Grace Petrie found herself on a packed main stage on the Friday afternoon of Cambridge Folk Festival 2017 seven years after she stared to attract attention with her emotive anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain.
A folk singer, songwriter and activist from Leicester, UK, she has been writing, recording and touring relentlessly ever since. She has racked up tour supports with Emmy the Great and Billy Bragg, and has also made her mark in the comedy scene supporting comedians Robin Ince and Josie Long. She’s appeared at Glastonbury four time at the invitation of Billy Bragg, as well as an eclectic genre-crossing mix of festivals Latitude, Musicport, Blissfields, Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Greenbelt and more including of course Cambridge Folk Festival. She has collaborated with some of the most respected names in folk, including Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey and Peggy Seeger.
Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over audiences everywhere, across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes, amassing her over 9,000 Twitter followers and nearly 5,000 likes on her band Facebook page and has individual Youtube videos with over 93,000 hits. In 2015 she completed a Canadian tour, culminating in a hugely successful performance at the main stage of Vancouver Folk Festival.
She has quietly become one of the most respected songwriters working in the UK today. She is a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4’s the Now Show, has appeared on Channel 4’s Random Acts and has been featured in The Guardian, Diva Magazine and The Independent On Sunday’s 2013 Pink List of influential LGBT figures.
Grace also performs with Coven, with Lady Maisery and O’Hooley & Tidow.
In May 2018 Grace announced a Kickstarter campaign for the recording of her first full studio album ‘Queer As Folk’ she reached the £10,000 target in twenty-four hours and almost doubled that amount by the end of the two week campaign. The album is released on 14th September 2018.
In Grace Petrie’s own words, ‘Queer As Folk is a collection of songs that celebrates both sides of the artist that I am: passionate about and deeply inspired by the magnificent tradition of folk music, but seeking and striving always for it to become again the vehicle for radical politics that it once was. Mixing the personal with the political, these songs mean to offer a hand on the shoulder of those whose struggles in this world chime with my own, whether that be with identity, with love or with the faith to fight for a more equal tomorrow. This album is both a celebration of and a step beyond protest singer, offering some of the most urgent and honest song writing I have ever put into the world.’
The album includes Grace’s take on traditional folk track An Old Man’s Tale retitled A Young Woman’s Tale, a blistering cover of Richard Thompson’s Beeswing and the show-stopping Back Tie, which challenges gender stereotyping in missive to her Year 11 self.