- 5 Jan 2018 4:51 PM
We all think we know about James Blunt, of course. But those who've been off-planet, here's a recap on the story so far. Born in an army hospital in Tidworth, Wiltshire. Educated in Harrow, then Bristol.
Signed up for four years in the Army. Ended up serving six, in Canada, Kosovo and then London. Spotted playing at the South by Southwest Music Festival, signed up by Linda Perry to her new label Custard. Recorded an album, Back To Bedlam, with Tom Rockrock in LA. Released it to universal indifference. And then the third single, You're Beautiful, came out.
And so there it was: one big hit, two more albums, three world tours, four number one singles, five Grammy nods (plus BRITS, Ivor Novellos and MTV awards), a six-piece band, seven whole years on the road, eight kiss and tells, and then the numbers spiral out of control: nearly 17 million albums and 20 million singles sold worldwide. Plus over 5m Facebook 'likes', 250m plays on Spotify and an astonishing 257m YouTube views.
What do those figures mean? Some amazing experiences -- some youthful excesses. The chance to use his high profile to do some good, supporting charities such as Medicines Sans Frontiers and Help For Heroes (including three foiled attempts to play in Afghanistan for serving soldiers), and to draw attention to the issue of climate change.
But for his latest album, Moon Landing, he wanted to go back to sounding... like himself. It's an album about dreams, longing, first love. About getting back to basics and rediscovering the power of music to communicate emotion directly and honestly.
And his first single, Bonfire Heart, blew up the charts. You can never go back to the start, but some things you can rediscover.
"In my teens, I found freedom in music. It's a way of dreaming, a way to express who you are to the audience, but just as importantly, to yourself. It has taken me a while to understand it, to feel it again - and start dreaming again."
One of the humblest and gentlest stars, James Blunt is coming to Budapest to charm the Hungarian audience with his unique songs and performance.
Tickets for the Budapest show are available via www.livenation.hu
More info: www.jamesblunt.com