James Blunt says NZ must 'clamp down' on Viagogo

Must See 07/03/2018

James Blunt has a bone to pick with ticket reseller Viagogo.

The musician touched base with Three's The Project ahead of the Auckland leg of his two-stop tour of New Zealand.

Speaking from backstage at Spark Arena, he says it's "almost a holiday" to be back on our shores.

"It feels like it's been a long old time."

The 'You're Beautiful' hitmaker has been on the road with his international Afterlove tour, but says the rest of the world was just a warm-up.

"We practiced on the Americans and the Europeans before getting to the important people, the New Zealanders," he laughed.

He's especially appreciative of our island nation's picturesque scenery, being a keen skier. He says he's yet to write a song about skiing as it's "a bit of a niche subject" which might not sell well.

"I write about relationships and failed relationships and addictions and death, and sometimes about Donald Trump too," he said.

He had some blunt words about ticket scams, saying he thinks scalping is "a pretty lame thing" and calling out controversial website Viagogo by name.

"People who Google ticket sales for anyone whose music is out there, the first one they come across is normally Viagogo," he explained.

"Viagogo is a classic case of someone who is actually a ticket reseller rather than direct from the source, and therefore their prices are huge.

"The more we can clamp down on that, the better for honest concert-going punters."

The Commerce Commission is currently investigating Viagogo after receiving 21 fresh complaints over the weekend - many from would-be Bruno Mars concert-goers.

Blunt says even if people were duped into buying fake tickets to his shows, he doubts they'd have the same problems as Mars fans did over the weekend.

"If anyone's brave enough to turn up to one of my concerts, we'd let them in anyway," he joked.

The Project played him a special message from the previous night's guest, Brendan O'Carroll of Mrs Brown's Boys, who reminisced about the passionate moment they shared in an episode. 

"They were special memories but quite private," Blunt says of the on-screen kiss. "He was very tasty."