Tag Archives: grace petrie

Grace Petrie: ‘Queer as Folk’ – LP review

GracePetrie_QueerAsFolk_3000

Grace Petrie: ‘Queer as Folk’
out now on CD and DL from Bandcamp

Review by Lisa Beth Black

‘Queer As Folk’ is Grace Petrie’s 6th studio album so those who are just discovering her are now spectularly late to the party, but they are arriving at the party in droves now (the album went straight to number 1 in the Amazon Folk Chart) and never has an artist deserved to go stellar as much as Grace, in my opinion.

This album is definitely more ‘folk’ than her others and folk musos are making positive noises about the new takes on traditional folk tunes on this album and on the clearly brilliant musicianship of Grace and her accompanying musicians – she has attracted some well-known names to work with her and her already very much appreciated by fans side-kick Caitlin Field.

I am not a folk muso – I came to Grace through my adoration of her punky and passionate up-to-the-minute protest songs and heart-squeezing love songs with lyrics that rival my favourite poets. What I also love about Grace is that she writes songs you want to dance to (her annual ‘Lefty Christmas’ gig is a riot and certainly not your typical sit-down folk club gig). This album will undoubtedly gain Grace many more folk fans but will not disappoint and will grow other elements of her fanbase.

Opening with her powerful acapella ‘A Young Woman’s Tale’ (a re-write of a traditional folk song ‘An Old Man’s Tale’) she sums up the disenfranchisement of her generation caused by New Labour’s neolibralism and Tory austerity. It ends with a feisty declaration that she’s “damn well gonna try” to change things and any lefty listening will be punching the air in solidarity.

‘Tom Paine’s Bones’ is another folk cover. I’m not familiar with the song but apparently Grace has upped the tempo and folkies I know are unanimously agreeing that Grace’s version is how it should now be performed forevermore. I love it. It is joyous and one I will definitely be dancing to.

The remaining cover ‘Beeswing’ is a beautiful love song, as is the self-penned ‘Departures’, one of two songs on the album Grace has written about travelling for work and missing her partner.

The other is ‘Northbound’ and whilst ‘Departures’ is delicately sung and probably my favourite track for its heart-warming portrayal of true love, ‘Northbound’ is another absolute barnstormer and Grace has recently released a brilliant video which shows her at her most adorable and is very much recommended viewing.

‘This House’ is a sad and very touching love song about an elderly man whose love has died and is a subtle narrative that touches on how being openly gay (even to oneself) was not always possible for previous generations.

‘Pride’ is an incredible, emotionally punchy protest song (written originally as an immediate response to the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016 and re-worked for this album) reminding us that we still have a long way to go in obliterating homophobia.

Which brings us to the most important track on the album… ‘Black Tie’. Important because no-one in my experience has or is writing such affirming messages for young LGBTQ+ women. I especially love the verse that comes down very clearly on the right side of the trans ‘debate’:

“I dared to utter that trans lives matter
And all I got was a TERF war”

and proves that Grace is the Bragg of her time for punchy political commentary. Plus it is the catchiest pop tune with some of the best Petrie rhymes –

‘The images that fucked ya
Were a patriarchal structure’.

The premise of the song (which also has a brilliant video that already has 16000 views on YouTube) is a postcard to her Year 11 self on the occasion of her prom and, although the song speaks primarily to ‘masculine’-presenting women (“No you won’t grow out of it / You will find the clothes that fit”) I think it has a wider reach to any listener who struggled in their teenage years with the pressure to conform to societal expectations of their gender.

The remaining songs on the album are reworked classics from her 2010 album ‘Tell Me a Story’ – the beautifully-written love songs ‘Iago’ and ‘Baby Blue’ and the protest anthem ‘Farewell to Welfare’ (which seems to get more relevant with every day of Tory government). I’m really glad that the influx of new Grace Petrie fans will come to these songs and fall in love with them as I did. I already know a few people with tattoos of lyrics from her song ‘Iago’. I think tattooists are going to be busy this year.

42443969_2208513815888275_8539819058164400128_n
Mandy Robinson’s Iago tattoo

LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music prize Shortlist announced

For this – the very first LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury Music Award – we’ve honoured most of the criteria of our rival, the so-called “Mercury” prize: that is, albums by British-based musicians released between 30th July 2016 and 21st July 2017 (sorry to Deux Furieuses and Crumbs, respectively).

With TWO differences: our ‘Her’cury prize doesn’t care about record formats or industry distribution, and these artists are all LOUD, all female-fronted or female-driven, or just plain all-female. From a pool of thirty options, our scientific poll of the LOUD WOMEN Team has produced this shortlist of 12, given below in alphabetical order.The winner of the ‘Her’cury Music Award will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.

a0207891029_16


Actu
al Crimes – ‘Ceramic Cat Traces

Swansong album from Kirsty (Cat Apostrophe) Fife, Aaron Batley and Ruth Mair. Tense post-hardcore melodies in the music and subtle political undertones in the words, topped with the prolific perzine-ster’s borderline-breakdown vocals.

