Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Cat Stevens to return to the UK for twin London shows

By | Published on Monday 22 September 2014

Cat Stevens

Yusuf Islam – who now seems to have conceded that his (not especially) new name has never caught on and is instead billing himself (or at least is being billed) as Yusuf/Cat Stevens – has announced a pair of London shows for November. His first UK concerts for five years, they will follow the release of his new album, ‘Tell Em I Gone’, though Legacy recordings on 27 Oct.

Says Islam/Stevens of the new album, which features guests including Richard Thompson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Tinariwen: “Although I was to venture through many lyrical terrains, melodious valleys and cadences during my 50 year musical and spiritual exploration, and though many would agree that I have covered a lot of ground, there was always one path I meant to take. Hidden in the background behind my renowned troubadour persona lurked an R&B alter-self waiting to be let free”.

He adds: “What’s powerful and profound, to me, is the overall message which emerged, lyrically [here]. It suddenly stared me in the face: the innate struggle for freedom! Isn’t that what most human beings dream of? Music and the blues particularly was a means of escape for many chained to the destiny of the rich and powerful”.

The two live shows will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo on 4-5 Nov. Tickets are on sale now, and you can hear a track from the new album, titled ‘Dying To Live’, here.