Peaches, The Art School, Glasgow
Lisa-Marie Ferla Five stars
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There’s a line in Burst!, Peaches’ digital-only single from 2012, that captures what it’s like to see pop culture’s last true iconoclast live for the first time.
“You’re all dressed up,” she speak-sings, “and you’re never gonna be ashamed.”
It’s one for the crowd - beautiful refugees from the heyday of Death Disco, if not the Arches itself - and for the artist too. Striding on to the stage to open with the title track from current album Rub, Peaches sounded like electroclash’s fairy godmother and looked like its superhero. The big costume reveal: a pink and yellow cape with a glittering gold lining, a part-mohawk part-mullet and oversized orange foam ovaries for shoulder pads.
A lesser artist might have scheduled herself a couple of breathers, but Peaches skilfully mixed older songs and new to create a beats-driven megamix of a set, aided only by a couple of strategically-used dancers. Her rhymes were merciless: Close Up, the excoriating critique of social media that is my favourite song from the new album, was practically a threat without Kim Gordon’s vocal contribution; while Mommy Complex and Operate were equally thrilling. And yet Talk To Me, Peaches’ take on the torch song, was breathtaking and showed off a surprisingly magnificent vocal range.
But nobody comes to a Peaches show for note-perfect performances and the theatrics didn’t disappoint either: there were dancers clad as sexy Halloween vaginas and half-naked unicorns, an attempt to walk on the crowd inside a giant inflated condom and more costume changes than a Madonna show. Peaches was a far better value-for-money prospect though - getting changed right there on stage meant no awkward pauses to fill.