Old timey eccentricity. Described as “like a young Billie Holiday gate-crashing a Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones recording session”, or “a moody Mary Margaret O’Hara”, blues and roots duo Ma Polaine’s Great Decline continue to build a reputation as an intriguing and hard to pigeon-hole act with influences in folk, blues, jazz and country.
From the start Beth Packer and Clinton Hough always sought to keep their song-writing influences open, and have a sound with oddness, sparsity and a subtle quality that is their own. The duo have been tightening their unique sound whilst remaining decidedly easy and loose with the range of influences they draw from. Blues, jazz and folk feature strongly, but what this duo admire most in others is individuality, artists who have been unafraid to be themselves musically and in attitude.
2018 album release The Outsider has had wide-spread radio play, including Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 show, Verity Sharp’s Late Junction on BBC Radio 3, The Radio 2 Blues Show. 2018 ended on a high with a runners-up spot for the band in the fRoots Editor’s Choice album of the year.
2016’s EP release Small Town Talk gained rave media reviews, building on 2015’s nomination as an emerging artist in the British Blues Awards for the album “Got Me Out Of Hell”, also winning a Reveal Records emerging act competition, and earning an international song-writing semi-final spot for Suffer It Well from 2013 EP of the same name.
fRoots: “think a moody Mary Margaret O’Hara…”
The Morning Star: “each songs beguiles with its uniquely absorbing multilayered musical ambiance”.
Fatea Magazine: “The Outsider is an album to be relished, the aural delights proffered are plentiful and compelling, with a mark of individuality that is refreshing”.
Roots Music Report: “one compelling and unique musical presence”.
Liverpool Sound and Vision: “The Outsider is a series of continuing brilliance to which cannot be contained or pigeon-holed”.
Folking.com: “If you’ve ever felt that the whole world is cross-threaded, The Outsider is your kind of record”
Blues in Britain: “haunting and compelling”.
Blues Matters: “it is Beth with her stark and crystal-clear vocals that underpins this sound”.
Ma Polaine’s Great Decline
- Date: 2020-03-22
- Time: 16:00
- Location: The Dorothy Pax
- Venue: Ma Polaine's Great Decline