IT will be a homecoming of sorts for James Blunt when he makes his return to Bournemouth next week.

The singer, who is appearing at the BIC on Thursday, has already visited the venue earlier this year in April.

“I’ve been to Bournemouth many times,” he tells The Guide.

“The BIC is a regular for me. For me it’s a bit of a home crowd. I come from Hampshire – near Andover is where my family are from – so I always have lots of friends and family there.

“I don’t have time to stop by and see them, but they will have a drink afterwards backstage.”

The tour will feature songs from James’s last album Moon Landing, which has been reissued in a special edition this month with five brand-new songs and a live DVD.

But he promises there will be tunes from previous records – which have amassed worldwide sales of 20 million – as well.

“It’s the biggest production I’ve ever done and it looks amazing on stage,” he said.

“We’ve got lunar modules on stage and it looks fantastic. It’s costing a bomb, but it looks fantastic.”

The tour doesn’t end until March 2015 – after his UK dates, James will head to Africa and South America. But the eloquently-spoken star is not fazed by the long travelling time.

“I’ve been doing it quite a long time. I enjoy being on a tour bus and I love what I do.”

Joining him at the BIC will be Daily Echo Unsigned artist Drew Allen, who was handpicked by James as a support act.

“It’s not something that we’ve done before, but we thought we’d try something different this time.

“We wanted to do something grass roots and find a support act locally.”

The You’re Beautiful singer got his big break by supporting established names such as Katie Melua and Sir Elton John.

“From my own experience of Elton John finding new bands and taking them out on the road, which is what he did with me.

“He took me round the UK and one of my second gigs with my band was in front of 40,000 people at Ipswich football stadium.

“Without those kinds of opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Hundreds of local musicians uploaded their mp3 track and bio on the Daily Echo Unsigned web page.

James was impressed with Drew Allen from Southbourne and his winning track, The Deal.

“There’s something exciting about the music of Drew Allen.

“Sort of a cross between Neil Young and Jake Bugg, with a great deal of honesty thrown into his lyrics,” said Blunt.

Playing in front of 4,000 people at the BIC with James Blunt will be something very special for Drew who told the The Guide: “I love people enjoying my music and I’ve watched bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Bob Dylan perform at the BIC.

“Every time I drive past the venue, I always hope that one day I’ll get to play there.

“James is a special musician and so it’s incredible that I’ll be supporting him. It means the world to me.”

n James Blunt: Moon Landing 2014 World Tour is at the BIC on Thursday.

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