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Cat Stevens to tour Australia in June
Cat Stevens to tour Australia in June

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens will make his first visit to Australia since 1974 in June.

Yusuf Islam, who scored hits such as Peace Train, Father and Son, Wild World and Moonshadow before converting to Islam in 1977, is due to kick off the seven-date visit at Perth’s Challenge Stadium on June 10.

Promoter Paul Dainty said the 61-year-old musician would perform songs from his fertile early-70s period as well as tracks from his recent return to pop music after nearly three decades.

After releasing Back to Earth, his final album as Cat Stevens, in 1978, it wasn’t until 2006 that Yusuf released An Other Cup, followed by the Roadsinger album last year.

The Australian concerts are not part of a world tour, with Yusuf – who lives in Dubai and has no formal management – liaising directly with Mr Dainty for more than a year.

The promoter said that after finally returning to concert stages last year, Yusuf agreed to a short run of concerts in Australia.

“He’s incredibly excited about coming down here,” Mr Dainty said. “It’s come out of left-field that we are announcing (the tour) and it’s in six weeks time.

“He did a few shows in the UK to see how he felt about it, and they went very well. He’s sounding better than ever.”

Cat Stevens did not play Perth on his 1974 Australian tour, also promoted by Mr Dainty, but performed at the WACA Ground in 1972 at the height of his fame due to best-selling albums, Tea for the Tillerman and Catch Bull at Four.

Born Steven Georgiou in London, Yusuf enjoyed success in 1966 with his first singles, I Love My Dog and Matthew and Son, before writing arguably his best song, The First Cut is the Deepest, the following year.

The seven concerts will feature a full-band and production from Mark Brickman, who has designed shows for Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen.

Tickets go on sale May 6.

The West Australian

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