Grace Petrie comes from Leicester in the East Midlands. She writes indie folk rock songs (a couple with an acoustic punk twist), plays the guitar and sings with a voice that has been likened by listeners to Laura Marling and Kate Nash. From the humble beginnings of small gigs in her hometown in 2006 and a home-recorded debut album, Grace quickly acquired a reputation as one of the best artists on the flourishing Leicester music scene, and a following of dedicated listeners. In 2007 she supported Frank Turner and Mark Morriss (The Bluetones) and released a second CD, Feel Better, to critical acclaim. From there onwards she began to break onto the festival scene, playing Leicester’s acclaimed folk weekender, The Big Session Festival, and the more commercial Summer Sundae, as well as the main stage at Nottingham Gay Pride 2009, where she played to over 10,000 people.
In 2010 Grace’s music began to take a new, political direction. The heartbreaking results of the UK general election inspired in her such rage and despair that she picked up a guitar and wrote what has become one of the most celebrated anti-establishment anthems of recent times, Farewell to Welfare. When folk legend (and Grace’s personal hero) Billy Bragg heard her music and invited her to play at Glastonbury on the Leftfield stage, she went down a storm and, in Bragg’s own words, “stole the f@!#ing show, sister!”
In 2011, Grace Petrie exploded onto the national music scene. Alongside UK tours with Emmy the Great and Josie Long, she embarked on a string of festival appearances including End of the Road, Greenbelt and, of course, a triumphant return to Glastonbury. National airplay on BBC 6music from Josie Long, Tom Robinson and Steve Lamacq as well as interviews in The Guardian and Diva magazine have cemented Grace’s name in the public consciousness, and the release in December of Mark My Words, the politically charged follow-up to Tell Me A Story, was met with such excitement that the CD sold out within 48hours. With festival appearances already confirmed for the summer, 2012 looks set to be a big year for Grace Petrie.