Voice of Moody Blues Justin Hayward delighted to be back on the road and heading to Hastings

The classics almost become separate from you as the years go by, says singer-songwriter Justin Hayward.

As he embarks on a UK tour, The Voice of Moody Blues Justin Hayward , taking in Hastings’ White Rock Theatre on Friday, September 23, he knows there are a number of songs he absolutely has to do.

It would be wrong not to.

“But I do think you start to feel differently about them. They start to feel a little bit like they don't belong to you any more. I know what music means to me and I suppose I'm not particularly concerned with the singer's personal lives or anything like that but I'm always interested in how the music makes me feel and certain songs always invoke particular memories. That’s the power of them.”

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Justin was able to get back on the road in the US last September/October, the first time since the pandemic: “And it was great to be back. I was due to be there first time in March/April/May 2020 and then again in September/October 2020 but things were postponed again and again, but really I don't think the pandemic was too bad for me.

“I became a musician so that I could stay in bed in the mornings!” he jokes.

“But I think for a musician if you can be there with your instrument, then you are lucky. I was able to see my engineer when I could. For the first few weeks obviously nothing could happen. You couldn't even walk with your pals but I was lucky enough to be able to get into the studio once I was able to and to be with my engineer and do some videos and just do various things. Nobody could actually say they drew any real inspiration from what was happening, but I was able to do something.

“And then September/October it was brilliant to be with my crew, to be with the gang, to be with other musicians. It is that whole ambience of being on tour that I love. It terrifies me beforehand but I think there's just a process that you go through, when you worry whether the magic will all happen again. There's something magical whenever you play music in a room together. You can do all the songs in the rehearsal room and make them sound immaculate technically but they don't really come alive until the audience is there in the room with you and that's when the real magic happens. You put on a piece of music at the end of the day and sit there and listen and it's magical but imagine that magic when it's magnified by the number of people in the room at a gig, and it is just so powerful.”

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As for the current tour: “There is always a question of looking back when you consider the catalogue of songs from the Moodies and my own writing, so really you can't help looking back but I've got a new single out and there are newer songs.”

But there is plenty of fondness for those very early days: “I was fortunate enough to be a professional musician before I joined the Moodies and I was 19 when I joined them.”

Obviously he wouldn't have given a thought to the possibility of still singing those classics more than 50 years later: “But it was an exciting tim e. There was an establishment to rebel against and we had music that older generations didn't understand but also for me personally it was great to be in London. When I got the job playing for Marty Wilde in 1964 I came to London as an 18-year-old boy and that was always the dream for me. I had to be in London. It was the beginning of swinging London. I had to be there and I was lucky enough to be there.”

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