Justin Hayward tells Globe columnist Peter Grant why he still relishes performing, about missing Cilla Black and why he finds time to step back into Wirral.

Justin Hayward Moody Blues lead singer, guitarist and solo star in his own right says he loved every minute of his last gig at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion.

It was 2015 when he performed a sell out-concert there.

"I remember it was summer – but it was freezing. My keyboard player, Julie Ragins, said Liverpool Bay felt like the Atlantic.’’

But there was nothing cold about his reception.

In fact, tickets were the hottest in town that night so much so that there was a long queue for any ‘returns’ at the box office.

Now Justin is returning to Merseyside to perform songs from his new album All the Way along with Moodies hits and solo songs.

The tour is called 'The Winds of Heaven' which is also the title of his stunning new single, and will make its way to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on October 1.

And while he is back in the area he says he will take a trip across the river for some ‘memory lane’ moments.

Taking time of from rehearsals to talk to the Globe Justin says: "My wife Marie is from Birkenhead. We still have friends there.

"She will be in Liverpool to see the Cilla Black world premiere of the musical at the Empire.

"Cilla was a dear, loyal friend to Marie, me and our children.

"We have so many special memories of her - a wonderful, talented, naturally funny and generous woman.’’

Justin and Merseyside go back to his teens when, at seventeen years of age, he signed up to join the Marty Wilde Three.

Marty, who is celebrating 60s years in showbiz, will play the Phil two weeks after Justin.

"I think marking anniversaries is a good thing – it’s been 50 years since The Moodies made Days of Future Passed.

"He’s a great mate – and still going strong,’’ laughs Justin.

"Marty married Joyce - one of the Vernons Girls so there’s plenty of Liverpool links out there.

"I’ve never done shows at the Cavern, but I do recall playing the New Brighton Tower Ballroom in the sixties.’’

Now Justin is heading out on another solo tour with guitarist (and support act) Mike Dawes and Julie.

Wiltshire-born Justin says he enjoys the best of both worlds in a long and successful career as a singer-songwriter.

He tours with the iconic Moody Blues in the big stadia and the band even has a concert on a cruise ship coming up next year.

But solo shows allow him to be more intimate. He enjoys chatting in between songs.

"I bring the guitars that I wrote the songs on with me.

"It’s good to tell the story of how a certain song came about.

He says that with such a huge back-catalogue of material it is hard to pick what goes in and what to leave out.

But fans can rest assured that his 100 minute set will include the favourites featuring his unmistakeable voice.

Songs such as Forever Autumn from Jeff Wayne’s War of the World concept album and stage show.

Also in the set list will be the beautiful, much-covered classic Nights in White Satin and Blue Guitar from his partnership with fellow Moody John Lodge under the name the Blue Jays.

He will also single a personal favourite but his good friend the late, great Clifford T.Ward – a heart-tugging ballad called The Best is Yet To Come.

"It’s a great privilege to play for people who come and see you and who grew up with the songs, too.

I remind Justin it’s 27 years since I last interviewed him and while I have gone grey he looks and sounds the same.

He laughs out loud ... "Well, good to speak to you again after all this time.’’

Justin Hayward really is the same softly-spoken and enthusiastic star he was back then.

And happily for his fans he loves every minute of life on the road.

"I can’t ever see a time when I won’t want to do it.

"Me, the audience, the songs and my guitars. That’s where my heart is.’’

Justin Hayward at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall on October 1.

For tickets call the box office on 0151 709 3789 or visit http://www.liverpoolphil.com/whats-on