NASHVILLE singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters plays Pocklington Arts Centre tomorrow, filling a gap in her diary after this weekend's Beverley Folk Festival was called off.

Gretchen was to have headlined the festival's Friday line-up but has changed her East Yorkshire commitment, now returning to Pock where the Nashville singer-songwriter topped the Platform Festival bill at The Old Station in July 2016.

"I know there are a lot of disappointed people about Beverley Folk Festival not happening," says Gretchen. "It was going to be our second time there, as we were there in 2013, but it's lovely to be playing Pocklington again."

She is touring Britain in May and June to promote the May 18 release of her new studio album, Dancing With The Beast, on Proper Records. Pocklington will be the last of 16 dates before she makes a brief return for two folk festivals in Cornwall and Shrewsbury in August.

"This tour has been really, really fun. We've bitten off a good hunk of new songs to do as I really want to play a lot of the new material, as well as the songs I know people want to hear," she says. "It's great to have Kim Richey with us as the support on this tour, doing four songs with me in my set too. Kim sang on my last three records, so it's a natural fit. The audiences are essentially getting a double bill as I know that a lot of our fans are Kim fans too."

Dancing With The Beast puts female characters to the fore, from teenage girls to old women, and in the wake of the 2017 Women's March and #MeToo Movement bookending her writing time, Peters knew a feminist perspective would be at the core of the record. "You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to [my song] Independence Day and probably before," she says. "The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and centre."

Explaining the album's title, Gretchen says: "I feel that all the women or girls who are the protagonists in the songs are struggling with their version of 'The Beast'. Dancing With The Beast was the song title that reached out its fingers to touch them all," she says. "It's horrible what we're going through at the moment, but it's like ripping a Band Aid off; we have to heal the wound.

"Post the 2016 Presidential election, though it's not a political album it was written in that climate and the songs exist in that climate. All this is necessary to tell the world what's been going on, highlighting it and now dealing with what we've been covering up for years.

"The music industry has its own price that it's going to pay, and is paying already, and it's painful and was always going to be painful, but hopefully we're getting through this place we're in, and we'll be better for it, because I'm optimistic; I still feel we're making progress. We may be taking two steps back but in the bigger picture, we're taking three steps forward."

The final female voice on the album comes from Gretchen's mother, who passed away in late 2016. Love That Makes A Cup Of Tea came out of a dream Gretchen had about her. "I can't remember what the rest of the dream was, but she, in a reassuring way, held my hand and she said, 'You know, honey, there is love that makes a cup of tea,'" she recalls.

"I do remember feeling that I had to try to write something with hope in it. It's not my strong suit. But I wanted that on this record, because I do think there's hope. I see a lot of trouble, too, but we have to try to find some light."

Gretchen Peters plays Pocklington Arts Centre tomorrow (June 15), with special guest Kim Richey, at 8pm. Tickets cost £25 on 01759 301547 or at