Yusuf (Cat Stevens)
Roadsinger: Live in Australia, Ya Music
Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, takes the Australian stage for the first time in 36 years for 25,000 swaying Aussies at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
Performing 26 songs scoping from his 1967 debut album Matthew & Son to his 2009 Roadsinger, this 77-minute performance oscillates between the bare-boned, airy folk that defined the Sixties and Seventies and the over-produced orchestration of his borderline bizarre 45-years-in-the-making musical Moonshadow. The highlight performances integrate both characters to create timeless music with a twist, like the chill-inducing blues ballad 1970’s “Miles from Nowhere” fluctuating between acoustic guitar accompanied solely by fluttering piano and a rousing barroom show tune with crashing drums and plunking electric guitars.
Yusuf’s subconsciously oozes his peaceful disposition, making anecdotes about his journey to the Nashville (“the birth land of rock‘n’roll”) to collaborate with Dolly Parton being usurped by bombarding by Homeland Security agents baffled by the spelling of his name comical saying, “Of course, if my name was Cat they would’ve known how to spell it.”