Back in the 1970's, the name Al Stewart was bandied around in several circles, namely folk and AOR. Yet the mild-mannered singer remains fondly remembered for a song that traversed all boundaries, namely "Year of the Cat". Faintly hippy, but without being twee, the song became a notable hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1976 and duly set Stewart up with a career that extends far beyond just one tune.
The attendant same-titled album went platinum as did the follow-up "Time Passes", although most of the sales were steered by American audiences. His sound was comparable with Alan Parsons, which is not surprising since the highly regarded English musician graced his most successful releases as producer.
Despite garnering favourable reviews and reactions to his first albums in the eighties, particularly the corny-titled "24 Carrots", Al Stewart's brief dalliance with the mainstream waned. Synths and indie-pop were on the ascendancy and 'soft', 'folk' and 'rock' were becoming dirty words to use in so-called 'cool' circles.
Al Stewart has continued to tour, however, with frequent trips to the States and Britain never far from his annual schedules. For 2013, he's ramped up his UK plans with a tour in October, including one very big show in London.
His autumn tour will include a revisit of "Year of the Cat", as well as renditions of other key moments in his career. Cambridge is the first stop on 7th October, followed by Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and, finally, the Royal Albert Hall on the 15th. Tickets are available now, priced at just £18.50 for Edinburgh, £35 for London and £29 elsewhere.