Live preview: The Moody Blues

Vocalist Justin Hayward sets the scene for the Moodies’ 50th-anniversary tour and his own solo dates.

You must be excited by the prospect of a solo tour?

Absolutely. I’ve done three in the US, and when Live Nation asked if I fancied continuing after the Moodies tour I didn’t hesitate.

The focus is your 2013 solo record Spirits Of The Western Sky, but will you go deeper than usual with the Moodies songs?

Yeah, we’ve worked up quite a few different numbers from the bottom drawer. It’s been nice discovering them again.

Eschewing London’s O2 Arena, which was included last time, the 14-date Moodies tour visits smaller venues such as Hammersmith Apollo etc.

The fans’ feedback about the O2 wasn’t great. Everybody had become used to the Albert Hall, but it was booked up when we wanted it.

How do you feel about 2015 being the Moody Blues’ 50th anniversary?

Well, John [Lodge, bass] and I weren’t there from the start [Hayward joined in 1966], but does it feel like half a century? No. It actually feels like sixty years!

John says the set list will also include some surprises.

I’m enjoying the one we’re doing at the moment. But it’s not what we play that’s the issue, it’s always what we leave out.

**There’s also a 50th-anniversary edition of the first album, The Magnificent Moodies, which pre-dates your time with the group. **

That’s right, though I do seem to appear on one of the bonus tracks.

What about a new album?

It’s curious, the concert DVDs we’ve put out over the last few years have outsold our studio CDs, which leads me to believe that if there’s another Moodies project it’ll probably be something audio-visual.

The Moody Blues tour from June 6-22, Hayward from July 2-13.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.