Now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m some kind of music connoisseur...I am far from it, in fact I am known for my lack of interest/knowledge/memory of artists and lyrics. Yet, when I heard Grace Petrie’s song ‘Nobody Knows That I’m A Fraud’ for the first time, I was bloody hooked. It was like someone had reached into this crazy head of mine and had pulled out my deepest imposter syndrome insecurities and strung them out into a delicious tune.
“When people call me a musician that makes my palms perspire I took Grade I piano, and I never got no higher
If I didn't have this capo then you'd all see I'm a liar
Nobody knows that I'm a fraud”
(Lyrics from - Nobody knows that I'm a fraud).
Elle and I unanimously decided that one quick listen to Grace on the Guilty Feminist was hardly enough. Within five minutes we had booked tickets for Petrie’s gig in Leicester - which happened to be the perfect middle point between Coventry and Nottingham (yeh, gross, we’re living apart and it's hard af...). It was only after we booked our tickets that I started investing way too much of my free time listening to each of Grace’s songs on repeat. My internet history right now is 90% ‘Google.com Grace Petrie’, 5% ‘Does Grace Petrie have Instagram?’ and the other 5% dedicated to Dominos #treatyourself.
“You'll see how much A snowflake matters When we become An avalanche”
(Lyrics from - You Build A Wall)
The gig was fucking divine. The Y Theatre in Leicester felt like a snug fit for the amount of energy in the venue - we were perched on the balcony overlooking the theatre stage where Grace humbly stood, drenched in foggy purple lighting. Grace’s raw passion for lefty politics, love and inclusivity was palpable not only in her lyrics, but in her humour and wit between sets (is it called a set? Set sounds right...I know nothing about music or gigs). The venue was tingling with solidarity, and Grace’s electric personality was utterly mind-blowing. We were hanging off her every word.
Because we’re all unemployed, that housing market you've enjoyed is suspended by the renting of the youth We've had our wages squeezed, fifty grand tuition fees so let me let you in on the unspoken truth:
That there's no such thing as a protest singer, no it's a made up thing
There's no such thing as a protest singer because there's politics in everything we sing
(Lyrics from - I wish the Guardian believed that I exist)
I don’t know why I’ve had the urge to write this post since Thursday night, after the audience applause begrudgingly quietened as we realised Grace really wasn’t going to do another encore (damn it!). There was something about chanting, cheering and howling along to songs that actually meant something...my heart doesn't quite race so hard when mumbling along to that new “ABSOLUTE BANGER” on Radio 1. I’ve never been to such an intimate gig where an artist has united a room through the sheer relatability of every chorus...Grace Petrie’s music is a catalyst for giving a fuck.
Be fucking brilliant'
(Lyrics from - Inspector Morse)
If you’re still with me, well bloody done. This has been a bit of a brain dump after tingling with a new found urge to drive change, be proud and fuck the patriarchy. I can only hope that these ramblings have triggered a minor curiosity to listen to Petrie’s life-changing lyrics. If that's the case, I recommend supporting her as an artist and buying her CDs - in fact, wait for the CD to arrive in the post before indulging in such a pivotal moment in your life. You’re about to realise how much time you’ve wasted listening to lyrics with no meaning. Protest singing is alive and well, and Grace Petrie is setting the standard so damn high.
Well it’s a jungle out there
The year 2018, I didn’t think
We’d still be sorting babies into blue and pink And all our progress
Well I wonder what it means
That the only girls clothes that work for me Turn out to be boyfriend jeans
(Lyrics from Black Tie: “which is all about reclaiming your inner dapper butch style and shrugging off whatever expectations society has of you to wear or look or be anything at all.”)