Royal Festival Hall, London
28th August 2019
Peaches brings her unique feminist/sexual/gender celebration to London and impresses with an explosive show. Paul Grace reports and photographs for Louder Than War.
Peaches is back in the UK for a one-off show and overlapping nicely with the Southbank’s Kiss My Genders season. Dubbed, There’s Only One Peach with the Hole in the Middle, the performance is a career-spanning retrospective featuring dance, music and acrobatics.
The Royal Festival Hall, normally home to more sedate shows like orchestral performances, gets a veritable kick in the you-know-whats as Peaches’ no-holds-barred sexual ceremony erupts into action. Presented as a two-hour celebration of gender, feminism and sexuality, the technicolour blast of queer electro-punk is a feast to the eyes and ears. Drag artist, Anita Drinkin, takes vocal control for the first two songs, and when Peaches appears during the third track, Rub, she’s covered head-to-toe in fur, wearing what looks like a giant yeti suit. The singer writhes amongst dancing vulvas while a troupe of semi-naked dancers called the Clusterfuck gyrates across the stage.
A virtual Iggy Pop makes an appearance for his vocal part during Kick It, and there’s light trickery aplenty as aerial artist Empress Stah blasts the room with a laser emitting butt plug (seriously). A nostalgic nod to Jean Michel Jarre’s iconic performances sees two dancers trigger sounds from laser harp-style instruments, and later, during Dick In The Air, two enormous inflatable willies bob around the room (but of course they do). With such a physically demanding performance, the music is at risk of taking a serious second place, however, Peaches and her band are convincingly tight throughout.
Towards the end of the show Peaches thanks us all, including her thirty strong cast and crew, and leaves us with a rousing (arousing?) rendition of Fuck the Pain Away.
Tonight was a true celebration of feminism, sexuality, queerness and gender whatever-ness. You could say “Peaches came and conquered”, but perhaps “Peaches conquered and came” would be more fitting. Either way, I need a fag.