Everyone jump upon the Peace Train because Cat Stevens is puffing into town.

The hugely influential British singer-songwriter will play three concerts around the country this December as part of his 50th anniversary Peace Train Tour.

The 1970s hitmaker who penned such classic tracks as Wild World, Father and Son, Where do the Children Play?, Peace Train and Moonshadow, will play Auckland's Vector Arena on Wednesday, December 13, New Plymouth's TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday, December 16, and Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on Tuesday, December 19.

The tour is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the groovy, swingin' London sound of Matthew and Son, his first major hit single and album that was released in 1967.


His knack for crafting a catchy, almost childlike, melody and pairing it with lyrics that veered between intensely personal, societally challenging or spiritually questioning ensured Stevens was never short of a hit. Indeed his two timeless albums 1970s Tea for the Tillerman and 1971s Teaser and the Firecat are full of them.

However, he gave it all up in 1977 after converting to the Islam faith and adopting the name Yusuf Islam after growing increasingly disillusioned with the trappings of fame.

After a lengthy hiatus he returned to music as Yusuf in 2006 with An Other Cup, his first batch of material in 28 years. He would release two more albums and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

These shows will be only the second time Yusuf/Stevens has played in New Zealand.

Tickets for the shows go on sale next Wednesday at 10am through Ticketmaster and Ticketek.