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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

James Blunt on Twitter, trolling and trying to be a rock star

James Blunt. Courtesy of Scarlet Page
James Blunt. Courtesy of Scarlet Page

James Blunt gave a whistle-stop, blink-and-you-miss it nine-minute press conference backstage before his show at the Dubai Jazz Festival tonight (Wednesday February 25).

Renowned for his quick wit and turn of phrase, here’s his best one-liners and local observations.

On the 20-floor Michael Bublé advert on the neighbouring IGO building, overlooking the Jazz Festival stage

“I’ve asked if they’ll cover it up for the show.”

On performing super-hit You’re Beautiful

“It’s always in the setlist because otherwise people would ask for their money back.”

On being a newspaper agony aunt

“I hope no one ever takes my advice, or else I might end up being sued.”

On post-gig revelry

“I’ve got so many friends in Dubai, of the 40 guest tickets I’ve been given I think I’ve used 60 — so I’m looking forward to a decent get together after the show.”

On being a rock star

“My third album was designed for my world tour, I was picking up an electric guitar and trying to be a rock star — unconvincingly.”

On his storied online Twitter trolling wars

“It’s worth remembering there’ll be 5,000 people who turn up tonight, and every single night — and those 5,000 will never be taken seriously by the media, they’ll focus on the five individuals at home alone writing five nasty words. Is it worth taking those five guys seriously? No, it’s probably worth laughing at them, and laughing at yourself.”

And his recent accusations of prejudice following one ill-received Tweet ...

“I don’t think there was any controversy. Two people is not a Twitter storm, and if you think it is, get out of journalism.”

On his marriage last year to Sofia Wellesley

“I’m married to the road and my band.”

On being away from home and his family

“Skype’s pretty good nowadays, isn’t it?”

On what irritates him

“Very little, life’s pretty good.”

On big gigs versus small gigs

“A large audience is great because you know you’re earning a load of money”.

All in nine minutes. That guy can talk.

James Blunt performs at the Dubai Jazz Fest tonight (Wednesday February 25). See www.dubaijazzfest.com