He was known as Cat Stevens last time he went on tour, and singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam is going back on the road for the first time in more than three decades.
"Thirty-three years is a long time, and I suppose I never imagined that I'd be going back on tour again," he told Reuters. "But things change and when I started to make music again and making records the yearning came to ... do it for real. When you're live it's that much more vibrant, and you're that much closer to the audience ... You can't beat that kind of music."
His yearning to perform live also stemmed from his distaste for modern production techniques, which Islam says is too "digital" and detached from the people who actually listen to the music.
"The real material stuff and the physical stuff has become so, kind of virtual, that it's not real, quite simply, and that's why the road thing — getting on the road — is so important, because it's real," he said.
Islam, 61, was recently in the spotlight in 2004 when his name appeared on a "no-fly" list after it was suspected that he channeled money into terrorist organizations. He was denied entry into the U.S., detained by Homeland Security agents and deported back to the United Kingdom. Two years later, he was allowed into the U.S. without incident.
Islam's "Guess I'll Take My Time Tour" opens in Dublin's O2 Arena on Nov. 15 and continues in Birmingham's National Indoor Arena on Nov. 23, Liverpool's Echo Arena on Dec. 5 and London's Royal Albert Hall on Dec. 8. No dates are confirmed yet for venues in the U.S. or other countries.