EP | Grace Petrie – When No One’s Listening

Grace Petrie first came to my attention when she stole the stage at Glastonbury’s Left Field in 2010 from Frank Turner and Billy Bragg. She is clearly a big fan of Bragg and follows his habit of mixing pop and politics, with her latest EP, When No One’s Listening, doing just that.

The first of three tracks focus on the protests against the Coalition’s spending cuts, and the people behind them. Nick Clegg and Maggie Thatcher get their fair share of the blame and there is clear criticism for the police and judges over the handling of the protests and the protesters. Petrie clearly feels that she and her fellow protesters were not taken seriously because of their tender years and ‘A Ton Of Bricks’ focuses on how the establishment tried to quash not only the protests, but the desire to protest against the government.

And like her hero Bragg, Petrie can also write a mean love song. Although ‘Orbit’ is not as strong as some of her earlier offerings, it still shows a tender side, one of hopeful anticipation rather than melancholy regret. Petrie has a very distinctive voice and a very powerful message which she seems to be sharing at a very prolific rate at the minute.

Words: Nathan Walker

4 comments for “EP | Grace Petrie – When No One’s Listening

  1. 7 August 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I wouldn’t like to sit through a full gig of this-and I’m a socialist.She should try and find her own voice, not that of Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie.

    • Tony Murray
      16 August 2011 at 4:55 pm

      If you went to one of Grace’s gigs, you’d find that her political stuff is only one facet of her work. However, were her work solely political, I find your assertion that no-one should attempt to do political stuff any longer, since Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie have already done it, a strange one. I know this is a new folk site, but your assertion seems to me to be akin to saying that no-one should do traditional folk any longer, as Martin Carthy and A L Lloyd have already done it. Incidentally, I don’t believe Billy Bragg would agree with you, given the favourable comments he’s made about Grace.

  2. 16 August 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I didn’t assert no-one should do political stuff anymore – in fact I wish more artists did. My point was that, on this song anyway, she has fallen directly into someone else’s style musically.
    In trad-folk music however, the words and melodies have already been written and I love the plethora of ways it can be presented. If sung unaccompanied then great – that’s the way it would have been presented at the time.If the singers elect to use their own singing voices then that’s even better – they won’t all sound like Martin Carthy (I like Martin Carthy)
    I hope Grace does well and I applaude her stance.

  3. patsy petrie
    25 August 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’m joining a small debate to ask anyone to actually listen to the songs of Grace Petrie. Yes, she is writing and singing about the political system currently-that’s what a poet who puts their thoughts and words to music does because they are people who have a skin less than the rest of us and a desire to look at the human condition in the way that most of us don’t-she writes the most beautiful love songs I have ever heard with a sensitivity that resonates in our deepest psyche-I believe her love songs are the greatest things she has written but in the current situation, how does an intelligent and sensitive poet react(they write songs)-don’t ever think Grace Petrie is like anyone else -she’s 24 and there are influences, of course,( Billy Bragg is often mentioned but I would suggest Paul Simon) but listen to all her songs before you make up your minds.

Comments are closed.