James Blunt – Very Private Concert – November 22, 2019 – RTL2, Paris –
Going for something low-key tonight; James Blunt in a small, very intimate concert in Paris, recorded in the studios of RTL2 in Paris on November 22, 2019.
Blunt had piano and violin lessons as a child, but was introduced to the electric guitar aged 14 at Harrow by a fellow student. His dissertation at Bristol University was entitled The Commodification of Image – Production of a Pop Idol. One of his sources was Simon Frith, a sociologist and rock critic, and chair of the Mercury Music Prize panel of judges since 1992, who later undertook a lecture tour entitled “The unpopular and unpleasant thoughts inspired by the work of James Blunt”. While still in the army Blunt would write songs during his time off. A backing vocalist and songwriting collaborator suggested he contact Elton John’s manager, Todd Interland, with whom she used to share a house. Interland told HitQuarters that he listened to Blunt’s demo while driving home and, after hearing the track “Goodbye My Lover”, pulled over and called the mobile number written on the CD to set up a meeting.
Blunt left the British Army in 2002 so that he could pursue his musical career. He started using the stage name “Blunt” in part to make it easier for others to spell; “Blount” is pronounced the same way, and remains his legal last name. Shortly after leaving the army he was signed to EMI music publishers and to Twenty-First Artists management. A record contract remained elusive, with recording label executives pointing to his posh speaking voice as a barrier in class-divided Britain. Linda Perry, who was just launching her own Custard Records label in early 2003, heard Blunt’s promotional tape when visiting London, and soon after heard him perform live at the South by Southwest Music Festival. She made an offer to him the same night, and within a few days he signed a recording contract with her. A month later, he travelled to Los Angeles to meet producer Tom Rothrock.
On 28 August 2019, Blunt announced the title of his forthcoming sixth album, Once Upon a Mind. He released the song “Cold” as the lead single on 29 August.
This session/concert focuses mainly on material from Once Upon A Mind, with a few golden oldies mixed in.
This should take the room temperature down a bit – mellow is always good, especially during times like these. If you’re in the mood for something a tad more high-voltage, come back tomorrow night.