Live Review: Mona Foma Laps Up The Teaches Of Peaches

1 March 2023 | 4:24 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

Try asking yourself, “What would Peaches do?” on the reg.

(Pic by Mona/Jesse Hunniford)

More Peaches More Peaches

Pre-show, on-screen PSA 

“WARNING: Peaches’ performance contains haze, adult themes, nudity and explicit language. Probably nothing the kids haven’t heard at school, though.” 

And where better to host Peaches than at Mona, home of the Cunts... And Other Conversations installation: 76 life-size porcelain portrait sculptures of women’s cunts, created by Greg Taylor and friends? 

Peaches enters the stage dressed as a wacky granny – vulva headpiece, boob slippers, zimmer frame and all – before kicking the walking aid over and stripping right down to her undies, all by the end of the opening number. This current tour belatedly celebrates the 20th anniversary of her first album, 2000’s The Teaches Of Peaches, so tonight we score this album in full plus bonus bangers and also a show-stopping surprise cover (more on that later).

“This smoke is making me cough, turn it off!” Peaches barks out an order for the tech crew. Then she’s joined onstage by gyrating guitarist Bláthin Eckhardt who’s clad in black underwear that reveals an abundance of underboob. The choreography executed by Peaches’ dancers throughout this celebration of sex positivity is mesmerising and beautiful, demonstrating extraordinary flexibility and precision. At one point they come together to resemble an oozing, sensual Rorschach test.

During Suck And Let Go, a pair of dancers face upstage and touch their toes – so incredibly bendy! – before elegantly removing endless layers of undies while remaining in this position; it’s classy burlesque performance art. Sex (I’m A…) is a vibratory belter. And this Canadian gender-fluidity pioneer clearly enjoys referring to the Mona Foma massive as “map of Tas”. Peaches – a well-retweeted pro-choice advocate – sports a “Thank God For Abortion” bodysuit at one point then brandishes a pair of flags that read “Abortion” as the crowd whoops and whistles, expressing their approval. 

“Shake your clits, shake yer dix” – Shake Yer Dix is given a lyrical update and features a breakdown that ushers us into the rave cave while showcasing the brilliance of her backing musicians. Live instrumentation – Eckhardt and frighteningly good drummer Tif “Teddy” Lamson – really makes Peaches’ beats pop-off (see: Boys Wanna Be Her’s killer, horny guitar riff). “The boys wanna be her, the girls wanna be her” – this one brings Suzi Quatro to mind, and too right we all wanna be Peaches! For Talk To Me, Peaches dons a giant fake boob neckpiece shaped like an extended travel pillow. 

After admitting she’s noticed Aussies tend to drop c-bombs as terms of endearment, the 56-year-old trailblazer then performs what she describes as her “cunt duo”: Pussy Mask (“about a squirting cunt”) and Vaginoplasty (“about my big fucking vagina”): “I was blessed with big, big, big lips...” – and on swan a dancing duo sporting giant vagina headpieces and merkins, whipping the flowing ‘pubic’ hair attached to these headgears back and forth. During Dick In The Air, Peaches crowd-surfs inside a giant inflatable penis, which actually squirts on cue: “Whose jizz is this?”

Peaches tells us that revisiting The Teaches Of Peaches’ material while preparing for this tour was “a bit of a headfuck”, particularly digging out “that machine that doesn’t really exist anymore” (the Roland MC-505 Groovebox) and reprogramming all of the beats (“even all the mistakes”).

During a tour of Mona’s Frying Pan recording studio earlier today, producer/studio designer/sound engineer Chris Townend revealed Peaches had dropped in a couple of hours prior to record an erotic version of Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, but nothing could’ve prepared us for her customised take on this power ballad. 

At first the crowd enthusiastically sings along with the chorus, faithfully belting out Dion’s OG lyrics but also entirely missing the point. Peaches stops mid-song to school us: “D’ya know there’s a really good karaoke bar somewhere in Hobart that you can go to, but this is my version of the song.” 

“When I fuck you like this/ And you grind me like that...” – ooooooh, okay, we see what she’s doing here! And Peaches’ voice is so incredibly powerful while delivering her raunchy take on this schmaltzy song. After admitting that she’s finding wafts of “some very good weed” very distracting, Peaches locates the culprit in the mosh and a spliff is handed up to her. She then takes a coupla appreciative tokes before passing it over to one of this country’s finest Auslan interpreters, Mikey Webb. “Now what you gonna do, ‘cause I’m about to sing?” she teases while one of his hands is clearly busy. 

Watching Webb signing these increasingly explicit lyrics is an absolute hoot and he soon pulls Peaches’ focus (“I wanna see what rimming is!”). She then invites Webb centre stage to share her spotlight before continuing this lengthy closing number: “And when you fist me like this...” – we can’t imagine Webb’s ever signed so many sex acts within a single song before. 

“I knew what pegging was, I didn’t know what felching was,” Webb revealed during our exclusive phoner the following morning. “I was like, ‘Well, I dunno what that one is’ [laughs]. I did get the lyrics beforehand, but they only showed me just before we went on. They went, ‘Oh, did you get those?’ I went, ‘What?’ But I gave it a quick skim-read and obviously did not catch felching. But I knew what everything else was, which was okay.” 

On sharing Peaches’ spotlight during the show, Webb enthused, “It was awesome. I was a bit like, ‘No, no, no, it’s fine. I’m just gonna stay here in my corner.’ And obviously it’s a fine line – how far you sort of go with it – but ‘cause the audience was just so into it and the vibe was so high it’s like that internal monologue going, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I? It’s not my show, it’s all about her,’ sorta thing. But I thought, ‘You know what? If she’s keen to share, then why not?’ ‘Cause it just shows how awesome the language is and makes it that little bit more normalised, I guess.”

So, what else is in The Teaches Of Peaches? We recommend a lifelong learning approach. She’s unapologetic and fearless AF. Try asking yourself, “What would Peaches do?” on the reg.

Empowering, playful, titillating and entertaining beyond belief, the Peaches live experience is unmissable. 

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