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Review | Peaches tears up anniversary show at The Rechabite

Peaches | The Rechabite | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

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Peaches is Canada’s queen of electroclash. As one of the most prolific and enduring artists to pioneer the subgenre, Peaches’ art explodes at the intersection of electronica and rock, brimming with energy, defiance and sexuality.

23 years after the release of her breakthrough sophomore album, The Teaches of Peaches, that energy is still coursing through every inch of the artists body, and she unleashed it all on Perth Festival audiences at The Rechabite this weekend.

First, audiences were treated to a perfectly matched support act in Perth’s own Gendermess Productions. The avant-garde drag and performance art troupe brought their best numbers to the stage, with Ginava, Bobby Knox and Bebe Babow earning thunderous applause and had the audience burning up ahead of Peaches’ appearance. Consistently producing must-see shows across Perth’s performing art and queer scenes, we’re lucky to have this exceptional troupe representing what our city has to offer.

Soon, Peaches shuffles out onto stage with a Zimmer frame and thick-rimmed glasses, complete with a gigantic hat designed to resemble a vulva. Certainly, this is a Peaches show, and this is just the beginning. Peaches is happy to be back in Perth, fondly remembering how warmly she had been welcomed by WA audiences throughout her career. Truly, she thanked us with a performance to remember.

Opening with an collaborative audience rendition of Set It Off, Peaches took us on a nostalgic tour through The Teaches of Peaches, including Lovertits, Rock Show, AA XXX and her smash hit collaboration with Iggy Pop, Rock Show.

We also had a few selections from her wider discography including 2015’s Vaginoplasty, with new lyrics declaring solidarity with the trans community, and the title track of her 2003 release, Fatherfucker.

Every single track was delivered with electric energy, complete with innumerable costume changes, stunts, shocks, surprises… not to mention the giant inflatable phallus that spanned the length of the hall, large enough of Peaches to perform inside.

Peaches is complemented superbly by her guitarist, drummer and dancers, who were each immensely talented with their respective tools. Captivating performers all, each had their own moment to shine, matching Peaches’ extraordinary stage presence.

After fooling the audience into believing we wouldn’t be hearing the most celebrated track from The Teaches of Peaches, the grimy opening beats of Fuck The Pain Away filled the room, bringing the house to the ground. This tune is quintessential Peaches: filthy, sexy, high-energy and made for the dancefloor, and the performers squeezed every drop of energy into the song. A delicious end to the main event.

But it doesn’t end there. Declaring there are 20 more minutes of her set to fill, Peaches then belts out the opening line of Celine Dion’s iconic ballad It’s All Coming Back To Me Now. Just the first line. She informs the crowd she’ll be dragging this out for the rest of the hour, teasing the audience and sharing anecdotes between a few words of Celine’s song. Here, Peaches playfully shows her her impressive singing chops, and ends the evening on a whimsical note, proving she’s still surprising even her most long-serving fans.

23 years ago, Peaches promised a Rock Show, and at Perth Festival 2023 she came to show it all, bringing an exquisite piece of nostaglia to the stage and solidifying herself as an iconic cultural force for liberation, self-expression and empowerment.

Peaches has a second performance tonight, Monday 27 February. To see the full Perth Festival program, head to perthfestival.com.au

Leigh Andrew Hill is an editor at OUTinPerth, with a BA from the University of Western Australia in Media Studies & Art History. Since 2005, Leigh has studied and practiced journalism, film-making, script-writing, language, contemporary performance and visual arts. Leigh is also a freelancer writer, and producer and presenter on RTRFM 92.1.

Image: Court McAllister


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