Mein Gott! That Joe Payne lives the dream in saucy dark cabaret video – watch it here!

That Joe Payne in stockings still from his video for Live The Dream
(Image credit: Veritesque Productions)

That Joe Payne is stepping out with a tribute to his "number one favourite musical of all time" in the video for his new solo single, Live The Dream. He and a team of 30 cast and crew, including London-based drag king Luke Warm and former The Enid bandmate Max Read, have turned the tables on Liza Minnelli’s Mein Herr routine from Cabaret.

"Overall, the message of the song is a very positive one: Do what makes you happy!" says Payne. "We all need to hear that from time to time. Then there’s the video, which is also saying: Enjoy being yourself, but there’s actually a far deeper message that may need explaining to some. I hope it gets people thinking and changes attitudes for the better."

In the clip, produced by Veritesque Productions and directed by Tamsyn Payne (no relation), genders are deliberately swapped in an attempt to challenge misogynistic and homophobic attitudes.

"I’m not gonna lie, over the years I’ve witnessed some pretty disturbing behaviour towards the women I’ve worked with," adds Payne. "But the thing I’ve found most uncomfortable is how this behaviour has been just accepted. For example, I’ve lost count of all the times a female collaborator has been asked by some guy with a camera to go off with him individually for a photoshoot – presumably for his private collection? I should add that on these occasions, said men with cameras have never asked to do the same with me! Haha! 

"Add to that the amount of criticism I’ve received in the past for being overly effeminate, and the pressures I’ve felt to ‘man up’, or else, I might alienate an audience for being my super-gay self… It’s just such a hypocrisy. We need to start saying no to these double standards. So, to those people – most of whom are unlikely to ever be fans of my work anyway – I hold up a mirror. I wanted to make a video that highlights the absurdity of objectification by showing how it would look if the roles were reversed."

Live The Dream is Payne's first solo recording since 2020's By Name. By Nature. album. He also appeared on John Holden's last three albums: Circles in Time, Rise And Fall, and Capture Light; and sang with former Karnataka vocalist Hayley Griffiths on Zio's Flower Torania.

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Live The Dream is available to stream on all major platforms now.

That Joe Payne with a sunflower in his mouth on the cover of Live The Dream

(Image credit: Veritesque Productions)
Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.