 

a2864851783_16
Desperate Journalist – ‘Grow Up’

Second album from the runaway success story of the London indie scene, pushing all your Britpop/postpunk/pop-goth/80s-indie buttons at once. Soaring vocals, chiming guitars, proper songs and all’s right/wrong with the world.

 

a2732796535_16

The Empty Page – ‘Unfolding’


Powerful debut from female-fronted Manc pop-grunge alt-rockers, who contributed key track ‘Deeply Unlovable’ to LOUD WOMEN’s debut compilation album. 

 

a0680607341_16

Honeyblood – ‘Babes Never Die’

Brilliant hook-laden grunge pop from this Glasgow duo, with every song a winner; proving that the ‘difficult second album’ is just a problem for other people.

51s5ccRZ0dL._SS500The Menstrual Cramps – ‘We’re Not Ovaryacting’

The Menstruals (well, we can’t really nickname them ‘The Cramps’) hit the ground running earlier this year with this impressive digital debut and a ridiculously-confident live debut on International Womens’ Day for Who Runs the World/LOUD WOMEN.

Nolay-1Nolay – ‘This Woman’

Latest album from the Unorthodox Daughter, and impossible to number because so many of Nolay’s releases have been mixtapes straight from the underground. No pop-grime crossover, no compromise, and no holds barred. Nolay’s definitive feminist statement.

a3759195355_16
Oh! Gunquit – ‘Lightning Likes Me’

Second album from criminally-underrated, slightly-uncategorisable (although we’re about to have a go), new-wave surf-garage trash-punks!

 

a4060588560_16
Pet Crow – A Simple Guide to Small and Medium Pond Life

Impressively-tuneful debut album from Derby male/female 4-piece, released on vinyl by LIINES’ label Reckless Yes. Dancey, surfy, garagey indie punk fronted by Danielle Cotterill’s powerful vocals.
https://petcrow.bandcamp.com/releases

a0022850552_16
Petrol Girls – ‘Talk of Violence’

Debut full-length release from probably the most powerful feminist band in the UK, known to leave audiences genuinely shocked-and-awed with a combination of rock hooks, hardcore assault and uncompromising lyrics. One of two shortlisted bands with a track on the LOUD WOMEN Volume One compilation album.

resizeSacred Paws – ‘Strike a Match’

Definitive musical statement from Rachel Aggs (Trash Kit, Golden Grrrls, Covergirl, Shopping) – possibly the UK’s greatest guitarist – combining what used to be called ‘world music’ with Postcard Records-esque post-punk funk. Scottish Album of the Year, and now LOUD WOMEN ‘Her’cury shortlist!

a4192287913_16The Tuts – ‘Update Your Brain’ 

Widely-acclaimed and long-awaited debut from one of the hardest-working DIY bands in the business, released a decade after they first formed at school. Standout newer tracks ‘Con Man’ and ‘1982’ bring the best punk-pop hooks and ‘Give Us Something Worth Voting For’ delivers the clearest message.

Layout 1
The Wharves – ‘Electa’

Second album from this all-female melodic post-everything powerhouse follows 2014’s ‘At Bay’, showcasing more of their tightly rhythmic and skilfully harmonic repertoire. https://gringorecords.bandcamp.com/album/electa

 

Runners up

¡Ay Carmela! – ‘Working Weeks’
Bamboo – ‘Live at Café Oto’
Deerful – ‘Peach’
Ex People – ‘Bird’
The Franklys – ‘Are You Listening?’
Feature – ‘Banishing Ritual’
Hands Off Gretel – ‘Burn the Beauty Queen’
Kamikaze Girls – ‘Seafoam’
Little Simz – ‘Stillness in Wonderland’

Grace Petrie – ‘Heart First Aid Kit’

Porridge Radio – ‘Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers’
Rattle – ‘Rattle’
Ravioli Me Away – ‘Living is a Myth’
Skinny Girl Diet – ‘Heavyflow’
Slowcoaches – ‘Nothing Gives’
Teen Canteen – ‘Say It All With a Kiss’
Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Young Romance – ‘Another’s Blood’

 

The winner will be announced at lunchtime on Thursday 14 September.
All enquiries to loudwomenclub@gmail.com

www.loudwomen.org 

 

review: ‘Heart First Aid Kit’ by Grace Petrie

by Lisa Black

a2780971985_16

So good I bought it twice before I even heard it!

