On a showcase for WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?  The new single by That Joe Payne

                           at Simon Drake’s House of Magic, London 9th November 2018




And so the second release as That Joe Payne edges further

An angelic chorus ushers the stutter of strings into play,

An elegant vocal line rides on whistle and strings and piano,

With the pleasant dream of love celebrated even when loneliness has its say.


Here is both pop and torch song with a classical sense underlining

A song, sound and singer whose voice is in itself like a dream

Coming as it does with such ease and with the heart’s heady volume,

As the state of the world reconfigures when there is ‘nothing left to believe.’


That Joe Payne’s had a year of butterfly like ascension and on this CD cover

He sports a cloak of suitably rainbow wings; Collaborations, concepts,

The chrysalis of beginnings at once superseded by an ecstatic state as he sings.

He has gifted despair with an unheard of charm, through reprisal; as his world falls

This new song’s subject is more than just a victim of love.  He can rhyme ‘to’ an ‘ya’

And in so doing reorder the print of war coming as it marks out the danger

On the previously clear skies above. The music soars. The soul dips.

Progressive airs keep him dancing. He does not succumb, yet he suffers,


Needing someone to hold as he dreams. As do us all, if we either sleep

Alone or together, What is the World Coming To? Binds us through kisses denied

And lost means. Here is a singer and song that advances the template.

Primed by pop and showstopper, That Joe Payne has it all. Rock, Prog, Classical,


The chimes of all hearts seeking congress, as they align now in music, listen now

To Joe’s call. He seeks the unification of love and fears for the separation that settles

Over us all. In this single he wants to connect everyone. Dark words buffeted on

Wing scented music, verses rising like anthems, a chorus that glimmers


Through a landscape of mist, like low sun. Music For a While seals the deal.

The second track on the EP. A rewrite from Purcell easily admits a new form.

From Henry’s classical swell, a pure line of song has been written,

Gloriously prized by a vocal that rises to stun room and floor.


For Payne plays tonight at Simon Drake’s House of Magic, the secret lair

For the wonders that conjuring hands can reveal. Payne’s accomplishments shine

As he is part of Drake’s circle,along with his life and musical partner, the artist Max Read;

Their love steals every casual breath as they command a new genre;


Strings and harpsichord and programming are making true change from the space

Between performer and stage, audience, and musician. Between disc and ether

And the listener’s ear, they find grace. Moonlit Love does the same as Beethoven

Inspires an evocative  lyric and a singing so pure the heart’s cleansed,


Not just by the sound of the voice but by the intention behind it,

Along with the artistry of the playing, from Payne, Read and their cohorts,

Here is a music to breach every prejudicial defence. Previous single I Need a Change

Played acoustically on the CD and with Nick Willes and a young and expert band


In concert remains as affecting with its rhapsody of despair as Who Created Me

And One of the Many, two special triumphs of Payne’s from The Enid,

For whom classical inspiration was often the lifeblood beneath the music and time

They once shared.  Payne rises afresh from the shattering of those moments


To bind the full skies with new glories that this single and gig celebrates.

He chooses a song from each album released, both alone and with others,

From the rawest rock to symphonic the stars align where heart, breaks.

A devil fed concept piece shows the range of an artist who is only now


Fully forming.  Its command of both stage and headspace revivifies

A spent form.  Here is a young man primed by life in touch with both

Angel and Devil. Here is mastery blazing through the fires of change at each door.

Man and woman combine through the special honesty that is offered


Through Payne’s work there is pleasure to be taken and held

At your core. Here is out there now, edging stars.  There are where he is.

Look and listen. A special talent is rising. That Joe Payne; effervescent,

The soul with its sounding.  A song burst of light;


You’ll want more.



                                                       David Erdos, 13th November 2018
Photos by
Sophie Payne


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