James McKay

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About James

From ABBA to ACDC, James's energetic and eclectic set has wowed crowds all over the UK and beyond. Covers from the 50's to the present.

James has been performing music since the age of 14, starting out as a drummer, and eventually making his way onto guitar in his 20's. He has performed for thousands of people across the world, including a run of gigs in the USA, covering New York, New Jersey, Maine, Nashville & San Francisco. James is a vocalist accompanied by acoustic guitar with no backing tracks. He has a varied setlist of over 200 popular covers from the 50's to the present day, and can perform to suit any occasion, whether it be a laid back set suited to weddings or restaurants, to uptempo numbers for bars & parties. Full Bose PA system is provided for every booking. Both speakers are battery operated and can be repositioned easily. A separate wireless mic can be provided for speeches etc. Filler music can be provided for breaks, and maximum set time is 3x45 minutes.

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5 out of 5
2 verified reviews

James' Reviews

From customers:

Claire S
4 years ago, for a Birthday party in N Lodge Rd
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5 out of 5

Absolute amazing! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend James to anyone who wants someone who can not only sing and play fantastically, but engage a room and get a few laughs too. Really made the night and his never ending list of iconic songs across the decades meant we were all up singing and dancing along. Everyone at the party asked me for his booking details as he was so good! Thanks so much :)

Declan D
7 years ago, for a Wedding in NJ-17
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5 out of 5

Our friends and family are still talking about James! He is so talented. His set at our wedding was the perfect mix of songs that kept our guests entertained during dinner and the dance floor filled the rest of the night. Thank you for everything!

James' Song list

50’s & 60’s
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
Oh Boy - Buddy Holly
Johnny Be Goode – Chuck Berry
Eight Days a Week – The Beatles
Daydream Believer – The Monkees
I Wanna Be Like You – The Jungle Book
I’ve Just Seen a Face - The Beatles
To Love Somebody - The Bee Gees
Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away - The Beatles
Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Stand By Me – Ben E King
House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
People Are Strange – The Doors
Little Old Wine Drinker Me - Dean Martin
Can’t Buy Me Love - The Beatles
All I Have to Do is Dream - The Everly Brothers
I Started a Joke - The Bee Gees
Proud Mary - Ike & Tina Turner
Revolution - The Beatles
Living Doll - Cliff Richard
Blowing in the Wind - Bob Dylan
I only Wanna be with You - Dusty Springfield
Strawberry Fields - The Beatles
Walkin After Midnight - Patsy Cline
Honky Tonk Woman - The Rolling Stones
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
I Love You Because - Jim Reeves
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Delilah - Tom Jones
A Hard Days Night - The Beatles
Always on My Mind - Elvis Presley
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Take it Easy - The Eagles
Honky Tonk Woman – The Rolling Stones
Maggie May – Rod Stewart • Take It Easy – The Eagles
You’re The One That I Want – Grease
Super Trouper – Abba
The Joker – Steve Miller Band
Stuck In the Middle with You – Steelers Wheel
Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
Hotel California - The Eagles
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Always On My Mind - Elvis Presley
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
Heart of Gold – Neil Young
Take Me Home Country Roads – John Denver
I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats
I Don’t Wanna Talk About It - Rod Stewart
Grease - Franki Valli
Your Song - Elton John
Heart of Glass - Blondie
Jolene - Dolly Parton
Love Really Hurts Without You - Billy Ocean
Waterloo - Abba
Top of the World - The Carpenters
Wild World - Cat Stevens
The Coward of the County - Kenny Rogers
Mercedes Benz - Janis Joplin
Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad - Meatloaf
Living Next Door to Alice - Smokie
I Want To Break Free – Queen
Karma Chameleon – Culture Club
Stop – Erasure
One - U2
Dancing In the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
Beat It – Michael Jackson
Kiss – Prince
Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for – U2
Dignity – Deacon Blue
Free Falling – Tom Petty
Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson
You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi
I’m On My Way - The Proclaimers
Hello - Lionel Richie
Redemption Song - Bob Marley
Live it Up - Mental as Anything
Cap in Hand - The Proclaimers
Gimme hope Jo’anna - Eddie Grant
Holding out for a Hero - Bonny Tyler
Sally Cinnamon - The Stone Roses
Purple Rain - Prince
Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams
Where the Streets Have No Name - U2
Sunshine on Leith - The Proclaimers
Happy Hour - The Housemartins
Every Breathe You Take - The Police
Walk of Life - Dire Straits
When Tomorrow Comes - Eurythmics
Made of Stone - The Stone Roses
What Do You Do - The Proclaimers
Don’t dream it’s over - Crowded House
Like a Virgin - Madonna
This Ole House - Shakin Stevens
Take On Me - Ah-Ha
True Faith - New Order
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
Losing my religion - REM
Sit Down – James
Half the World Away – Oasis
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
The Sign – Ace of Base
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – Greenday
All the Small Things – Blink 182
Hand In My Pocket – Alanis Morissette
Why Does It Always Rain On Me – Travis
You Can Talk to Me - Seahorses
Chasing Rainbows – Shed 7
Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
My Hero – Foo Fighters
Broken Stones - Paul Weller
Handbags and Gladrags - Stereophonics
I Drove All Night - Roy Orbison
Nothing Ever Happens - Del Amitri
Jessie - Joshua Kaddison
Zombie - The Cranberries
Don’t Look Back In Anger - Oasis
The Cirlce - Ocean Colour Scene
Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
Digsys Dinner - Oasis
Say You’ll be there - Spice Girls
So Low - OCS
Drops of Jupiter - Train
Lucky Man - The Verve
Blinded by the Sun - Seahorses
Local Boy in the Photograph - Stereophonics
Slide Away - Oasis
Friday I’m in Love - The Cure
Weak - Skunk Annansi
Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams
Wonderwall - Oasis
Hazard - Richard Marx
Basket Case - Greenday
Traffic - Stereophonics
Cast - Walkaway
Believe - Cher
This is How it Feels - Inspiral Carpets
Don’t Marry Her - Beautiful South
Common People - Pulp
Back for Good - Take That
North Country Boy - The Charlatans
Rotterdam - The Beautiful South
2000 – PRESENT
Drunk – Ed Sheeran
Candy – Paolo Nutini
Teenage Dirtbag – Wheetus
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Mr Brightside – The Killers
Hey Ho – The Lumineers
I Miss You - Blink 182
Let Her Go – Passenger
Indian Summer – Stereophonics
Dear Darlin - Olly Mars
Pricetag – Jessie J
Took a Pill in Ibiza – Mike Posner
Mardy Bum – Arctic Monkeys
Yellow – Coldplay
Blame it on Me - George Ezra
Home - Michael Buble
Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
The Man Who Can’t Be Moved - The Script
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Slow Hands - Niall Horan
Songbird - Oasis
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheehan
Let It Go - James Bay
All of Me - John Legend
The One - Kodaline
Shotgun - George Ezra
Say You Won’t Let Go - James Arthur
The Captain - Biffy Clyro
Gravity - Embrace
Castle On The Hill - Ed Sheeran
Next To Me - Emily Sande
Dakota - Stereophonics
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T’s
It’s all About You - McFly
Bonfire Heart - James Blunt
Wake Me Up - Avicci
Rewind - Paolo Nutini
Radioactive - The Imagine Dragons
Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker
I Wasn’t Expecting That - Jamie Lawson
All I Want - Kodaline
Valerie - The Zutons
Only You Know Me - Robbie Williams
Titanium - David Guetta
Cannonball - Damian Rice
Candy - Robbie Williams
Human - The Killers
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Zephyr Song - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi
Belter - Gerry Cinnamon
Canter - Gerry Cinnamon
Flowers Miley Cyrus
Bad Habits - Ed Sheeran
Loch Lomond
Auld Lang Syne
Wild Mountain Thyme
Donald Where’s Yer Troosers
Bonnie Wee Jeanie McColl
Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin Stevens
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Lonely This Christmas - Mud
Step Into Christmas - Elton John.
Merry Christmas Everybody

