Music review: Peaches, SWG3, Glasgow

For all the out-there costumes and athletic dancing, the highlight of this punk cabaret extravaganza was Peaches’ fierce, raspy voice, writes Fiona Shepherd

Peaches PIC: Hadley Hudson
Peaches PIC: Hadley Hudson

Peaches, SWG3, Glasgow ****

Canadian electro punk provocateur Peaches celebrated the 20th anniversary of her brilliantly titled album, The Teaches of Peaches, with an all-singing, all-dancing, all-rocking punk cabaret extravaganza which confirmed that there remains a lot which one can learn from Peaches which they don’t teach you in any school.

The tour de force born Merrill Nisker arrived onstage in electric pink-clad riot granny character but swiftly stripped (and tripped), transforming into a Mad Max warrior queen. The costumes alone were worth the price of admission, as Peaches donned increasingly out-there sculptural creations which were more body humour than body horror.

Meanwhile, her band – righteous axe mistress and drummer – brought the metal Cher chic and the punk Baywatch look, while her willowy dancers donned gynaecologically inspired headdresses and not a lot else in a show of sex and body positivity. Peaches invited the audience to shake their bits along with her reprobate gang, swinging her beads in a lo-fi tribute to Grace Jones’s signature hula hoop routine. However, even the notoriously upfront Ms Jones might baulk at performing a “vulva duet” or squirting her audience from inside a huge inflatable phallus.

It takes a lot of work to pull off such playful chaos – from the helping hands of audience members bearing Peaches aloft as she walked on the crowd to the athletic precision of all involved on stage, not least in delivering the raw, lean soundtrack which knitted together elements of electro, hip-hop and rock with lashings of fuzz riffola.

Even with all the visual hoopla, the star attraction turned out to be Peaches’ fierce, raspy voice which she showed off in all its show-stopping musical theatre might on an unlikely encore cover version of the Jim Steinman epic It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, giving both Celine Dion and Meatloaf a run for their vocal money.