Peaches - Heaven, London
So what, then, do you make of Peaches? It's a fair question, and one that you get the feeling that Peaches herself rather hopes the country as a whole is asking itself. Why would you call your album 'FatherFucker' unless you wanted to stir debate? The trouble is, that the album does not really have enough ideas on it to warrant debate past the rather trite 'who on earth does she think she is?' or` perhaps worse 'who on earth is she trying to shock?'. Compared to an artist like Eminem, whose vitriol and rage transcends novelty album titles and is instead found in the lyrics and emotions in the music, Peaches is more the little girl who has learnt to say 'Fuck', ten minutes ago, and now delights in shocking her parents with it.
Perhaps the live show is better, more worthy of discussion, and we shall soon find out. This is billed as the album launch party, and party is an apt description. Openers, Cobra Killers, deserve our thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable warm-up. Consisting of two German females, they shout and stomp their way through an hour or so of kitsch glamour. Long leather coats, spilled wine and generally kicking up an enormous fuss make for an entertaining racket and spectacle and please take the opportunity to go and see them if you get a chance. No, really, please do, they’d love to see you.
Peaches finally emerges, dressed in ironic rock wig and wielding a serious looking guitar. And a fairly amusing show it is as well, there are dildos here, and some un-erotic stage antics, but Peaches herself does have some charisma, launching into teasing costume changes and some excellent crowd interaction as the clambers around the VIP area, clinging to the narrow, steel bars for her life. And a very large beer to the hapless PR type who found himself unwitting anchor to the larger than life figure, as she clung to his arm on her precarious trip across the narrow barriers. She looked like she had quite a painful grip on that arm. And she was dressed in heels as well; perhaps there is talent here, after all.
And there is, undeniably, a talent to the kindergarten shock fest that is Peaches. There is nothing controversial here, so forget that and instead enjoy, and perhaps laugh along with, the camp excesses of the show. The costume changes, the chanting, the beats and the general sense of fun that Peaches drips from every sweaty pore. Musically, there is little of depth, simple slogans half-chanted along to beat box rhythms but now and again there is a flash of genius. 'Rock 'n' Roll' sounds fabulous in a live setting, she screams rather than sings the simple lyrics, but screaming has never sounded, nor looked, better. Crouched low on stage, sweating, gripping the mike and tearing her vocal chords out for the pleasure of the crowd. And 'Rip It Up', with back projected Iggy Pop works a lot better than it sounds on paper.
Peaches live show is not about intellectual depth, controversial ideas nor challenging anyone. But neither is it about sex. You'd have to have a serious problem to get turned on by bright pink plastic dildos and if you are, you could have far more fun elsewhere. The show is all about fun, and there's nothing better than that, really, and the sooner Peaches realises it, and drops the attempts controversy the better.