Watching Peaches is like being beaten round the face with a rubber brick. With a dildo attached.
NME has already witnessed five costume changes, pantomime chase bondage, crowdsurfing, Peaches berating of the crowd as she clambered across the edge of the balcony and what appears to be dancers who’re the trucking Kings Of Leon. If the Kings Of Leon were girls, that is. With beards. And if they were girls whose vigorously arcing purple dildos moved in furious counterpoint to their shaking tits on the brutal ‘Shake Your Dix’. Christ, and these are the more subdued moments of Peaches’ show. For tonight, watching Peaches is like being beaten round the face with a rubber brick. With a dildo attached. And boy does it feels good.
The action doesn’t let up. At one point she appears to morph into Lou Reed: hi collar jacket, guitar, aviator shades, curly mullet. And then, before you know it, there’s the arrival of Iggy Pop, flexing his cast iron torso on a huge video screen, taking us back to 1972 and transforming this from simply just an amazing show. When he arrives to duet on ‘Kick It’ from her new album ‘Fatherfucker’, the place erupts. He’s strutting, preening, pointing, admonishing and Peaches is giving it back double. There’s a frisson and an understanding. There’s a chemistry between them. That’s right – between a video projection and a 36-year-old former folk singer.
Suddenly the ‘90s obsession with laddism and lairiness doesn’t just seem tired, it’s feels like a temporary diversion from the inexorable breakdown of sexual boundaries in rock. It started when Little Richard first donned lipstick and the Stones cross dressed for ‘Have You Seen Your Mother Baby Standing In The Shadows’ and really got going in the ‘70s with Bowie’s pronounced bisexuality and Patti Smith’s purposeful asexuality. It only paused in 1994 when the beautifully androgynous Richey Manic parked his car in an M4 motorway service station and vanished.
Tonight the sexually-charged fug and the belligerent throb of the Roland 505 is in a different league to the multi-nationals exploitation of tired titillation. Tonight Peaches dismissed the dismal memory of the Madonna/Britney/Xtina focus-group tested faux lesbian kisses, each one designed to sell 10,000 records to knuckle-shuffling petrol pump attendants in Iowa.
Yet still the mainstream want her: She’s rejected Britney but she’s duetting with Pink on the punkish one’s new album. But as dried fake blood flakes around her mouth and she beseeches us to “fuck the pain away” for the encore, it’s obvious that she’s too different, too honest and too funny to ever truly fit in.