Ma Polaine's Great Decline in the spotlight
Ma Polaine's Great Decline
The rootsy duo, Ma Polaine's Great Decline have been described as “like a young Billie Holiday gate-crashing a Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones recording session.” This is a good thing in my books. On stage, singer, Beth Packer, moves between double bass, accordion and harmonica, with partner, Clinton Hough, accompanying her powerful yet sensitive vocal on electric or acoustic guitar and an occasional percussive foot. The songs, which take in elements of jazz as well as blues and country, have a haunting quality, hanging in the air long after the last note has been plucked and faded into nothing.

Their Wild Hare Club show was the first date of a mini-tour to promote the release of their Small Town e.p. Putting the needle down on the 10” record, a thing of beauty, is to be transported back to the candlelit room and be transfixed once again. Magical.

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When Richard Met Debbie

Everybody knows the story of my meeting with Patti Smith but she’s not the only one of the artists of the New York underground scene of the late 1970s who I’ve met. Yes, of the CBGB centred scene-makers, I’ve also talked to John Cale and Richard Hell, exchanged grunts with Tom Verlaine and hung with Lenny Kaye. OK I confess to having engineered these encounters, mainly by blagging my way backstage, but my coming face-to-face with the Queen of NYC cool, Debbie Harry, that was totally unexpected.

When Richard Met Debbie

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