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Singing guitarist

James McKay

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About James

Fantastic Live Acoustic Covers Artist Playing Hits From The 50's To The Present
Singing guitarist
Verified profile

James McKay is a singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist from Bathgate, in the heart of Scotland’s central belt. His 20 years in the music industry has seen him perform his catalogue of self penned original songs, as well as huge catalogue of covers, in bars, clubs and functions across the UK, as well as larger venues such as Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall and Royal Concert Hall. James also embarked on a 6 week round trip of the USA in 2016, busking and gigging across New York, Hollywood, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Miami, New Jersey & Maine. In 2015, as part of rock outfit Rewired, James worked with Grammy/Ivor Novello award winning producer/songwriter Eliot Kennedy on writing and producing their debut E.P ‘Feel’, and gained a valuable insight into the workings of professional composition, production and the music industry as a whole. The result earned the group airplay on XFM’s drive time show, as well as features in Kerrang, Classic Rock Magazine and The Scottish Sun. James currently fronts Scottish rock band Sianar, who in July 2018, played the main stage at Scotfest, a massive festival of music in Scotlands capital Edinburgh, sharing a stage with Legends The Jackson's, Boyzone and a host of other large names acts. The band are also set to play this years Party at the Palace in Linlithgow in August. Sianar have also played sold out shows at some of Scotlands's small iconic music venues including King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, O2 ABC, Oran Mor, Classic Grand & Dreadnought Rock. Their debut 4 track EP 'Cause & Effect' was recorded and produced by Scottish music Producer Sandy Jones, as well as 2 further tracks 'Let Me Be The One, & 'Hey Hey'. All are available to buy/stream on all major platforms online. Towards the end of 2018, James was approached by Scottish director Maz Edmond of Angelface Productions to provide an original song for her feature film Connect. The song 'You I Live For' is performed by lead actor Kevin Guthrie, who's previous roles in films such as Sunshine on Leith, Sunset Song, and more recently, Mr Abernathy in JK Rowlings Fantastic Beasts has made him one to watch. Connect premiers at Glasgow Film Festival on 23rd February 2019.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I require car parking close to venues
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Encore awards
1st Encoreversary
Pop, Acoustic, Covers, Top 40, Rock, Britpop, Classic rock, Pop rock, Indie
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Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Concert, Burns night
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Other skills:
Arranger, Audio engineer, Composer, Lyricist, Songwriter, Producer
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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
Runaway – Del Shannon
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
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
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
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
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
She Bangs the Drums - The Stone Roses
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
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
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
You’re Not Alone - The Enemy
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
Try - Pink
Candy - Robbie Williams
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
Customer questions

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

With enough notice, I'm more than happy to change performance times. Just let me know as far in advance as you can.

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

Yes, I can play a Spotify playlist inbetween songs for no extra charge. If you have music on a device I can play this for you too. Any additional background music over and above my agreed time is an additional £50 per hour

How much time do you need to set up?

I need around 15- 30 minutes to set up

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

Yes, My setlist is on my profile and I'm happy to play you any songs from the list.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes. It's just me, my acoustic guitar, and a microphone, all going through my own PA system.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

I can try learn a song(s) if necessary. If it's not on my list, and there is plenty of time in between the booking and performance, then I'm happy to try learn 1-2 songs.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

I get a lot of great feedback from clients about my song choices, and how they cover all avenues of the musical spectrum. I have everything in there from ABBA to ACDC and from Patsy Cline to Jessie J. I also like to interact with my audience and build rapport with them.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

As a solo acoustic act I've performed in venues such as Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall, The Kelvin Hall, Duck Bay, Deer Park, The Vu, Raddison, Oban Inn, Goldberry Bar, Hibs Supporters Club, 1912, 1807, Beer Kitchen, Real Food Cafe, The Canon With my band Sianar I've played Party at the Palace, Scotfest, King Tuts, Oran Mor, The Garage, O2 ABC, Classic Grand

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Being a creative and songwriter, I love and am influenced by all music...seriously. One minute Im on classic FM, the next I've got on Guns N Roses on. My main influences are mainly the greats, The Beatles, Elvis, Queen, Pink Floyd, although growing up in the 90's I do love the britpop era and bands like Oasis, The Stone Roses, Stereophonics Pulp etc.

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

Definitely Scotfest 2018, although that was with my band. 6000 audience and sharing a stage with The Jacksons & Boyzone. What a buzz.


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£150
Up to 2 hours£220
Up to 3 hours£350


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6 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

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Jennifer S, 1 year ago

James was great! Entertained the guests, gauged the audience fantastically. Would definitely recommend for some afternoon music at a wedding.

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Ja M, 1 year ago

James showed up and played as agreed. Really enjoyed the sets. Will have him play again.

From other customers:

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Joanne S, 2 years ago

I asked James to play at my wedding recently and he did not disappoint, the floor was always busy and even with only 24 hours notice he learned and played a song for me and my husband. Many of my friends and family hadn't heard of him before and absolutely loved him and are still talking about his performance. Always friendly and professional with a fantastic voice. Forever a fan.

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Victoria D, 3 years ago

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!

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