s ICC Arena. Tickets go on sale at Computicket on Thursday, July 27, at 9am.
This 50th Anniversary Tour offers local fans what promises to be an unmissable concert, where Yusuf/Cat Stevens is expected to sing his hits ‘Wild World’, ‘Moonshadow’, ‘Father and Son’ and ‘Peace Train’ and the much-loved ‘Morning Has Broken’, as well as songs from his new album.
Throughout his five-decade career, Yusuf/Cat Stevens has remained a popular artist amongst South Africans. His long-time association with this country began in the early 1970s. The global hit, ‘Can’t Keep It In’, held the number one spot on the South African national hit parade for six weeks in 1972. In 2001/2 the artist added African harmonies and traditional sounds to two of his major hits, ‘Wild World’ (‘Bana, Bana’) and ‘Peace Train’, which he recorded with a local choir, the Incwenga Voices. He also performed ‘Peace Train’ with this choir at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg as part of the broadcast via satellite to a Stop the War Coalition event in London that also featured Coldplay and Ronan Keating. In November 2003, Yusuf/Cat Stevens returned to SA, again to perform ‘Wild World’ but this time with his former session player, Peter Gabriel, as part of the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert line-up in Cape Town. Returning to South Africa in November this year, Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ Peace Train Tours brings the artist back to this country, but for his first ever tour.
Having first found fame as a teenager in 1960s England, Cat Stevens grew from being a teen idol into becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time. In addition to his musical achievements, his lifelong spiritual quest and search for meaning has added intrigue and depth to a groundbreaking career.
Cat achieved early success in the mid 60s with ‘Matthew and Son’, ‘Here Comes My Baby’ and ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’. In 1968 the heavy workload of non-stop appearances and touring, the excesses of a pop-star lifestyle took its toll and Cat contracted TB. He was hospitalised for several months and began a significant process of inner reflection and meditation. During this time Stevens began to question aspects of his life and spirituality and underwent a profound musical transformation.
From 1970 to 1978 he recorded and released the albums that would establish him as a leading singer-songwriter of his generation. His album, ‘Tea for the Tillerman’, from 1970, went multi-platinum in the U.S. and Australia with such songs as ‘Wild World’, ‘Hard Headed Woman’, ‘Where Do the Children Play?’ and ‘Father & Son’. It was ‘Teaser and the Firecat’ in 1971 that made him a megastar, with songs like ‘Morning Has Broken’, ‘Peace Train’ and ‘Moonshadow’ – spending fifteen weeks at the top of the Australian charts, becoming the biggest-selling album of the country in 1972.
In 1975 Stevens experienced another momentous and life-changing event after nearly drowning in the Pacific Ocean. Following this he dedicated himself to the Divine path. Leaving music, he concentrated on education and humanitarian relief. The tragic events of 9/11 motivated Yusuf to once again take to the global stage. He spoke out in the media against the atrocities, against fanaticism and war, and called for peace and unity. In 2006 Yusuf returned to mainstream music with the album ‘An Other Cup’, which was followed in 2009 by ‘Roadsinger’. 2014 was another monumental year for Yusuf, as he released his fourteenth studio album ‘Tell ‘Em I’m Gone’ and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is currently working on a children’s animation series and writing his autobiography, which is expected to surface next year.
* For more information, visit www.catstevens.com, www.tegdainty.com or www.showtime.co.za.