let­ter

Prog - - Letter -

Fol­low­ing on from your fea­ture on

Joe Payne in the May is­sue, we were priv­i­leged to be at his Acous­tic Show­case gig on Sun­day May 27.

It was very clear from the out­set that this was go­ing to be no or­di­nary show.

For a start, around half the au­di­ence were fe­male! At most gigs we’re def­i­nitely in the mi­nor­ity so it was a most wel­come change. Al­though there were plenty of sea­soned Enid veter­ans who had been there and got the T-shirt to prove it, there was also a healthy core of much younger fans. Maybe this di­ver­sity con­tributed to the at­mos­phere and if this is the fu­ture, it’s look­ing pretty good.

Each of Joe’s guests played a set be­fore he joined them on stage. When Oliver Day wan­dered onto the stage, picked up his gui­tar and be­gan play­ing softly, the en­tire au­di­ence fell si­lent. We couldn’t quite be­lieve what we were hear­ing. If you don’t know Oliver, I sug­gest you catch up with him while you can still af­ford a ticket!

Joe’s glo­ri­ous five-oc­tave-range voice dipped and soared around the old cin­ema as he played haunt­ing, mys­te­ri­ous songs with Nik­i­tas Kis­sonas (Methexis) and old favourites from his Enid days. The Pic­ture­drome [in Northamp­ton] is a great venue for live mu­sic, in­ti­mate but with per­fect acous­tics, due in no small part to the ex­per­tise of sound man Max Read, who had a hand in its de­sign.

Four hours of stun­ning mu­sic fi­nally came to a close with Joe singing I Need A Change, which brought the crowd to its feet. Joe and friends – who also in­cluded Pete and Dunk and John Holden – had be­tween them de­liv­ered a truly un­for­get­table per­for­mance that was warmly ap­pre­ci­ated by ev­ery­one there. It was al­ways go­ing to be emo­tional and my only re­gret is not wear­ing wa­ter­proof mas­cara!

Jane Tucker

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