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The Cambridge Union - JB guest speaker Expand / Collapse
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Posted 09 October 2017 04:39


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After the big success of James' appearance at The Oxford Union in 2016, no wonder why The Cambridge Union invited him to be their speaker. Very much looking forward to it.

https://issuu.com/thecambridgeunion/docs/171002_camu1_mt17_tcard_a5br_med-re/42

Speakers for next year include...

James Blunt - 18th January 2018
Post #284378
Posted 12 January 2018 21:16


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The date has changed. James is now scheduled for 24th January at 7pm (UK time).

https://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/news/0038122-cambridge-union-releases-preview-of-lent-speakers.html

Cambridge Union releases preview of Lent speakers

January 12, 2018

The Cambridge Union has today announced highlights from its jam-packed Lent 2018 termcard, with celebrities like Pelé, Davina McCall, James Blunt, General Michael Flynn and Bryan Cranston, the star of hit series Breaking Bad, scheduled to attend.

The term will kick-off on 15th January at 7pm with a visit from rugby union legend James Haskell; which will be closely followed by the 19th January visit from Bryan Cranston at 3pm.

Week One will continue with Pelé, who is due to speak on 22nd January at 7pm; and James Blunt, scheduled for 24th January at 7pm.

[...]

Post #285190
Posted 13 January 2018 16:49


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The full Lent 2018 termcard has just been published.

https://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/news/0038129-orlando-bloom-pele-james-blunt-and-jacob-rees-mogg-among-stars-in-union-lent-termcard.html

The Cambridge Union has today released its full Lent 2018 termcard, which promises a 'jam-packed schedule of events' throughout the months ahead, with visits from a wide variety of stars from various fields. Building on the inclusivity developments from previous terms, the Union's current President Jonah Surkes said of the Lent plans 'the lineup features something for everyone', stating that 'even if you aren’t into A-listers and political heavyweights, we are also so pleased to be platforming speakers with fascinating and important stories to tell'. Suitably, the schedule includes business, political and showbiz names, alongside charity and social rights campaigners.

In the music field, James Blunt is scheduled to arrive in January, whilst the legendary Peter Andre, whose 'Mysterious Girl' has topped the charts twice, in the 1990s and early 2000s, is promised in March.

Full programme:
https://issuu.com/thecambridgeunion/docs/cambridge_union_lent_2018_termcard/37

Post #285194
Posted 23 January 2018 18:45


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It's tomorrow!

https://www.varsity.co.uk/violet/14507

James Blunt to sing at the Union
Get ready to sing along to some noughties throwbacks

Varsity
Ellie Mullett
January 23 2018

The Cambridge Union is to have its first live performance in years, as James Blunt has agreed to sing during his appearance tomorrow.

Although scheduled as a speaker, the Goodbye My Lover singer will be doing more than just talking at the Union, Blunt is bringing his guitar so he can play a handful of acoustic hits too, in what promises to be an very intimate performance.

President Jonah Surkes said “We are so excited to add this to a varied termcard, and hope to see you singing along”. A bit of karaoke might even be compulsory, with suggestions being that Blunt is going to push for a sing-song.

James Blunt is just one of a handful of musicians appearing at the Union this term, with Kygo and Loyle Carner (and he of Mysterious Girl fame, Peter Andre) due to visit in coming weeks, but this is likely going to be the only performance, and indeed, the only chance you get (ever) to sing You’re Beautiful in the Union chambers. Maybe that membership fee was money well spent after all

Post #285253
Posted 24 January 2018 23:27


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Just a few things until proper videos are uploaded to YouTube. So far, we know that 'You're Beautiful' and 'Goodbye My Lover' were both performed.

GML
https://twitter.com/LJPike92/status/956281179904323585

You're Beautiful
https://twitter.com/cambtweetmedic/status/956268699467550720

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeWbu5-BEM3/?taken-by=missik.s

The evening ended up with James behind the bar... the 1815 Union Bar
https://www.facebook.com/1815bar/posts/2086824248203803

Video:
https://www.facebook.com/1815bar/videos/2086826888203539/

Post #285258
Posted 25 January 2018 13:50


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Nice pictures on Getty.

