Freaky Canadian raunch queen Peaches’ outrageous gig last year at The Electric Ballroom in London was one of my cultural highlights of 2015. So when the kinky ambisexual electro-punk diva returned to London (this time at the intimate Oval Space in East London) for a sold-out two-night engagement in November 2016, my ass was there! My boyfriend Pal and I went on the first night of her residency so we could be there for Peaches’ big opening (insert your own joke).
How amazing to see Peaches in such a small venue: Pal, our friends and I were right up front, with Peaches and her two boy-girl backing dancers crotch-thrusting and gyrating right in our faces! It was a night of joyous, life-affirming sleaze, with Peaches performing her stark, grinding electronica (mostly drawn from her majestic 2015 comeback album Rub) in various stages of semi-nudity (loads of boobage and buttage was on display, both male and female. Peaches has always been an equal opportunities perv). Each song was a piece of wild performance art complete with multiple costume changes. Peaches was in fierce, belting voice throughout (in perfect tune even when crowd-surfing or cavorting in a giant inflatable penis suspended over the audience). At times, clad in her revealing leotard, the kinetic and impressively fit Peaches suggested a toilet-mouthed aerobics instructor gone berserk. (In September 2016 we’d all been to see swampy skank-goddess Christeene’s gutter revue at The Soho Theatre which revolved around similar minimalist overtly sexual / punk performance art aesthetic of skimpy costumes and slut-dropping backing dancers. We’re clearly living through a cultural age d’or at the moment!).
Seeing Peaches in concert is comparable to seeing fierce dominatrix-from-outer-space Grace Jones: afterwards you can’t stop babbling, “Wasn’t she amazing?!” Peaches apparently turned 50 years old on this UK tour. Suffice to say, present-day Peaches is filthy, fabulous and 50. She is an artist at the top of her game – and makes me burst with Canadian pride. Who else is flipping over the hidebound stale, pale and male world of rock with such élan and joie de vivre? Now sing along with me: “At the dawn of the Summer I give birth to a bad girl / without a motherfuckin' epidural …”
The beautiful crisp photos are by Pal. The rubbish ones are mine (my camera couldn’t cope with Peaches’ smoke machine!). See the full set on my flickr page.
/ Above: Jemimah, Tara, Pal and I in the front row, bitches! /
Further reading: both The Observer and The Guardian gave Peaches' 2016 UK tour concerts five star reviews!
/ Play this LOUD! /
/ Modern queer performance art royalty: Peaches and Christeene dueting /