Peaches @ The Gov, Adelaide 1/3/2023
Occasionally, a musician comes along that completely disrupts the industry and rattles the cage, pushing boundaries, challenging conventional paradigms and altering cultural perceptions. Singer, songwriter, producer and artist Peaches is one such magnate and while she may not have achieved the commercial success of her mainstream counterparts, her following and unique style have attained her a cult status as the hyper-sexualised tech-pop gender bending Queen of chaos and blazed a trail for many artists after her.
Starting her twenty-year anniversary tour of breakthrough 2000 album The Teaches of Peaches last year, Peaches has finally made it to the Southern Hemisphere to perform her outrageous shows from Mona Foma in Tasmania to The Perth Festival to The Gov in Adelaide where she had played six years ago and going by her last visit here, I knew we were in for a treat.
“What else is in the Teaches of Peaches?” was the question we were asking ironically all night when we were treated to a performance of the entire album, plus a few of her most popular hits to satisfy the eager crowd such as The Boys Wanna Be Her and Talk To Me.
There were many more questions throughout the evening, like how many times can the word vagina and all its various pet names be mentioned in song? (I honestly lost count) and how many pairs of undies can one wear and then peel off consecutively? (I counted eight from the back up dancers who performed some kind of synchronised panty stripping yoga throughout Suck and Let Go) to finally, how on earth is that woman 56 and able to throw her impressively toned naked body about like she does, even walking out on to the crowd (yes ON) and then doing some kind of lewd aerobercise while simultaneously singing Diddle my Skittle while this 38-year old’s hip hurts just watching?
The major selling point of any Peaches show is the sexually explicit and subversive theatrical stage antics, and this time it went next level with the audience keen and ready for it. Accompanied by a guitarist and drummer plus her backup dancers and personal costume assistant, the whole ordeal became a blur of fishnets, spandex, naked flesh and androgyny. Hilariously throwing shade to the notion of her aging, Peaches entered the stage on a walking frame dressed as an old lady before busting into Set It Off while stripping down to nothing but flesh coloured underwear and nipple covers. The energy was electrifying with the audience cheering and whistling to the escalating spectacle of obscenity. Everyone was loose and happy, dancing to the catchy beats and engaging with her interactions, even chanting “Nasty!” over and over on command which was quite a scene to witness at The Gov. The audience also copped a fair bit of ‘jizz’ (I think/hope it was silly string) and champagne spray from her to make them fittingly wet and dirty.
As the show went on the costumes became more outrageous, from Peaches’ iconic vagina hat and hot pink merkin to the back-up dancers parading around in paper mache vaginas with long flippy hair and finally a giant inflatable vagina with Peaches in the middle, her head standing in as the little man in the boat (or clitoris for any of you confused by that term) The whole show is essentially a futuristic burlesque porn circus where gender is indefinable and deviancy and debauchery is exalted.
Predictably, Peaches finished the set with Fuck the Pain Away which was absolute fire and the peak of the night. Just when we thought it was over, she came back onstage but only to give us an x-rated rendition of Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, a song that I will never hear the same again. Sweaty, exhausted and strangely aroused everyone had been adequately refreshed on the teaches of Peaches and after 20 (3) years the album still hits. An absolute wild ride, Peaches was everything I had hoped for and more.
Live Review By Bec Scheucher