"Most hated man" feels the love

"Most hated man" feels the love

Though he sometimes gives bizarre interviews, you have to wonder just why so many people enjoy poking fun at James Blunt.

For example, when Blunt announced he was moving into a neighbourhood in Ibiza, Spain, former Oasis frontman (and resident of the 'hood) Noel Gallagher said he'd move out.

The English singer, who played at the AsiaWorld-Arena last Sunday, seemed to have won over the Hong Kong crowd though.

Hong Kong was the last stop on the former British Army captain's world tour. He kicked off the night with Face the Sun, the soft piano ballad from his most recent album, Moon Landing, before moving on to upbeat tracks with a full backing band.

Even with a small audience - half the venue was blocked out, with more available seats covered up - it still took a while for the crowd to get in the mood. Guess that's what happens when most of your songs are sombre and not party tunes.

But Blunt's vocal skills cannot be denied. His singing was impeccable throughout the night, especially during his pitch-perfect rendition of Goodbye My Lover, the second single from his debut album Back to Bedlam, which had the audience mesmerised and singing along to the wistful song.

Later in the night, the mood changed surprisingly when the singer leapt off the stage and ran around the audience. He then told a few jokes.

"I thought I had picked up a few phrases while in China to say hello to you all," Blunt said. "But then I realised you guys don't speak the same language."

Then, out of nowhere, Blunt began counting from one to 10 in accented Cantonese, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd.

Blunt followed that up with his most famous song, You're Beautiful, which had everyone in the audience singing along at the top of their lungs. (Though why he didn't save his biggest hit by far as the last song of the night is a mystery.)

And Blunt seriously has to change the backing videos he plays during his concerts; their cheesiness rivals that of the stock videos at karaoke bars across Hong Kong.

But overall, the Hong Kong crowd loved him; so why is he the subject of so many wisecracks in the west? Keep singing, James. We've got your back.

 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
"Most hated man" feels the love

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