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Sam Smith Performs Bond 'Spectre' Theme "Writing's On The Wall" Live for the First Time

by William Hoffman   Oct 25, 2015 16:12 PM EDT

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Sam Smith has given us his first live performance of the James Bond 007 Spectre theme, "Writing's On The Wall," on the BBC's Graham Norton Show -- backed by a gorgeous full orchestra.

It's one thing to hear the song recorded, but it's another entirely to see how effortlessly Smith can rise to those high notes.

The stage lit up the black tie attire of the performers (actually, Smith is wearing a cream polka dot tie) creating the perfect Bond aesthetic for the performance. Smith took center stage with the orchestra surrounding him as he belt out one of his most impressive vocal performances ever.

Smith was the main focus of course, but the orchestration supporting him was absolutely incredible in its own right. The band opens with the full pounding sound of the timpani as cymbals crash along side gliding strings and a triumphant blast from the French horns. Everything quiets down as the chimes give a glimmering ending to the opening theme and Smith enters with some soft vocals. The band switches seamlessly between a bare-bones piano and upright bass section, slowly building with violins and a harp into the bombastic boom of the low brass.

The whole thing feels like it came out of a traditional Bond film, unlike other efforts that have attempted to modernize the sound. Sometimes you just can't beat an old fashioned orchestra with some simply gorgeous composition. Watch the breath taking performance below.

Spectre hits theaters Oct. 26 in the UK, where "Writing's on the Wall" topped the singles chart. The U.S. Release is slated for Nov. 6. Shortly after the film's release, Disclosure and Sam Smith are set to perform on Saturday Night Live with host Elizabeth Banks on Nov. 14. It's likely the performance will include the collaborative single, "Omen," off Disclosure's sophomore album, Caracal.

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