Ma Polaine’s Great Decline At The Queen’s Head March 29th

I’ve no idea where the duo acquired their name but I can only imagine a chapter heading from a steamy novel set in the antebellum years of the Deep South.

Beth Packer and Clinton Hough use blues and jazz roots to create an atmospheric and brooding sound sometimes evocative of Tom Waits but with nods to Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The music and writing is sparse, intense and often defined by Beth Packer’s haunting and crystal clear vocals. Backed up by a range of instrumentation, the overall sound has an originality which is impossible to pigeon hole although one music critic tried to define it as ‘a young Billie Holiday gatecrashing a Tom Waits session from the great ‘Swordfish Trombones’ era.

The single ‘The Poison sits’ drew lavish praise and they are much favoured by Tom Robinson and presenters of the more esoteric Radio 3 presenters. Their breakthrough album ‘The Outsider’ was aptly named and something of a breakthrough while remaining true to their musical guns.

Their Belper debut is March 29th and they are probably a must for the more discerning and eclectic music audience.

Tickets are £8 and are now available at the venue or contact

For further details of artists at Derbyshire’s most eclectic venue,visit our web pages on Belper Music and Arts or Top Bar Promotions.

Tickets at the venue or contact

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