Interview With James Blunt

Have you been to Henley before?

Yes I’ve been to Henley many times as I have a few mates round here and I’ve been to a few parties.  I’ve swum in the river in the middle of the night.  It’s a beautiful part of the world although I haven’t been to the Regatta.

Why did you decide to Henley Festival?

They just offered it up.  It was part of a bigger tour from last year and it was an amazing place to play and it was just down the road from where I come from in Hampshire.  I have lots of great mates here and it sounded like a good gig to do.  My mates are joining me here tonight.

Have you every performed on a floating stage before?

No, although I have performed on a barge further down the river in Putney for a radio station but it was just one song, not a full gig and certainly not with a towpath in front of me.   It’s a really lovely atmosphere here.  During the sound check people were bringing their little boats up.  Obviously people are so water orientated here and they’ve got themselves organised about how they will move around.  We are going to try some new songs tonight but I’m going to play the songs people want to hear. I’m going to try my new single Love Under Pressure for the first time, launched this week and I’ll probably be a bit nervous when I play that one but otherwise it should be great fun.

What have you been doing in lockdown?

Primarily I went home. I haven’t been really at home for 17 years as I’ve been on tour and I discovered things that I didn’t know existed like children I had and it was really amazing time to spend time at home with them and do some manly things at home.  We have a forest around us in our home in Ibiza which is a bit of fire hazard. Forrest fires are a big thing in Spain and I should have cut it down a few years ago so I got my chain saw out and got trimming the dead wood and preserving the living trees.  At the same time I’ve put a book out How to be complete and utter blunt and putting together some new songs because I’m putting out an album in November The Stars Beneath My Feet which is a collection of favourite songs I’ve ever done, with some live songs I’ve performed at Glastonbury, Paris, London, New York along with some covers and new songs.

Do you do anything particular before you go on stage?

I check my flies are done up!

Is there anything particular that you ask in your dressing room and have they looked after you here?

It is a really amazing place and so smart.  It makes me hungry just walking through all the bars, tents and restaurants.  The women here have looked after me really well and the set up is fantastic.  The only things I ask for are some cheap beer, some vodka and some tea bags.