Miss Grit – Lafayette, London 04.04.2023

Miss Grit (New York’s Margaret Sohn) played a set at Lafayette in London’s Kings Cross, supporting Bartees Strange.

Consisting of tracks taken from the excellent debut Miss Grit album for Mute, Follow The Cyborg, Sohn seems to embody a certain captivating impassivity in their performance. It’s almost as if Sohn is playing the cyborg character that dominates the theming of their album: movements are scant, they cradle their white guitar like it’s another limb and there is a sort of emotionlessness etched on their face, even as the music on a track like ‘Follow The Cyborg’ reaches a climactic, feverish intensity.

Watching their guitar playing on ‘Like You’ is utterly mesmerising. Sohn is adept at affixing big, snarling riffs onto their songs in a style not dissimilar to Robert Fripp’s work on Bowie’s ‘Fashion’. These riffs arrive with an abruptness and intensity that’s often at odds with either Sohn’s vocals or their electronic arrangements, much as their smile at the end of a piece seemed incompatible with the detachment of the performance itself, or the philosophical gravity of the lyrics. The movements of Sohn’s hands along the neck of their guitar on ‘Like You’ was subtle, robotic almost, in spite of the noisy, grubby distorted blast of all-encompassing noise it produced.

The set concluded with ‘Syncing’, one of the many highlights from Follow The Cyborg. Here it was imbued with heavy emotion in spite of its stateliness and subtlety, the phrase ‘people change twice a year’ seeming to hang in the atmosphere of Lafayette like both a reassuring salve and futile acknowledgment of human weakness.

Thanks to Zoe and Paul.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2023 Documentary Evidence

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