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/james-blunt-cambridge-union?family=editorial&phrase=%22james%20blunt%22%20%22cambridge%20union%22&sort=newest#license

If you're a Pinterest user, there's a board dedicated to this event

https://www.pinterest.ca/JamesBluntCA/james-blunt-at-the-cambridge-union-24012018/

Post #285262
Posted 25 January 2018 17:26


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Great photos album (32 pics) by Alisa Molotova

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1702929949727498.1073742252.198831506804024&type=1&l=5a95fd02b3

Post #285264
Posted 27 January 2018 15:51


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Video interview for The Tab Cambridge by Danny Wittenberg

https://www.facebook.com/TabCambridge/videos/10155022181171010/


***

https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2018/01/26/putting-song-stalking-isnt-way-get-one-tab-gets-romance-tips-james-blunt-105354

James Blunt talks singing, stalking and twitter with the Tab
The Tab Cambridge - Maddy Rennie
26 January 2018

‘Putting out a song about stalking isn’t the way to get the One’. James Blunt opens up about the misinterpretation of his biggest hit in interview.

James Blunt personally serenaded me at the Cambridge Union. Yes, ME. Ok, sure there were 400 other people in the audience of his Union talk who could also hear those dulcet tones. But you could cut the romantic tension between us (and hundreds of similarly entranced students) with a knife.

Before launching into his rapturously received rendition of You're Beautiful, Blunt discussed how often and widely his hit song has been misinterpreted. The song is about stalking, he stressed. Specifically, stalking – while high on drugs – some poor random girl on the Tube who was clearly with her boyfriend. Not exactly the most romantic ditty then. It baffles Blunt that many play the songs at weddings, for example, or see it as a quintessential love song. "I usually forget Valentines Day," he continued, shattering the dreams of many members of the audience who might have otherwise considered him the perfect man (don't worry James, I still think that xoxo).

During our round table interview, I pressed him further on this, asking (for a friend!!) whether songs and music were the key to romance. "I think … putting out a song and music is not the way to the One… especially if it's about stalking," he explained, "…but if you want to be able to pay some bills, then go for it." Pretty sound advice from a man whose songs have made him millions, and whose world tour is quickly selling out stadiums in Australia, Chile, and beyond. And Blunt is, understandably, grateful for the success which You're Beautiful brought him, and is never hesitant to end a show (or Union talk) with a rendition. When asked if he ever tires of having to sing it, he compared himself to a chef making a signature dish: "If I was a chef, and lasagna was my forte … why would I get pissed of being asked to make it every night?"

Blunt also discussed his (in)famous Twitter zingers. However, he remained clear that, ultimately, he sees Twitter as more trouble than it is worth. "Don't be on Twitter," he told us, "it's just about ego." On his favourite social networks spats, he gave yet more advice, suggesting that big fights are "silly" and best avoided:"I try and give one tweet answers."

We delved further into both his musical influences and bromances – particularly Elton John, who falls into both categories: "[When starting out in music] I gravitated towards the music of the 70s… Elton John, Cat Stevens." Blunt even covered one of the superstar's hits, Sacrifice, with the other target of his bromantic advances: Ed Sheeran. The pair have famously struck up a friendship, work with the same record label (Atlantic Records), and have toured and performed TOGETHER when promoting new music (be still my beating heart!).

Still, even the addition of Ed Sheeran could not have bettered Blunt's talk at the Union. Especially so during his performance of You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover (which perhaps nearly reduced the Tab team to tears), so rousing that it triggered a standing ovation not dissimilar to that which followed last term's Stephen Hawking lecture. Beautiful, it's true.

Post #285280
Posted 27 January 2018 15:53


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https://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/interviews/0038254-james-blunt-on-his-mega-hits-military-service-and-the-pitfalls-of-being-famous.html

James Blunt on his mega-hits, military service and the pitfalls of being famous

The Cambridge Student
by Alfie Denness
26 January 2018

The Cambridge Union was treated to an engaging talk from a warm and often funny James Blunt on Wednesday evening. Being what one might call a Blunt-Agnostic (not that I’m unsure if he really exists, I just don’t have enough knowledge of his work to take a stand on whether he’s the best or worst thing to happen to music), I was interested to pick up on the palpable buzz of excitement as a full-to-the brim Union Chamber awaited his arrival, demonstrating that he clearly has many committed fans among Cambridge students. While I was wandering around the Union beforehand looking for the press area, I happened to walk past Blunt who I think must have been on the way to his soundcheck. I was oblivious to this but was alerted to his presence afterwards by the sharp intakes of breath of two women walking behind me. ‘Oh my god, was that him?’ one asked the other. Nearly 14 years after he burst onto the scene with his debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’, the consistency of Blunt’s appeal in an era when fame is transient for many pop musicians is certainly impressive.

