Let’s Face it, James Blunt is Pretty Cool
Feel free to let your jaw drop at that post title. I wouldn’t have expected to read it on this site either – generally the home of sarcasm and gin-fuelled spite – but you know, as much as I would never expect to doff my cap to a man who makes what is basically supermarket music for someone’s mum, he actually seems like a really, really cool fellow.
First of all, for someone who takes Zoolander-esque publicity stills like the one accompanying this post, and who makes music which is more than a little soft around the edges, the man himself is by all accounts a bit of a badass – he led 30,000 troops into Pristina in Kosovo during the Balkan conflict, for example. And in fact, as best I know (and I may well be wrong), he was actually the first man in, which takes something of a spine of steel. So you can go ‘ha ha, what a pussy’ all you like, but I’d whisper it, as it seems like he could quite cheerfully break your arms and legs if you annoyed him too much.
The ability to kick the ever-loving shit out of people is not one we celebrate on Song, by Toad, however, but here’s the toughest bit to swallow for anyone who wants to paint him as the enemy of music and all that is good: he seems to have an ace sense of humour and absolutely no pomposity about him at all – see the tweet below, from a few months ago, for evidence:
See? What a fucking brilliant comeback. I remember him going on record as saying that You’re Beautiful was so overplayed that even he began to get sick of it. I’ve no idea if that was actually true, but in terms of coming across as a humble, fairly down-to-earth kind of guy it certainly suggests he has a pretty laid back attitude to both success and the bile which has come his way because of it. And then this week his new album was announced. And as well as looking rather a lot like the new Adam Stafford album, it kicked off something of an inevitable shit-storm on Twitter about how fucking terrible James Blunt is and how fucking awful it is that he has a new album out and how there is no fucking way anyone like us would ever be caught dead listening to it etc etc etc…
Anyhow, ascending from excellent smart-arse to ‘world class Twitter troll’, Mr. Blunt has been having a field day with his detractors since the announcement. And he’s not been doing it in a nasty way either, or by showing off about how good he is at put-downs, just genuinely awesome heckler annihilation. It’s that combination of straight-faced literalism, cheerful self-mockery and general sense of fun, whilst at the same time taking no shit whatsoever – it’s so very, very hard to pull off (and I know because fuck me I have tried, and I continue to try on the fucking Chvrches thread), but he’s absolutely nailed it.
Below are some highlights, so read and enjoy. And wish you were as cool as James Blunt. Even if it would mean making that kind of music. Which I am still not comfortable with. But I guess if you take the slagging like this you can pretty much make dub-bagpipe-techno-reggae if you fucking want to.james blunt