James Bay’s raw and authentic style make him one of the most compelling live performers of the moment.
To celebrate the recent release of his soul-stirring Vevo videos, Close-up Culture have compiled a list of our 20 favourite live performances from the British singer-songwriter.
20. Proud Mary cover – Jools’ Annual Hootenanny
Bay is joined by an array of musical talent as he lets loose with this Creedence Clearwater Revival cover.
19. Love Yourself – The BRIT Awards
Although Bay is just on guitar, it is still undeniably fun to see him on stage with Bieber for a stripped back tune before the American superstars hops off to perform an elaborate pop number. Yes, this video has over 52million hits – the power of Biebs!
18. Stealing Cars
This early Bay video captures him hatless and performing in what looks like a back garden.
17. Hymn for the Weekend cover – BBC Live Longue
Never afraid of a challenge, Bay takes on this Coldplay mega hit.
16. Scars – At the CBGB
New York’s legendary CBGB is a fitting venue for this standout performance from Bay.
15. Peer Pressure with Julia Michaels
American singer-songwriter Julia Michaels joins Bay for a heart-warming live performance under romantic lighting.
14. When We Were On Fire
Another early Bay video sees the hat back where it belongs as he performs with an impressive backdrop.
13. Forever cover – BBC Live Longue
Bay makes us yearn for a collaboration with HAIM as he puts a sensitive spin on their 2012 hit.
12. Running – Abbey Road Studios
A rousing Bay performance put together with powerful footage from Sport Relief.
11. Hold Back The River – At the CBGB
As good as Bay’s rendition is, it is worth watching this live performance for the talented percussionist who threatens to steal the show.
10. Piece Of My Heart cover – Radio City NY
Bay’s enjoyment of covering this Janis Joplin hit is infectious as he is joined by three wonderful backing singers.
9. If I Ain’t Got You cover – Spotify Sessions
Bay hooks us inn with the necessary soul to pull off this cover of Alicia Keys’ 2003 track.
8. Bad – Vevo
This intimate Vevo live performance feels like Bay is performing in a well-lit and carpeted garage.
7. Don’t Look Back In Anger cover – BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show
Bay shows remarkable encourage to perform – and nail (bar a few misplaced lyrics) – a cover of this Oasis classic in the presence of Noel Gallagher.
6. Let It Go with Ed Sheeran – Cambridge Corn Exchange
This incredible collaboration from 2015 is well worth checking out, especially as the two embark on a European tour together this summer.
5. Simply the Best cover – BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show
With a room full of movie stars (Hugh Grant, Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover), Bay does not disappoint with this electric guitar cover of Tina Turner’s uplifting classic.
4. On Fire cover – Hotel Monaco
The audience’s excitement matches our own in this incredibly intimate performance of an underappreciated Bruce Springsteen song.
3. Us with Alicia Keys – The Voice UK
Bay and Keys compliment each other beautifully in this live TV performance. We can only dream of these two collaborating on an album.
2. Delicate cover – BBC Live Longue
Bay is the perfect match for this underrated Taylor Swift tune. He also throws in a little bit of Drake’s One Day for good measure.
1. Let It Go with Lewis Capaldi – London Palladium
Bay is joined on stage by Lewis Capaldi for a goosebump worthy collaboration between two of Britain’s most talented contemporary artists.