The talk itself proved that Blunt is an eloquent speaker, perhaps at least in part thanks to his Public-School education, which he appeared to remember fondly. Blunt’s unconventional pre-music career as a Captain in the British Army was almost as much a feature of the talk as his music. As a man uniquely able to provide an insight into the two very different worlds of military service and celebrity, it struck me that there was a degree to which Blunt missed the former part of his life. He spoke of the pitfalls of being world-famous, of the loss of anonymity and having his phone and emails hacked. He was clearly very proud of his military service; even if he did somewhat downplay his role in averting World War Three by refusing to engage with a unit of Russian soldiers while under NATO command in Kosovo, he was eager to retell a story he must have recounted many times. However, Blunt also clearly appreciated, and was even slightly awed, by the impact his music had on people around the world. When asked by the Union’s interviewer if he was tired of playing ‘You’re Beautiful’ every night, he retorted that he was tired of being asked that question. Blunt’s attitude is refreshing; all too often musicians can be loath to play their ‘big hits’, the songs that made them famous, but Blunt is less self-centred than this. He cheerfully admits that his mega-hits such as ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Goodbye My Lover’ have made him tons of money, and that they mean a lot to many people around the world, and it was no surprise that when, in a first in many years for the Union, he performed at the end of his talk, it was those two songs that he played.

After the talk, myself and several other Cambridge student journalists got the chance to sit round the table with Blunt. He was keen to talk about his musical influences, citing 70s artists such as Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie. Bowie may well have been more than a musical influence in fact, as when a journalist put it to him that he could still ‘sesh quite hard’, he quickly replied ‘yeah, totally’ and indicated his unwillingness to slow down anytime soon, living as he does in Ibiza. Another big theme of the talk had been Blunt’s Twitter, where he is well-known for his self-deprecating humour and occasionally juvenile put-downs of ‘trolls’. When it came to me, I asked Blunt, as a man whose career has spanned the massive popularity surge of social media, what differences he’s noticed in the interactions he’s had with his fans since the days of written fan mail. He suggested that the ability to ‘give feedback so quickly’ had resulted in a lot more abuse being directed towards celebrities such as himself, and that usually when people had bothered to go the effort of writing a letter it had been a lot more supportive. Also, given his dedicated following around the world (Kazakhstan and Italy were just two of the countries he mentioned during his talk), I asked Blunt what his favourite country to tour in was. He gave the somewhat left-field answer of Lebanon, saying that Beirut was ‘the most amazing city in the world’, but also said that for ‘amazing audiences’ you should head to ‘Latin America’, particularly ‘Buenos Aires’. It was at this point that I reflected on the surreal thought that this was a musician who can pack out big stadiums in probably every continent on the planet. Whatever you may think of his music (and I think Bonfire Heart at least is a true banger), this is no mean feat and surely must be respected.

Post #285281
Posted 30 January 2018 21:07


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Full video. Don't know why but talk starts at 17:00 min

https://youtu.be/9fMj0vclUTQ
Post #285293
Posted 01 February 2018 21:49


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https://www.varsity.co.uk/music/14578

James Blunt: ‘I am essentially a man known for one song’

Sam Brown sits down with national treasure, James Blunt, to discuss Elton John, Twitter zingers, and hungover Lebanese gigs after his visit to the Union

Varsity UK, February 1 2018

They say to never meet your heroes. It’s a good job James Blunt is only a semi-ironic guilty pleasure, then. Like many a twenty-something with questionable music taste, Blunt’s intrusions into the sound waves of my life have been twofold: squeaky, pre-pubescent attempts at the falsetto in the ‘You’re Beautiful’ chorus, and daring efforts to squeeze ‘Goodbye My Lover’ into Sunday Life pre-drinks. I jumped, therefore, at the chance to fire some hard-hitters in Blunt’s direction. As it turns out, his feathers are not easily ruffled.

I met with Blunt after his talk at the Union last week. I caught his eye, as he walked on by – he could see from my face that I was eager to throw some questions his way. As was clear from his interview in the chamber, Blunt does not take himself too seriously. “I am essentially a man known for one song, and one song only,” Blunt points out, before strumming the opening chords of his ‘You’re Beautiful’. “Everyone’s got it wrong, though. This is not a mushy love song to be played at weddings, but one about me stalking an ex-girlfriend whilst very high.”

