James Blunt, Hammersmith Apollo, gig review: Strong but inconsistent

His rhymes are as excruciating as menstrual cramps without ibuprofen

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The Independent Culture

Halfway into his first song of the night, James Blunt kicks over a piano stool.

Helped along by his band, the live atmosphere and his irrepressible energy improve the tracks from his latest album Moon Landing, but then he spoils it somewhat by head-banging to ‘Face The Sun’ during a solo.

Lyrics have never been Blunt's forte: this is magnified when he plasters them across the giant screen behind him. His voice is strong but inconsistent when it comes to holding a note. And the rhymes. Oh God, the rhymes. They’re excruciating, like menstrual cramps without ibuprofen.

Yet the audience clap, they cheer, they high five him when he races up and down the aisles, and why? Playing the comedian with Michael McIntyre-esque displays of exaggerated pomp, it’s clear that Blunt is a born entertainer, so they forgive him when he wails ‘heartbreak’ for the hundredth time.


Watching James Blunt fans is to observe a cult from the outside, trying to work out if they're having fun or they just don't know any other way.

He kicks the piano stool over again at the encore and turns to thank the audience. ‘We’ll be back,’ he yells. It almost sounds like a threat.