AS a self-confessed political singer-songwriter Grace Petrie isn't idealistic enough to believe she's going to change the world. Her ambitions are more genuine.
The English folkie hopes her songs provide support for those who feel neglected by the mainstream.
"Ultimately the most difficult thing with any political activism is remembering you're not on your own because it's very easy to feel like you're just one person and what difference can one person make?" Petrie says.
"Putting something out there and having lots of other people connecting to how many other people are feeling, then suddenly you go from feeling like you're one person to feeling like you're part of a movement.
"If I've done that for one person in my career then I've done a good job. It's the absolute highest compliment as a songwriter."
And Petrie has received plenty of compliments, particularly for her latest album Queer As Folk (2018).
The album's highlight Black Tie, where Petrie relays her own personal experience of feeling uncomfortable attending her school formal without traditional girls clothing, has become an anthem for a generation of gay or transgender people.
"Some of the messages I've had about Black Tie have blown me away," she says. "That's a very personal thing for me.
"That was a song I wrote about my own identity and coming to a place of acceptance and pride and self-love in who I am. When I wrote it I thought it was going to be very specific thing to me. I never imagined it would have the impact on other people that it has."
The 33-year-old started playing guitar at 13 in Leicester as she thought "it might help me get a girlfriend."
After honing her English folk sound in the tradition of Billy Bragg on the pub circuit, she released her self-titled debut album in 2006.
While Petrie's lyrics cover heavy subject matter such as LGBTI rights, the welfare system and equality, there's a warmth and humour in her delivery which makes her music more inviting than some of her activist contemporaries.
Petrie credits her stand-up comedy experience, which includes regular appearances on the popular podcast The Guilty Feminist, in developing her stage craft.
"It's been very helpful for me to turn back to that language of comedy as a way of presenting ideas which can be quite heavy or depressing," she says.
"If you're talking about austerity, social justice, Brexit, Trump and widespread racism and transphobia and homophobia, these things can be dry material. I just find in my experience you can connect to people a little bit better if you can make it obvious that you don't take yourself too seriously."
Grace Petrie plays the Stag and Hunter Hotel on February 27.
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