FOR 50 years now, Al Stewart has been writing and singing songs. That career was celebrated earlier this month when, ahead of his current tour, which brings him to the Queen’s Hall on Saturday, he was presented with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to folk music at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Born in Glasgow but raised in Dorset, Stewart came to stardom as part of the legendary British folk revival in the sixties and seventies, and developed his own unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of the great characters and events from history.
He released nineteen studio albums between Bedsitter Images in 1967 and Sparks of Ancient Light in 2008, and continues to tour extensively around the US and Europe.
His most recent release in 2009, Uncorked with long-time collaborator Dave Nachmanoff, contains unplugged versions of his eclectic catalogue.
Perhaps best known for his hit Year of the Cat from the platinum album of the same name and the platinum follow-up album Time Passages, his career spans four decades as a key figure in British music.
He played at the first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, worked with Yoko Ono pre-Lennon and shared a London apartment with a young Paul Simon.
At the Queen’s Hall this weekend, Stewart will perform acoustic versions from his musical back catalogue, going all the way back to the bedsit with Bedsitter Images.
Joining him on stage will be long-time collaborator Dave Nachmanoff and guitarist Tim Renwick.
Over the years, Stewart has worked with Alan Parsons, Jimmy Page, Rick Wakeman, Tori Amos, and former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber.
Al Stewart, Queen’s Hall Clerk Street, Saturday, 8pm, £23.50, 0131-668 2019