For a self-confessed Grace Petrie obsessive like myself, a new Grace album is like all your birthdays and Christmas arriving at once. I bought the download as soon as it was released even though I was at Glastonbury where you can’t use your phone for listening to music if you hope to be able to contact friends when you lose them (without spending an hour waiting in queue for the recharge tent). I even knew I wouldn’t have the chance to listen to the digital album before I inevitably bought the CD when it was released a few days later, to bring the Grace Petrie section in my CD collection up-to-date.

If you haven’t joined the Petrie fan club yet, you’ve got some catching up to do – this is her 5th album, plus she released a 6 track EP last year [There’s No Such Thing As a Protest Singer] and a live album in 2014 [Live at St Pancras Old Church] – but I envy your inevitable falling in love moment.

I had mine in early 2012 when I, already tragically late to the party, heard Petrie’s first album (Tell Me a Story, 2010) and was stopped in my tracks by this bold young voice that spoke the truth about longing and loss and sang fresh and timely political songs you could dance and sing along to that had enough wit, passion and poetry to rival Billy Bragg’s. When I searched for more of Grace’s music online I read a review that said something along the lines of ‘Like many others, I have fallen in love with her’ and I have come to enjoy Grace’s gigs (and I’ve been to a few now – on average one a month over the last couple of years) as much for the joy of watching the uninitiated fall under her spell as anything else. Like Bragg, Grace gives her gig-goers a heady mix of pop/folk, poetry, political passion and laughs and comes across as such a lovely person you want her to be your best friend.

This album seems all the more precious because it contains several songs that Grace has been playing live for a while now and fans have been dying to have in their hands because they are Petrie at her finest. ‘Nobody Knows That I’m a Fraud’ and ‘The Vegan Song’ are perfectly crafted to be brilliantly funny. You’ll still be laughing at the rhymes on the 10th listen.

Fierce protest songs such as ‘God Save the Hungry’, ‘Make America Hate Again’ and the heartbreaking ‘Bad Guys’ (written in response to the vote for airstrikes on Syria) rile at recent developments in politics at home and abroad while ‘You Build a Wall’ ends the album with a hopeful call to collective action (“You build a wall, we’ll build a bridge”).

But in my view on this album, as on those that came before, it is in the love songs where Petrie’s genius shines the brightest. ‘Sunshine’, ‘She’s Not You’ and ‘Done Deal’ are all achingly beautiful and tender. ‘The Golden Record’ (which tells the true story of Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s ultimate mix tape) is a perfect love song with several lines that have gone straight into my Top Ten Petrie Lyrics (“And I couldn’t stop it, not for anyone”).

The stand out track for me is ‘Coldwaterproofjacket’- a perfect pick-me-up song that is so gorgeously hooky and lyrically brilliant (“You bring me up like a deep sea diver”)…I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ‘Heart First Aid Kit’ to cure my Post-Glastonbury Blues.

19550967_10154822317244072_575785028_n
Lisa Black getting a cwtch from Grace Petrie herself

LOUD WOMEN’s not-so secret plans for world domination in 2017

Yep, we’re taking over.

The patriarchy has had his chance to run things, and he’s just made a complete dog’s breakfast of it, 2016 being case in fucking point. Time for revolution woman-style … and here’s how the LOUD WOMEN are planning on doing their bit.

Step 1: The LOUD WOMEN compilation album – out in March!
We’re putting together a CD featuring some of the amazing acts that have played LW nights so far, and we’re going to be selling it far and wide to help spread the word, and music. All profits from the CD will go to Women’s Aid. And I can now exclusively reveal that the artists contributing to the CD will be:
Argonaut | Bratakus | Bugeye | Deux Furieuses | Dolls | Dream Nails | Fightmilk | Fight Rosa Fight | Gladiators Are You Ready | Grace Petrie | GUTTFULL | Janine Booth | IDestroy | Lilith Ai | Little Fists | Nervous Twitch | The Empty Page | The Potentials | The Wimmins’ Institute

Step 2: Friends of LOUD WOMEN 
Sharing is caring, so we’re teaming up with awesome friends to curate our regular London gigs, keeping the nights varied and bringing along new friends on the way. See the gigs list for details of gigs coming up with Parallel MagazineAbigail’sParties and Who Run the World.

Step 3: LOUD WOMEN on tour
With London gigs rocking away nicely, it’s time to turn our attention elsewhere. We’re going to be holding gigs in major towns and cities around the UK throughout the Spring. Dates and locations coming soon … but if you would like to get involved and help put on a LOUD WOMEN show in your home town, drop us line at loudwomen@yahoo.com

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOUD WOMEN!