You would think making one’s name by producing romantic ballads would make you a hit with the ladies, but you would be wrong. “Writing songs like ‘You’re Beautiful’ is not the way to find ‘the one’,” Blunt continues. “As it turns out, stalking is not a great flirtation technique. If you want to pay some bills, on the other hand, singing about stalking is perfect.” Blunt was clearly not a wise man in some of his earlier romantic endeavours, it seems.

A similarly self-deprecatory vein can be found on his Twitter feed. With a limitless sense of irony, Blunt proudly proclaims his No.1 status in Tajikistan and Niger, and responds to critical tweets with punchy one-liners. One poor soul tweeted: “James Blunt has a twitter, what would he even tweet about?”. Blunt replied: “Boning your mum”. Responding to a question about his Twitter acclaim, Blunt says “I don’t usually try and get in spats, instead aiming for one or two witty lines.” Despite this clear knack for vulgar humour, he is surprisingly friendly in conversation, only mocking my interview style once.

Many have compared Blunt’s musical style to other singer-songwriters of the early noughties. Damien Rice is particularly close in genre. “Damien Rice, David Gray, and I were starting out at a very similar time, and, in many ways, they opened the doors for me to the music industry,” Blunt says. “Without them, record labels wouldn’t have been as open-minded enough to give me a shot.” It is true that Rice and Blunt, in particular, are not traditional chart-topping pop stars. Both have effeminate singing styles, and their lyrics are underlined by a fragile masculinity that was not exactly mainstream back before Rice and Blunt made it so.

While Blunt did not have a clear idea about what music he was going to produce when young, he slowly gravitated towards the sound of the 70s as he matured. “From Elton John, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, and bands like Fleetwood Mac – that was an amazing era of creativity, and a big source of inspiration for me.” It was through Elton John that Blunt arguably caught his first big break, touring with the star in late 2004 and early 2005.

Elton was a mentor to Blunt in his early years, taking him under his wing in a similar way to how Blunt has ‘apprenticed’ Ed Sheeran recently. The epitome of a high-flying ‘bromance’, Blunt and Sheeran have found themselves in many a drunken situation together. One story sticks out. At a party at Windsor Castle in November 2016, Princess Beatrice reportedly cut Ed with a ceremonial sword while trying to ‘knight’ James Blunt. It sounds the stuff of legends, and Blunt is unsurprisingly unwilling to comment. “My publicists would get very angry if I discussed this,” he says, with the wry grin of someone who is no stranger to hedonism. “We certainly have a mutual love of alcohol, long may it last,” he admits.

Asked what the essentials are for any tour bus, Blunt replies: “No food, just booze. Corona, Heineken, Vodka, and mixers. That really is it.” At the ripe old age of 43, Blunt’s tour lifestyle certainly hits harder in the mornings than it used to do. “Some gigs I’ve played, I’ve just been incredibly hungover, struggling to get it out. But that’s just the job.” I feel your pain, James, I reply – Thursday morning supervisions are probably a comparable experience to a rough gig in Sao Paulo.

With such esteemed musical influences as Elton John and Ed Sheeran, I was surprised that certain songs on Blunt’s most recent album, Afterlove, were so clearly geared towards the club music scene. His collaboration with Robin Shultz, titled ‘OK’, is a prime example of this. Blunt physically slumps as I mention this – I prepare for a quick repost, but am instead hit by a very frank admission of guilt. “I did not want that song on the album,” he sighs. “I never want to hear that song again, and I tried to get rid of it.” The song was a huge hit everywhere in the world apart from the UK, but it still seems too much like selling out for Blunt: “It’s not the kind of music I will do in the future, nor is it music that I want to make.”

Despite having convinced myself that I would end the interview by slipping into a rendition of ‘Goodbye My Lover’, my heart wasn’t really in it. In truth, Blunt had been too sincere and genuine to mock at the last. What is clear, however, is that although I don’t think I’ll see him again, we shared a moment that will last till the end.

Post #285338
Posted 20 February 2018 16:25


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CU-TV speaks to James Blunt after his talk at the Cambridge Union about living with Carrie Fisher and how to find love in Cambridge.

https://youtu.be/cCYBTa_hcPA
Post #285444
Posted 04 March 2018 21:06


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The Cambridge Union has posted a new version of the video without the empty first 17 min.
https://youtu.be/ODx9Tcvvyn4

'Goodbye My Lover'
https://youtu.be/rxDE56IhYI4

'You're Beautiful'
https://youtu.be/491AWit5Gmc

Post #285542
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