Joe Payne gets set for intimate Christmas show at Delapré Abbey

That Joe Payne performing at the Deco Theatre in Northampton. Photo by David Jackson.That Joe Payne performing at the Deco Theatre in Northampton. Photo by David Jackson.
That Joe Payne performing at the Deco Theatre in Northampton. Photo by David Jackson.
Tickets for That Joe Payne Does Christmas at Delapré Abbey on December 11 are on sale now.

Award-winning singer songwriter Joe Payne will be playing a mixture of his favourite Christmas songs alongside his own material to an intimate audience at Delapré Abbey next weekend.

Last year, Payne performed a stripped back festive live stream to his fans on the subscription platform Patreon as live performances couldn’t take place in person due to coronavirus restrictions

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He said: “I had so much fun doing that, I decided this year I was going to go bigger and do a full band concert and try and do something really special.

“Delapré Abbey is such a beautiful space and it is something that I've been looking forward to all year.”

On December 11, he will be joined by band members in the Northampton Abbey’s library which can hold 60 fans.

While some what restrained by the size of the room, Payne adds, “If any room is the best place to do a live performance at Delapré Abbey, it’s going to be the library because you've walls lined with books so it catches the sound better than any other room possibly could.

“It’s going to be a really nice intimate show.”

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Joe Payne is the voice behind The Enid, Zio and John Holden.

The classically trained vocalist has backgrounds in prog, pop and rock and has released 14 albums with different acts.

He has previously been voted Best Male Vocalist two years running in the Prog Magazine’s Readers’ Poll and received other nominations for his work with The Enid.

In 2019, Payne was invited to support Marillion at their sold-out fan-weekend in Holland.

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Last year, under the name That Joe Payne, he released his debut solo album By Name. By Nature.

While last year, fans helped pick his online festive set, this year, Payne has chosen the songs – but adds the set will feature many which fans put forward last year.

He said: “I want to choose Christmas songs that are going to match my own sound, so I've gone for classics such as Walking In The Air and we’ll also be performing my new Christmas single Oh Holy Night as well.”

Payne’s band features two keyboard players, guitarist, bassist and a drummer who also will be playing the vocoder.

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Earlier this year Payne performed solo at the fundraising One Voice concert at The Deco theatre in front of a huge LED wall.

Since, he has been working with his partner Max Read on a new light setup for future shows.

He said: “We’re basically building the prototype ready for the Christmas show, these special props are essentially beams of LED video light strips which we’re able to place around a stage to fit any size venue.

“There will be hints towards what we've got planned for next year.”

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Reflecting on 2021, Payne admitted while he was able to play some headline shows to promote his debut solo album around lockdowns, it’s been challenging for everyone in the music industry as venues reopened and performances resumed.

He said: “When you're someone like me, you're facing off against much bigger things.

“People that are into their prog music might have gone to see Genesis do their arena show but people have got so used to not going out, it feels like a much bigger deal and a much bigger commitment and everybody has been trying to fit two years worth of events into one season.

“It’s been so difficult to market your event, to get people to choose you over other things.”

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As a consequence, Payne has decided to prioritise touring in the second half of 2022 while he continues to work on material for a new album.

And, while there’s no details of when that album may materialise, he will be releasing a new single at the beginning of 2022 which features in the forthcoming Screen Northants produced film Fortune Cookies – which Payne features in.

Talking about his plans for his next album, Payne said: “There's a real ‘sound’ to this one.

“Whereas my last album was an extremely eclectic collection one song to the next, with this album, I think, it's going to be far more succinct.

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“It’s got a very socio-political theme but without being one-sided, without telling anyone that they're wrong for thinking something they think.

“It’s just trying to relate with everybody on the stuff that we all have in common the makes us human.

“I’ve been on such a journey since going solo. I've worked with so many other artists who have inspired me and I've taken a lot of direction from them.

“But, at the same time it's really confused me as to what kind of artist I am and what kind of songwriter I am.

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“After having done the first album and learning from that, I feel I've come out the other side really knowing what my sound is and really knowing what kind of artist I am.

“It really does go hand-in-hand beautifully with the performing artist I am as well and I think my new music is going to reflect that even more.”

That Joe Payne Does Christmas is at Delapré Abbey on Saturday, December 11.

Doors open at 7.30pm with music from 8pm. Support is by Velvet Engine.

Tickets cost £22 in advance via

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