GOODBYE big world tours, but hello to more compact touring for Joan Armatrading, who plays a sold-out Grand Opera House, York, on Sunday night.

Joan, now 67, last took to the road in 2015, rehearsing and playing the opening show at Pocklington Arts Centre, the first of 235 dates across the world as she brought down the curtain on endless long-haul flights and torturous routing that required the Birmingham singer-songwriter to pass through seven countries en route to one gig.

Instead, Joan's 33 dates from September 10 to October 29 are concentrated on the "much more comfortable option" of sticking to Britain. "I was never going to quit live work completely, and I’ll certainly never retire, but I won’t be doing a two-year tour again!" clarifies Joan, whose travels also take her to Hull New Theatre on October 1.

As in 2015, the tour is a solo venture: Joan alone, playing, talking and taking her audience on a musical journey through her catalogue old and new, right up to this spring's aptly titled new album, Not Too Far Away, her 21st studio release.

"Like with everything I do, I want to see if it's the right thing to do, and then I do it," says Joan, explaining her touring decision. "Like always playing on my demos, before then committing a song to a record. This feels the right time to cut down on my touring. I think sometimes people forget I'm not 22 any more, but I really enjoy touring and the best way now is to cut down to a smaller scale.

"When I go to America, I go all over the country, but this time I did five cities only, spending a week in each one, starting off in New York, then Nashville, Chicago, Washington and Boston, then back to New York."

Joan, who left the West Indies island of St Kitts for the West Midlands in her childhood, has long cut a singular swathe through the now crowded world of singer-songwriters. "I've always been in control of things. I'm no different now. I've always known what I've wanted, which is so helpful," she says.

"When I go in to record a song, I go in with a complete song.

"I'd never done a world tour on my own when I decided to do it in 2015; I thought it would be a great time to do it on my own and I loved it. The audience liked it as well. I have to say, when I went to America, they absolutely loved the shows. The reaction was great. So now I'm performing that way again." Just me, myself, I, as Joan once said!

Alongside the familiar likes of Love And Affection, Drop The Pilot, All The Way From America, Down To Zero and Me Myself I, Joan is sure to perform Loving What You Hate, the stand-out single off Not Too Far Away. "That song was just me thinking about how very often friends say to each other, 'Oh, I hate my eyes' or 'I wish I was taller'. Meanwhile, their friend says, 'Oh, you look wonderful! Why are you complaining?'." she says.

"You see that happening a lot! I've been doing interviews for this tour, and interviewers have said similar things to me about what they love about their partners."

Is the album title Not Too Far Away a comment on your no longer touring far and wide, Joan? "You're reading too much into it," she demurs. "It's just a very romantic song on the album, imagining how it would be [if you were together, when you are apart]. It's just about romance!"

Joan enjoys writing songs as much as ever, responding to life around her and observing how others respond too. "That's why we are here; we are here to communicate and be interested in each other and there are always new people discovering all these things others know really well already, but they'll have a new spin on it and they'll react with an excitement we may have forgotten," she says. "At any age there are always new things to discover, and I'm always consciously or subconsciously looking around."

Joan Armatrading plays Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 7.30pm, sold out; Hull New Theatre, October 1, 7.30pm; box office, 01482 300306 or at