Blunt to bring odd charm to SA

[caption id="attachment_40133" align="alignright" width="300"] JAMES BLUNT[/caption]

BRITISH singer-songwriter James Blunt is coming to South Africa in February.

The 40-year-old will play Cape Town's Grand Arena on February 12, and Carnival City in Johannesburg on February 14 and 15.

Each venue has a capacity of about 5000.

A decade since his successful debut Back to Bedlam, he is still getting flak for music many call "whining drivel" – not that he is taking that lying down.

In fact, he should add one more title to his already long Twitter bio, and that is "Troll Slayer".

Visit his timeline and you will see he gets as much pleasure from commenting on his haters' insults, as he does performing the music they so despise.

When one user wrote "My mom hates James Blunt", he replied "Because I won't pay the child support?"

There's even a Facebook page called I Hate James, with the description "I can't stand James Blunt, and neither should you".

In an interview with Australia's, Blunt suggested blocking trolls was not as fun as replying to the taunts.

He is quoted as saying: "It totally defuses them. It is a cycle of people being horrid to each other, then someone's horrid back to them. It's this negative circle. I try to say things with humour. I mock myself as much as I mock anyone I write to."

But he found a fan in Ian Goodin, who was touched enough to write on planetivy.comthat "It's become cool to hate him, but I'm coming up short for reasons why. Why do we hate talented people and praise the talentless? Maybe it's because his middle name is Hillier? His accent? His haircut? His shoes?"

So what of this tour?

When he played the Royal Albert Hall in April, The Telegraph noted that it was attended by "mostly tipsy middle-aged couples and a few family ensembles", who "were having a blast. Even the reluctant toe-tappers who had taken their seats with some trepidation were on their feet by the end of the evening".

Tickets for Cape Town's show went on sale yesterday, for between R455 and R625, while tickets for the Johannesburg show go on sale today and will sell for between R395 and R735, via Computicket and - Andile Ndlovu