Can you believe it’s a year since we held the first ever LOUD WOMEN club! To celebrate, here are some top stats:

💋No. of acts who’ve played a LW night: 63
💋No. of events held: 21
💋No. of venues who’ve hosted us: 8
💋Bands who have played the most:
1st place – The Wimmins’ Institute (9 times)
joint 2nd place – Argonaut and Dream Nails (5 times each)
3rd place – Grace Petrie (4 times)
💋Cash raised for Women’s Aid – £1,834.57
💋Fun times had – squillions and billions

Excellent work, let’s keep it up! 😘💪🎸🎤

3 September 2016 | LOUD WOMEN Fest | 25 acts in 1 day

LWfest16

Get your tickets quick for our first ever all-dayer – LOUD WOMEN FEST! Tickets selling fast.

Saturday 3rd September 2016 at T.Chances in Tottenham, 12.30-1am

Tickets from WeGotTickets- http://www.wegottickets.com/event/371192

25 acts across two rooms – no slot clashes

Full line-up now confirmed:

LIPS Choir – https://www.facebook.com/LipsChoir/?fref=ts

Dolls – www.facebook.com/thisisDolls

Argonaut – www.facebook.com/argonautband

Viva Zapata! – https://www.facebook.com/Vivazapatauk/?fref=ts

Fight Rosa Fight! – www.facebook.com/fightrosafight

Petrol Girls – www.Facebook.com/petrolgirls

Dream Nails – https://www.facebook.com/yourdreamnails/

The Franklys – https://www.facebook.com/thefranklys/?fref=ts

Desperate Journalist –  http://www.facebook.com/DesperateJournalist

Vodun – https://www.facebook.com/VODUNBAND

The Wimmins’ Institute – www.facebook.com/thewimminsinstitute

Foxcunt – https://www.facebook.com/fxcnt/

Rantipoles – https://www.facebook.com/rantipoles/

Greenness – https://www.facebook.com/greennessmusic/

Grace Petrie – https://www.facebook.com/gracepetriemusic

Janine Booth – https://www.facebook.com/JanineBoothTheBig

Lilith Ai – https://www.facebook.com/lilithaimusic

Spanking Machine – https://www.facebook.com/spanxphalanx

Maddy Carty – https://www.facebook.com/MaddyCartyMusic

Madame So – www.facebook.com/madamesomusic

Nia Wyn – https://www.facebook.com/niawynmusic

Fightmilk – https://www.facebook.com/fightmilkisaband

The Ethical Debating Society – https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ethical-Debating-Society/76532450884

Louise Distras – www.facebook.com/louisedistras

Rabies Babies – https://www.facebook.com/rabiesbabiespunk/

The best in woman-led pop/rock bands, plus solo acts, poetry, and a few more surprises.

Children welcome all day (although after 7pm things get a louder and little ears might not like it!). The venue is wheelchair accessible. The venue’s toilets will be de-gendered for this event.

Join the group LOUD WOMEN for news of more women-lead events
https://www.facebook.com/groups/loudwomen/

“Loud Women will undoubtedly be the beacon for all the best new female talent in 2016” – The Morning Star

“Fans of women-centric punk, rock and riot grrrl will heart this UK-based promoter.” – DIVA magazine

““If, say, Kathleen Hanna flew in to Gatwick tomorrow, grabbed you by the collar and asked “What’s going on here then? Where do I need go? What do I need to see?” – God is in the TV

Number 1 women-led music night in London – thegirlsare.com

14 May 2016: Dream Nails | Grace Petrie | Nia Wyn | Efa Supertramp | Jordan Le Fay

14may16

Everybody’s favourite gig people Loud Women are teaming up with some of the best radical women artists to raise money for organisations fighting and dealing with domestic violence. Do join us for what will be a very special night with Grace Petrie, Dream Nails, Nia Wyn and Efa Supertramp on 14th May at the wonderful Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Grace Petrie’s and Dream Nails’ London shows have a habit of selling our so advanced booking is definitely recommended.

Combining folk punk with dextrous finger picking, Grace Petrie is now quite widely known as one of the best radical songcrafters around. If by some misfortune you’ve not yet heard her, check her out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue47ENmNhjc

Dream Nails describe themselves as ‘Feminist punk witches from hell’ – what’s not to love? The all-loud-women band have blown the roof off every time they’ve played, and their new EP ‘DIY’ is a must-buy
“The motto is: Stay angry. Anger is energy. Dream Nails are the Ramones meets Bikini Kill, kid you not” – The Girls Are
https://www.facebook.com/yourdreamnails

Nia Wyn’s performances are searing and powerful. A blues influenced singer backed by a steel resonator guitar, and words that you won’t easily forget. Check her out her amazing song I Can’t Breathe https://youtu.be/vPPF0xJ4IOo

Efa Supertramp is Cardiff’s finest menywod swnllyd, and all-round top protest punk folkster. Check out her awesome zine too
https://www.facebook.com/EfaSupertramp/

Jordan Le Fay is a truly unforgettable songcrafter. Backed by an acoustic guitar and an ever evolving band of assistant-bards her words are often dark and raw, and her sound is always a massive pleasure to listen to.