Artist Spotlight: Grace Petrie

Following in the footsteps of artists such as Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman and Joni Mitchell, Grace Petrie is a self-proclaimed “radically feminist and radically leftwing” musician and political activist. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over an army of loyal fans across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes. Petrie cites the election results in 2010 (which saw a Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition government take power) as a turning point for her work, after which she began to consciously craft protest songs. Petrie sees the music she made before this change as “abstractly political”. She was writing what she thought of at the time as pop songs about her love life. However, because of her sexual orientation, she came to see these formative songs as political in their own way – providing visibility of, and representation for, queer musicians.

Her current album, ‘Queer As Folk’, was released in Sept ’18 and was a Mojo magazine top 10 Folk Album of the Year. In 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.”

You can catch Grace Petrie headlining Islington Assembly Hall on Friday 23 October 2020, book your ticket here.

Indigo Girls – Wed 19 Aug

The Indigo Girls are among the most enduring musical outfits to emerge from the late ‘80s women singer/songwriter scene and to a lesser degree the later iteration of the Athens, Georgia scene that birthed R.E.M., Love Tractor, and Widespread Panic. On their 16th studio album, Indigo Girls tell their origin story. They have reunited with their strongest backing band to date to create Look Long – a stirring and eclectic collection of songs that finds the duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers chronicling their personal upbringings with more specificity and focus than they have on any previous song-cycle. They return to London for two special shows in August, book your tickets here.

Bic Runga – Sat 10 Oct

Since the release of her first single Drive in 1996 – a top ten hit when she was just twenty – Bic Runga has been awarded the most New Zealand music awards by any individual, ever (twenty so far). Her first three studio albums all debuted at number one on the New Zealand Album charts, with Drive being certified seven times platinum and featuring the enormous hit, Sway, and Beautiful Collision being certified an incredible eleven times platinum and featuring the hits Get Some Sleep, Something Good and Listening for the Weather. Don’t miss her only UK show of 2020, tickets available now.