An 80 year-old woman stands onstage, topless, clutching a dildo, and singing a song called ‘I love dick’. Welcome to the world of Peaches, and what an eye-opening world it is, full of breasts, genitalia, transsexuals, and orgies. The German singer and survivor of flash-in-the-pan, early noughties electroclash genre brings this collection of all things racy to the big screen in her debut film Peaches Does Herself, celebrating 10 years in the music industry.
Confined to an extravagant stage show, Peaches brings us a sexually charged piece of musical theatre loosely explaining how she came to be, from bedroom artist to the empowered stage-savvy queen of all things fetish. The mentioned nude geriatric is Sandy Kane, a former hooker, friend of Peaches and self-proclaimed oldest sex entertainer in the business who re-appears to perform an act that involves attaching matchsticks to her nipples and lighting them in a grotesque showing of her hardcore credentials. This comes as she battles our singing star for the affection of transsexual Danni Daniels – another member of Peaches ragtag gang able to perform both parts of her Shake Your Dicks, Shake Your Tits song. It’s that kind of show.
It’s not he first time a musical artist has gone down this road, Madonna, Prince and, most recently Vanessa Hudgeons have all flirted with sexual imagery for varying reasons. With Peaches however, you sense it’s far more genuine and there’s certainly nothing as coy as flirting going on here. Throughout her career, Peaches has embraced the seedier side of life and done so with a touch of humour and no lack of good songs, indeed she describes this project as a gift to herself to commemorate her decade of dirty pop. But perhaps that’s the problem with it as a film. There seems to be no filter process in this anything (and everything) goes production, tailored to Peaches’ own distinctive taste. The mooted narrative is slight at best and it’s in danger of resembling little more than a well soundtracked vanity project.
Dancers come and go without offering anything distinctive in the way of choreography, the sets aim to add an organic, home-made feel but come across as slightly cheap looking and nothing to worry Michel Gondry, while performances resemble over-the-top amateur dramatics.
Fans curious to see what she’s concocted will appreciate the musical breaks, the booming electronics and feverish guitars certainly benefit from the lush cinematic sound quality and the performances are the most exciting part of this project. At 70 minutes however, they may be better off just revisiting those albums and spare themselves some of the sights on show here.