THE EVER charismatic reigning queen of electroclash Peaches held nothing back on Thursday night, returning to Manchester for a rare performance at Salford’s intimate Islington Mill. Quays News entertainment reporter Nicky Laing was there for us…
Known for her vibrant artistry and daring stage antics during live shows, the provocative Canadian artist (real name Merrill Nisker) guided us through an obscure 80 minute trip full of sexual ambiguity, gender bending truths, nudity, mayhem, unfortunate technical mishaps and a f**k you! Attitude. All of which was laced with her signature do it yourself sonorous beats, occasionally switching up to lower tempo hip hop infused trap styles, that layered seamlessly with her sometimes sung, mostly spoken vocals.
What more would you expect from a night with Peaches after all?
Support came from the Berlin based female electro duo Madlick – Jiga and Eva, who will continue to open for Peaches on the rest of her remaining European tour dates.
Emerging onstage with her two trusty bondage clad dancers, the crowd also full of eccentric minds, flocked excitably towards Peaches, as she opened the set with the title track from her latest new album release in six years, ‘rub’.
Swiftly delving into classic ‘Operate’ from her 2003 album ‘fatherf****r’ which was met with elated cheers from the crowd, the velocity of the set sustained as she performed more crowd pleasers including a favourite of mine ‘Lovertits’ and ‘Mommy Complex’ descending us all into a time warp back to the days of 2007 – 2009, where spunky females dominated the electro rave scene even more so.
At this moment, fully engulfed with what was happening around me, I was left in a trance like wander hoping at any given moment ex Crystal Castles front woman Alice Glass or even Beth Ditto from The Gossip would run out and make an appearance to form a dreamlike electro collective with Peaches.
After a quick onstage costume change from Peaches and her dancers, with outfits even more outlandish than earlier, keeping the high energy up, she took time to thank the crowd for coming to the show, whilst climbing up and around the small venue, using the help of fans, ceiling pipes and anything else she could grab to help aid her across to the bar table to perform, ‘Close Up’, another new track from Rub. The track features guest vocals from Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon, kept its momentum even in Gordon’s absence.
The set was almost held to a standstill during ‘Pickles’ when the bass and speakers had a cut power leaving Peaches and her dancers, who were now sporting flashing LED lights, angel wings (and not much else), to do their best and continue dancing away distracting us from the minor problem. Using this opportunity to interact with the crowd once more she yelled, ‘Do you hear any music Manchester? The bass has gone, but f**k it, I’ll still continue.’
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Thankfully moments later the sound did return, although much quieter, which didn’t seem to phase the crowd as they all seemed too off their heads to even care at all, and so Peaches continued on, this time with ‘I Feel Cream’ one of few songs of hers that actually show her wide vocal range as a singer.
‘See… now you guys know I can really sing, coz there’s no bass, so you see I’m not faking it right?’ she boasted jokingly mid-song, which was greeted to cheers and chants of “BASS! BASS! BASS!” by the crowd. With the choice of six albums under her belt, ‘F**k The Pain Away’ from her 2002 album ‘The Teaches of Peaches’ was the penultimate song to much satisfaction from the crowd as they bellowed in sync alongside the chorus.
After a brief few minutes, the chords to final song of the night ‘Light In Places’ began, and baring all but modest nude high waist pants, a now naked Peaches returned once again for the encore, spurring many ‘super fans’ of the audience to follow suit and get their kit off to join their naked queen in electro harmony.
A sight for sore eyes indeed.
By Nicky Laing