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A lot to love in Justin Hayward’s new tour

N2’s BRIAN HARRINGTON talks to Swindon-born Justin Hayward ahead of his UK Harmony tour, which will include Reading’s Hexagon on March 16 and Basingstoke Anvil on March 21. ‘There’s a lot to love,’ he says.

Justin Hayward
Justin Hayward

BORN and raised in Swindon, Justin started performing in a semi-professional capacity while he was still at school. He told me that Swindon had a vibrant music scene back then so he had plenty of opportunities to play.

At the age of 17 in 1963 he started answering audition ads in Melody Maker and after being ignored many times he got a reply from Marty Wilde, went to a studio in East London and got the gig.

He has been touring almost continuously ever since.

He joined the Moody Blues in 1966 and the rest is, as they say, is history.

With a huge back catalogue to choose from, I asked Justin what audiences could expect in 2024.

He told me that there are many tracks people might not know, but there are around six that he absolutely has to include.

Interestingly, he says the track that people sing along to more than any other is Question – a track that came out of a three-hour recording studio session and which “we rehearsed for all of half-an-hour”.

The song he is proudest of is Your Wildest Dreams, a track from 1986.

Contrary to what one might expect, his most cherished decade in his career was the 80s, because it heralded a huge revival in the fortunes and popularity of The Moody Blues, especially in the US.

Justin doesn’t have any plans at present to collaborate with former bandmate John Lodge, saying that he doesn’t feel going on stage as The Moody Blues with musicians who were not originally there would be very strange.

A satisfying show for him is one in which all the technical aspects go well and which sounds like it did in rehearsal. That pleases him and audiences.

One of Justin’s most well-known tracks Forever Autumn could easily never have happened. He was never keen on recording other people’s compositions but a young work experience person at his studios, who knew nothing of the Moody Blues, heard the demo and said “you should record that”.

It, of course, led to Justin playing the reporter in War of The Worlds stage show in 2006 and reprising the role in the 2021 Life Begins Again tour.

He loved those experiences.

I predict die-hard fans and relative newcomers alike, who may know only a handful of tracks, will find a lot to love in Justin Hayward’s new tour.

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