Hardly am I ever left speechless, but that’s exactly how I was left after seeing Peaches perform at the Invisible Wind Factory on Friday the 11th of November. The gig was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The venue and the crowd inside created electric vibe and it felt like I’d been transported to a 1990s club in Brooklyn. The support act, Black Cracker warmed us up with a psychedelic rap set, which was accompanied by some whacky graphics. It began with Peaches emerging onto stage in a bright pink all-hair suit and Bowie-style makeup. In just the opening number, ‘Rub’, she lowered into the splits and balanced on one hand before stripping into a bra made entirely of breasts as she sang. Turning 50 was not relevant as she put on an in-your-face show, crammed with provocative genital costumes. Amidst the practically naked dancers, thumping electro-rock songs what imprinted on my brain the deepest was Peaches crowd-surfing in an eleven-foot inflatable penis as she sang ‘Put your d**k in the Air’. Peaches’ show was incredible; she put on a show that was visually and musically intense, with a total lack of censorship in all the best ways.
It was a chaotic carnival of crazy costumes, some of the memorable were; a bra made of 5 fake breasts covered in hair, an ombré pubic wig, dominatrix style backing dancers in pink leather boots and hair-dryers, an inflatable penis, a light-up thong, as well as numerous decorative leotards. Peaches conveyed such a strong confidence in both her sexuality and gender, it came out in aggressive energy as she channeled her inner hermaphrodite, screaming to the audience and simultaneously waggling her womanly assets without a whiff of insecurity. The crowd were mad for her, lapping up every thrust and offensive lyric. The positive vibes of elation were felt by all as they chanted ‘the boys wanna be her, the girls wanna be her’, her heaviest rock tune.
The bra-less confidence and showmanship of Peaches herself collectively stunned even the most flamboyant of the crowd. Crammed with nudity and most of all gender-confusion, as Peaches had her bare breasts out for most of the time she sang fiercely to her adoring crowd and wore just pants and boots as she crowd-surfed whilst singing ‘Talk to Me’. Peaches has been electro-rocking since the 1990s and has had songs featured in several films and television shows, her song ‘Operate’ appearing in Mean Girls. Her power and the way she commanded the stage was amazing and energy she put into her birthday show was stunning. On the other hand, she had the ability to steady her tone, bringing it down a notch in ‘I Feel Cream’. But ultimately her show is a kick in the face of conformity, a refreshing and accomplished artist who stands for the social liberation of gender and sexual hostility in an extravagant freedom as she sang ‘I Mean Something’, which is a relief to see in a world which has been plunged into extreme conservatism since Wednesday, when Trump was announced as the President-elect. I am still reeling from Peaches blow of extreme sexuality and fiery performance which transformed an old Mersey factory warehouse into a hotbox of explicit excitement.
Peaches is an artist whose boldness is totally enjoyable, to the crowd at The Invisible Wind Factory, she embodied a Messiah of freedom and expression. Her show had many open jaws, but not a single person could disagree that Peaches put on a memorable performance filled with provocative costumes and anger. Peaches reached an upbeat and oddly sentimental conclusion with ‘Dumb F**k’ which was followed by her dancers bringing on a birthday cake as the whole crowd sang happy birthday, with balloons, glitter, cake and champagne flying into the mouths of those in the front rows.