The Moody Blues are on a Timeless Flight at the Ipswich Regent, Justin Hayward interviewed
- Credit: Archant
They are one of the most enduring and creative bands Britain has produced.
From their humble R‘n’B beginnings in 1965 to the experimental, progressive band they became just two years later, The Moody Blues were pioneers of stadium rock and are still selling out venues today. Event’s Martin Hutchinson talks to Justin Hayward.
With their Timeless Flight 2015 tour hitting the UK after being acclaimed in the States, I caught up with singer, songwriter and guitarist Hayward while he was preparing for a show in Philadelphia.
“We are always so happy to be returning to the UK to play. All of the venues are dear to us and many we remember fondly from our youth when we played them as headliners the first time and thinking we had at last made it.”
As well as the band’s biggest hits like Nights in White Satin, Question and I Know You’re Out There Somewhere, the band are looking at playing some songs that haven’t been played in a while - or indeed ever.
“We’re hoping to play songs like You And Me, Nervous and Say It With Love that we performed for half a tour.”
Having such a massive catalogue of hits mean playing these causes a slight problem, says Hayward.
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“It’s not what you play, it’s what you leave out. We are doing things that seem to work on stage, but nothing particularly precious has been lost as there are certain things that have to be in the set.”
The core of him on vocals and guitars, John Lodge on vocals and bass plus drummer Graeme Edge are still present in the band alongside long-standing band members Alan Hewitt, Julie Ragins, Norda Mullen and Gordy Marshall. Their recreation of some of the best known songs in British music is nothing short of magical.
With the 50th anniversary of Hayward and Lodge joining the band looming ever closer - “We will be doing something to commemorate it, but it’s something we have yet to talk about” - the former has many favourite songs among the canon of some true classics.
“Well, there are so many that stand out,” he smiles.
“There’s the whole of the album Days of Future Passed, it’s such a lovely thing; Question, Ride my See Saw, which is my favourite guitar riff; and Wildest Dreams, along with I Know You’re Out There Somewhere - they’re all great songs.
“With Days of Future Passed, which was our breakthrough album, we have great memories of it and sometimes think ‘how on Earth did we do that?’. Luckily Decca, our record company, were kind enough to give us the studio time we needed.”
The band are showing no desire to stop but as Hayward explains, there are no immediate plans for any new albums.
“I can’t see a new album on the horizon, but we hope to do some form of project. At the moment, we’re a happy band and indulge ourselves by enjoying the Moody Blues’ catalogue.”
Tthe pace doesn’t slacken after the UK dates.
“In July I’m doing my first solo tour of Britain and then back to the US for more solo and Moody Blues dates. In the winter we’ll be doing The Moody Blues Cruise which is always great fun.”
The Moody Blues play the Ipswich Regent on Saturday, June 13. For the latest entertainment and what’s on news, don’t miss Event - in the paper every Friday.