Peaches- International Sommer Festival, Kampnagel- Hamburg, Germany (15th August 2019)

Header image by Lydia Daniller.

This article is part of our GIGsoup in Hamburg series! Make sure to check Zoe Anderson’s page for more coverage!

Throughout this week GIGsoup is being treated to an in-depth look at Hamburg’s famously diverse music scene. Dotted amongst the stately concert halls that line many of the city’s streets, you have venues like the industrially minded Kampnagel, that is festooned with rusting cranes and cargo containers. This huge multi-roomed venue is the largest performing arts space of its kind in Germany and boasts a giant selection of multi-media, genre-defying artists all the way through it’s Sommer Festival season.

Photo by Lydia Daniller

Tonight though was the night of the sticky, sweet Peaches. Peaches is nothing short of an icon. Her sex-positive, humourous take on rock and roll has brought her into collaboration with the likes of Iggy Pop (who appeared on a projector behind the singer for a duet), Daft Punk and The Flaming Lips. The New York Times has described her work as “high art, low humour and deluxe filth”. It is certainly true that this show, ‘There’s Only One Peach With The Hole In The Middle’ contained all the intense glamour of a high-end stage show, with dancers in glittery costumes, amazing Lady Gaga-esc hair suits and a woman twirling on a hoop high overhead. The only difference was the dancers had strange porcelain gas masks covering their faces and the gymnast had a laser shining out of her backside as she flipped and split, causing a hilarious light show.

Photo by Lydia Daniller

Peaches’ show was filled with detailed choreography and spectacle. There was something vaudevillian about the way both flesh and colourful absurdity was flashed in the faces of the audience. Giant vagina faced dancers celebrated with kicks and spins as a huge backing band featuring a guitar section, strings and keys rattled out ‘Vaginoplasty’, a celebration of large vaginal lips.

With a lack of subtlety always comes politics. “Even If I’m young, or old or sick it doesn’t matter, I mean something” Peaches chanted, a refreshing message of self-love in times of much uncertainty. And this is really what Peaches brings to the table: humour and self-love; the vital mix of being able to laugh at one’s self, but still, take all our wants and desires seriously in the face of absurdity.

Peaches‘ much-loved music videos provided the inspiration for the visual humour in the show. Giant mesh penises unfurled over the crowd during ‘Dick In The Air’ whilst dance troop Clusterfuck crawled through them.

Some would call her crude, but they’d be missing the point of Peaches’ artistry. Every part of her drips with creativity, humour and politics. Making people laugh, cry and gasp in amazement is Peaches’ bread and butter, and that’s certainly what her adoring crowd received at Kampnagel on Thursday.

Peaches has also curated an installation at Kunstverein, Hamburg called ‘Whose Jizz Is This?’ that runs until the 20th of October 2019. More information here.