The Forum, London 13/10/2006

To my boy are two white boys from Liverpool, who have come out of their bedrooms for this evening, dressed in identical shirts and short trousers and brandishing guitars and a laptop to wow the assembled lesbians with some rather mediocre electronically-based tomfoolery. Their sound fares better before the vocals began in the custom-made fashion that says that they have grown up in the late 1980's and now probably think Interpol are the nuts. I find the man in miniature pants dancing out of time whilst being groped by the cross-dresser in the green PVC minidress stage-left far more interesting. Instantly forgettable and more than a little annoying, not least for the fact that they have labelled themselves "neu rave". Yuk yuk.

Whereas Humanzi sound better than they look: four Irishmen thinking they are dressed to kill in black leather jackets, one of which decides that it is a good idea to first unzip his to the navel and then completely remove it, revealing a small hairy torso. Not good. That aside, their NME-sponsored guitar-driven disco beat rock, though done before on numerous occasions, is enough to stop me running from the building at top speed. I think the journey to the bar might have helped, but fans of svelte Noo Yawk punk may well regardless enjoy them, though only really if they don't remember it first time round.

Having said that, this gig was always going to be a near nightmare for any support act. It is immediately apparent that Peaches is just a bit of a formidable performer. My first glimpse of her, the phrase "in the flesh" never being more appropriate, is at an angle admittedly not overly becoming when looking up into the crotch of a tiny silver jumpsuit, as its owner dryhumps the balcony and banister she straddles. Trademark silver mask glinting like a huge mirrorball, the crowd goes perhaps quite literally bonkers as she begins with a little ditty about trouser tents ("Tent in your pants"), so prompting a raunchy and raucous set undoubtedly not best viewed by anyone without their tongue firmly in their cheek.

And, egged on tonight by her strangely androgenous but helplessly oestrogen- fuelled all-girl supergroup, Herms, compiled of drummer Samantha Maloney (who earnt her stripes in Hole and Motley Crue), ex-Courtney Love guitarist Radio Sloan and JD Samson of Le Tigre notoriety on keytar and sequencing, who, all wearing co-ordinating costume, make a wonderfully choreographed addition to the unfolding mayhem, what follows is an entire back catalogue massacre of riotous reaction, delivering a rock show one minute before launching what can only be described as a hardcore assault on the ears the next.

Screaming "I'd rather fuck who I want than kill who I'm told to" in the subtle anti-Bush statement "Impeach my Bush" before consequently instructing those assembled to shake their dix, promising that there are two guys (for every girl) and climaxing with the sinister sexuality of "Back it up, boys" and "Fuck the pain away", simply put, Peaches means that it has never been so cool to be so different. A refreshing and tantalising hybrid of Marc Bolan glam, testicle grabbing sexuality and futuristic belly-dancing feminity, here is a one-woman-show who is certainly never going to apologise for her, or anyone else's, behaviour. A huge ball of energy, this Shirley Temple banshee commands people to climb the sweaty walls enclosing them; enslaved to the death-defying force atop the PA system, a couple of thousand bodies gyrate and lather themselves in the sublimely perverse spectacle, willing participants in the purely dirty electro rock and roll opera which is passing before them in a collage of giant inflatable penises, kitsch medal ceremonies, small pink bicycles and even smaller pink bra and panty sets. Iconic feminist or downright barmy nymphomaniac? Regardless, Peaches is among the most powerfully entertaining artists around. Don't miss her next time round.

Peaches new album, Impeach My Bush, is available from all good record shops this minute so I implore you to go and buy it!

Anna C

Special hugs to Michael Cleary of Beggars for sorting the evening out for us. I am forever indebted.

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