How’s James Blunt live for a V-Day rendezvous?
COME Valentine’s Day and love birds in Qatar will chirp to the tunes of five-time Grammy Awards nominee and two-time Brit Awards winner James Blunt, when he takes the stage for the first time in Qatar. The concert is slated to take place at the InterContinental Doha hotel on February 14.
In an interview with Qatar Tribune’s Ailyn Agonia, the singersongwriter behind the smash hit You’re Beautiful, promised to play songs from all his three albums at the event expected to draw thousands of music enthusiasts from all over the country and beyond.
He talked about his dream project, memorable gigs and tours, his sixyears in the British Army, and shared some interesting tit-bits about himself.
The English artist has such a passion for hats that he makes sure to get one from wherever he tours. He also considers himself ‘a useless cook but great at takeaways’ and said his phone, wallet and keys were his Top Three travel must-haves. Excerpts: Q: Last June you were in Beirut and in one of your interviews you described the place as ‘the most interesting city for you so far’. What was it about Beirut that charmed you the most? A: It’s a beautiful old city in an amazing location with an incredible mix of religions and cultures, and more than anything, a people who seem to have a passion for life.
Do you expect the same things from Qatar? What do you know of this country? I have friends in Qatar, but I know only a little about it and so am excited to come there to play.
How are you preparing for your concert? How much of the selection for your gig will be from your previous albums? I’ve been on a world tour for a year, so we’ve practised a lot for the Qatar concert! I’ll play songs from all three albums- hopefully the ones the audience know and want! What goes on your mind whenever you perform your big hit You’re Beautiful in front of different crowds? Has the song acquired different meanings for you over the years? The audience is completely part of the show. As a band, we feed off their response. It’s like meeting a new person for the first time.
How have you grown as a musician from your first album ‘Back to Bedlam’ to your third and latest ‘Some Kind of Trouble’? I’m older but not much more mature.
Maybe less, even…Oh, and I play the electric guitar on stage now. You have performed in about 200 cities. Which among your performances would you consider the most memorable and why? Beirut, Santiago and Buenos Aires for the audiences.
Rio for the location.
But I am yet to play in Qatar, so ask me later.
Where else would you like to perform, something like a dream project for you? I’ve played in a plane… the International Space Station is not equipped yet though.
Are you considering collaborating with other artists in the future? Who would you like to work with? I loved playing with the French rapper Sinik. I’m open to new musical experiences, so who knows? What about plans of reinventing yourself? Have you ever done a cameo on any TV series or movie? Are you open to that idea? Reinvention sounds like pretension. I hope to learn more and develop. I hope you can see that development from the first to the third album.
If you were not a musician, would you still be in the army? Yes. But I think it’s a hard time to be a soldier in the British Army now.
What do you miss the most about your 6-year army service? It was less about money and looking after yourself but more team-oriented.
What would you consider was the best thing that came out of that part of your life? I learnt a lot about the world, politics, and humanity.
How did you welcome 2012? With friends and a big party.