YUSUF CAT STEVENS TOURING SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
TEG DAINTY Presents in association with Showtime Management and Moonshadow Aus Pty, today announce that 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. 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 9 November at GrandWest, Cape Town and then moves to the brand-new Sun Arena at Time Square, Menlyn Maine, on Sunday 12 November and finishes on Wednesday 15 November at Durban’s ICC Arena. Tickets go on sale at Computicket this Thursday, 27 July at 9am.
This 50th Anniversary Tour offers local fans an unmissable concert in three major cities, where Yusuf /Cat Stevens will 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 remains a popular artist amongst South Africans. His long-time association with this country began in the early ‘70’s. 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 Yusuf/Cat Stevens 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 Cold Play 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’s 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 vast 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 Cat 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 the 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.
Wherever Yusuf Cat Stevens performs critics rave:
“….Yusuf played it as recorded, reminding all how rare are songs of such exquisite beauty. And how much we’ve missed them.” The Australian
“Yusuf’s back-to-back rendition of ’70s hits Morning Has Broken, Wild World, Moonshadow, Father and Son and Peace Train was met with a standing ovation. Those five songs alone spelled out the legacy of a world-class musician” The West Australian
“Adoring fans journey back to the days of old-school Cat.” The Age
Share an evening of timeless music in Cape Town, Johannesburg & Durban with Yusuf Cat Stevens, one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time, in South Africa for the very first time. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this legend perform live. Book at Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or your nearest Computicket service centre. For more information visit www.catstevens.com, www.tegdainty.com or www.showtime.co.za
CAPE TOWN: Thursday, 09 November, GrandWest, 8pm
JOHANNESBURG/PRETORIA: Sunday, 12 November, Sun Arena, Time Square, Menlyn Maine, 7pm
DURBAN: Wednesday, 15 November, Durban ICC Arena, 8pm
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.
Cape Town & Johannesburg: R1200, R1000 R850, R650, R450
Durban: R1200, R850, R650, R550, R450
Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Cat Stevens grew from being a heartthrob idol of the 1960s into one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time. In addition to his vast 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 “I Love My Dog” and “Matthew and Son”. A prolific songwriter, he wrote songs such as “Here Comes My Baby” and “The First Cut Is The Deepest” for other artists; the latter, in particular, would go on to become an international hit on multiple occasions for a whole host of singers.
In 1968 the heavy workload of touring, media commitments, and the perks of a pop-star lifestyle took its toll and Cat contracted a potentially fatal bout of tuberculosis. He was hospitalised for several months and began a significant process of inner reflection and meditation.
Following his recovery, and with a new perspective on the world, Cat underwent a profound musical transformation. He started to write profoundly powerful and intimate songs and made fundamental changes to his lifestyle and sound. His lyrics gained a subtlety and intuitive edge, and in his private life he began to explore spiritual paths.
The period of 1970 to 1974 would see Cat Stevens ascend into the upper stratosphere of musical superstardom. His 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman, which went gold in the U.S, contained the classics ‘Wild World’, ‘Hard Headed Woman’, ‘Where Do the Children Play?’, and ‘Father & Son’. However, it was unquestionably 1971’s Teaser and the Firecat that made Cat a true megastar. Songs such as ‘Morning Has Broken’, ‘Peace Train’ and ‘Moonshadow’ resonated with audiences worldwide and were embraced by a generation as anthems of peace and unity.
In 1975 Cat experienced another momentous and life-changing event. Whilst swimming in the Pacific Ocean off Malibu he began to be swept out to sea. Fearing imminent death he made a prayer to God which was instantly answered; a wave delivered him to the shore and safety. A sequence of events was set in motion and, after receiving a copy of the Koran from his brother,
Cat came upon the story of Joseph in the Koran and felt a powerful affinity with the journey of Joseph. He embraced Islam in 1977 becoming Yusuf Islam in 1978. He then amazed the world by walking away from fame and his career as a music star, to start a family and dedicate himself to charitable work.
“I wasn’t too worried about what people thought, people would get to understand, gradually, I said to myself. After all, everybody knew I was ‘on the road to find out.”
After marrying and having children, Yusuf became heavily involved with education and humanitarian relief.. He helped to found the Muslim Aid charity and participated directly in their early initiatives throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. In addition, he founded a Muslim primary school in North London in 1983. Following years of ceaseless campaigning, in 1998 the school was awarded grant–maintained status by the British government, an historic first in the UK.
In the mid 1990s Yusuf also began producing educational recordings on his own label, Mountain of Light, beginning with The Life of the Last Prophet. From 2000 he concentrated on albums for a younger audience and produced some of the most popular CDs for children in the Muslim world including A is for Allah and I Look I See.
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. He began to perform some of his old repertoire again, notably ‘Peace Train’ on account of its message.
In 2003 Yusuf received the ‘World Social Award’ in Germany from an International World Awards Jury for “dedicating his life to aiding the needy and the ill.” And in 2004 he was presented with the Man of Peace award by Mikhail Gorbachev on behalf of a committee of Nobel peace laureates for having worked to “alleviate the suffering of thousands of children and their parents and dedicating himself to promoting peace, reconciling people and the condemnation of terrorism.”
Yusuf’s full return to music making came in 2006 with the release of An Other Cup. The album was enthusiastically received, delighting audiences who had dreamt of hearing his soft voice, compelling melodies, and poignant lyrics once again. Three years later another new album, Roadsinger, cemented his reconnection with the music industry. The ‘Guess I’ll Take My Time’ tour followed which saw Yusuf perform songs from both his new and old catalogue throughout the UK in 2009, Australia in 2010, and the rest of Europe in 2011.
In 2012 Yusuf explored a new musical avenue with the staging of a musical called Moonshadow which was launched in Australia in May of that year. The story tells the magical tale of a young man and his Moonshadow’s struggle against an oncoming darkness. This adventure into new artistic forms may well prove to be just the tip of the iceberg as Yusuf is currently looking to new media for ways to express his artistic vision.
Yusuf’s return to music has been greeted with joy and excitement across the world but nowhere more so than in the USA. The emotional reaction to his performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in New York on the 10th April 2014 showed the love and appreciation that exists within the music industry for a legendary singer-songwriter and one of their own.
In 2014 he went on stage with the ‘Peace Train…Late Again Tour’, which started in London’s, travelled through Europe and ended in the United States.
His ‘Cat’s Attic Tour’ which travelled US and UK last year is now coming to Australia and New Zealand in November-December 2017. Yusuf is currently working on a children’s animation series based on his songs and is finishing his autobiography, which is expected to be surface next year.
It is 50 years since the start of Cat / Yusuf’s illustrious career. In that time he has charmed people’s’ hearts, entertained millions, and brought hope and assistance to those in need. He has had the courage to follow his convictions and the result has been a life of extraordinary adventures which he continues to share through his captivating songs.