JUSTIN Hayward is to follow up his 2015 tour shows with The Moody Blues by playing eight solo dates next summer, when his July 9 concert at York Barbican will be his only Yorkshire outing.

The 68-year-old singer, guitarist and songwriter will focus on songs from his 2013 album, Spirits Of The Western Sky, alongside classic and rarely heard Moody Blues numbers and his worldwide hit Forever Autumn.

“This tour is a joy for me” says Hayward.

“I’m able to present these songs as they were written, on the guitars that I played on the original sessions, and it gives me a chance to share all the stories behind the songs. Brilliant young English guitar player Mike Dawes joins me on stage and brings an extra magic to the music.”

Hayward has performed and recorded for nearly 50 years with The Moody Blues, accruing album sales of more than 60 millionalbums, as well as pursuing a solo career, whose latest landmark is the release of Spirits…Live: Live At The Buckhead Theatre, Atlanta, on DVD, Blu-ray and CD formats.

He is best known for such songs as Nights In White Satin, Tuesday Afternoon, Question, The Voice, Your Wildest Dreams, I Know You’re Out There Somewhere and the aforementioned Forever Autumn.

Born on October 14, 1946, in Dean Street, Swindon, Hayward enjoyed singing from the age of five and inherited his grandfather’s collection of 78s when he was six, opening up the world of music. He had a few piano lessons at seven, learned to play the ukulele at nine and with help from his parents and hire purchase, he achieved his ambition of owning a guitar by the age of 10.

While still at school, Hayward played in youth clubs and in back rooms of pubs around Swindon, starting in the late 1950s with his group The Woodpeckers, then with The Satellites, The Rebels Rock Group, The Off-Beats, The Whispers and All Things Bright.

In 1965, he answered an advertisement in The Melody Maker and found himself one-third of The Wilde Three with Marty Wilde and his wife Joyce.

To this day, he credits Marty Wilde with encouraging him always to write and sing his own material.

Soon after the release of two solo singles, Hayward responded to another Melody Maker advertisement in the summer of 1966 and his letter and songs were duly passed on to Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues by The Animals’ Eric Burdon, so beginning his long career with the Birmingham group. In 1967, The Moody Blues charted for the the first of three times with Hayward’s Nights In White Satin, the other occasions being in 1972 and 1979.

Tickets for Hayward’s July 9 concert are on sale on 0844 854 2757 or at yorkbarbican.co.uk. His solo tour will be preceded by June dates with The Moody Blues on the Timeless Flight tour, including a Yorkshire show at Sheffield City Hall on June 18.