‘Hello,” said Grace Petrie sweetly. “I’m a protest singer. Actually I’m a socialist, feminist, lesbian, left wing protest singer…”
She found herself on a packed main stage on the Friday afternoon of Cambridge Folk Festival 2017 seven years after she started 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 times 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. Grace’s young career boasts five DIY albums available only at gigs, with her first full studio album for general release due in autumn 2018. Her self-released album ‘Heart First Aid Kit’ received a top 10 album of 2017 placing from Mojo magazine.
Diva magazine nominated Grace for their 2018 Activist Award, presented to an LGBT activist whose work highlights inequality while advocating for positive, meaningful change.
In May 2018 a Kickstarter campaign for her first studio album raised £10,000 in just 24 hours and went on to achieve £18.000 in the two week campaign. The album, Queer As Folk, was released in September 2018.