Before ending the year cozy on a couch, Ed Sheeran took his guitar to Jools Holland’s 25th annual Hootenanny for a performance of his Billboard Hot 100-topping hit “Perfect” and an Eric Clapton cover.
The Hollands special is a UK New Year’s Eve tradition, with former guests including Adele, Kylie Minogue, and Jessie J. Sheeran’s performance this past Sunday (Dec. 31) was not his first time on the show, as he performed a masterful cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster” to ring in the new year in 2014, as well as a performance in 2015.
His performance this year included another cover, this time of Clapton’s 1971 jam “Layla” — which was kept secret until the night of the show, with the description simply alluding to a cover of a classic rock song. However, longtime Sheeran fans might not have been shocked by his choice, as Sheeran has openly credited Clapton as one of his biggest musical idols, and one of the main reasons he started playing guitar. The two have worked together in the past, each singing on one another’s albums under the same pseudonym “Angelo Mysterioso.”
Sheeran’s pop rendition of a classic rock cover was slotted next to an equally unique lineup of 11 other guests, including Jessie Ware, Beth Ditto, and Soul II Soul. Holland’s own Rhythm and Blues Orchestra also took in the action, playing a variety of add-on instrumentals and backings.
The singer-songwriter’s latest appearance on Hootenanny continued the tradition of the UK’s greats giving their best for Holland. You can check out his take on the Clapton classic, as well as his “Perfect” performance below.