James' Prices

Last updated: 2024

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£75
Up to 1 hour£187.50
Up to 2 hours£275
Up to 3 hours£400
Customer questions

What do your clients love most about your performances?

People always compliment me on the varied range of songs I do. Having played in hundreds of venues, from holiday parks, weddings, bars, and restaurants, to care homes and nurseries, I've had to learn a vast array of songs to keep up. Everything from ABBA to ACDC. Patsy Cline to Ed Sheeran. Johnny Cash to Jessie J.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall Kelvin Hall O2 ABC Oran Mor Classic Grand Hilton King Tuts EDINBURGH Dalmahoy Village Hotel Raddison Ibis George St Scotsman Lounge Greyfriars Mitre Bar OTHERS Oban Inn The Golden Fleece, Chelmsford Wiltons Music Hall, London Egan & Sons, Montclair, NJ Cafe International, San Francisco O'Breins, NYC Cafe Coco, Nashville

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Where do I start. First memories of music are of dad playing Billy Joel's "Innocent Man" album. Then mum bought Queens "Innuendo' which kinda lit the fire. When I heard The Beatles my life changed forever. Now I'm a regular listener of the classics, Fleetwood Mac, Springsteen, Elton, Elvis to newer artists like Coldplay, Paolo Nutini, Taylor Swift, Oasis.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

My band Sianar fought off competition from over 1000 bands and won a slot on the main stage at Scotfest, held at the Royal Highland Showground in Edinburgh. We were chosen by Jermaine Jackson (The Jacksons) and Adele Lynch (Bewitched) and played to over 3000 people, sharing the stage with Boyzone, The Jacksons, 5ive, Bewitched and Les McKeown.

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

Just let me know as soon as possible. If I have no other work related commitments on the day I will try to be as flexible as possible.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

Yes. If required I can stream a playlist from my phone to my PA system, which is bluetooth enabled.

How much time do you need to set up?

My setup time is normally fairly quick. Around 20 minutes providing I have clear access to the area I will be performing in.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Of course. If you can let me know in advance I will arrange a tailored setlist for the occasion.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes. I have a Bose twin speaker PA system which operates on battery power. I use a Taylor acoustic guitar, and bring a Shure microphone, mic stand and all necessary cables. I do not use or provide lighting.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

I can do this with enough notice. The version I do will be as close to the original as possible, but may differ slightly depending on vocal range or key changes etc. This only won't be possible when the song requested is a melodic instrumental request.
Acoustic, Christmas, 1990s era music, 1980s era music, 1970s era music, 1960s era music, 1950s era music, Folk, Country, Traditional Scottish folk, Pop, Covers, Top 40, Scottish music
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Event types:
Wedding, Bar / Club / Venue event, Virtual event, Funeral / Memorial service, Wedding proposal, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Recording session, Concert, Birthday party, New Year's Eve, Christmas party
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Other skills:
Producer, Composer, Songwriter, Lyricist, Arranger, Audio engineer
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