By Frisco Rosso | Images by Matt Ross
Tearing it up for the penultimate gig on their “No More Dang Busses Tour”, Peachy Keen took The Bohemian in Johannesburg by the nuts last Friday and squeezed ‘til they went “crack”.
Regardless of genre, the Peaches are a rare breed in that they sound as good if not better live as on their polished studio offering, Backseat Bingo. The visual benefit of their exuberance and ceaseless energy coupled with the good-time party atmosphere their music creates made for an evening of pure entertainment.
Ably supported by Joburg’s renowned Rambling Bones, whose lengthy set – laced with furious strumming and collective vigour – kept the audience bubbling over sufficiently for the Peaches to mosey in and turn up the heat further.
Unfortunately it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Cape Town quintet, as the Bohemian’s sound desk opted to go on strike just as they took to the stage. The diabolical sound issues that initially threatened to plague the band’s set were routinely remedied by “Steve”, who spent the early stages of Peachy Keen’s set selflessly trying to correct the Bohemian’s shoddy PA system.
Fortunately he succeeded, allowing the group to belt out a super-charged show which included Backseat Bingo favourites Shot a Man Down, Oh Darling and Baby Girl You’re Gonna Burn.
They also issued forth a swinging rendition of I Wanna Be like You mid-set that threatened to bring the house down, and certainly got the last few static spectators shuffling away on the dance floor.
Lead guitarist Greg Abrahams powered his way through the show, delivering a flawless performance and one of the most accomplished live guitar experiences Joburg has seen in years courtesy of his Gretsch, which helped deliver the band’s classic American sound. Dominique Otto easily made the grade in the rhythm department and, together with fellow leading lady Alex Wise, issued forth feisty and heartbreaking harmonies in equal measure while maintaining sublime melodies individually.
Double bassist Ryan McArthur’s intricate and soulful bass lines added further depth and character to the Peachy sound, while Brandon Shore kept things tight and appropriately varied on drums, sustaining the group’s pace and influence with relentless verve.
One or two rowdy hecklers were promptly silenced by the Peaches, Alex in particular who demonstrated unreservedly that she is not one to take fools kindly, nor is she likely to entertain the fraternity who can’t hold their beer. The slow burners in the crowd incessantly calling for “a joke about Cape Town” quickly discovered the joke was on them. Don’t fuck with the bad side, people.
With the crowd baying for an encore the Peaches keenly obliged, finishing off with Don’t Call Me Baby to thunderous applause and appreciation from a crowd thrilled to the core and hoping the night would last just a little bit longer.
Peachy Keen will be playing the main stage at Synergy Live 2012 in Cape Town this Friday.
Check back this Thursday for our interview with the band.
With more tension than your mother’s suspension, I am Frisco Rosso. I’m likely to deliver a few lines worth at any given moment regarding film, music, sport, books and anything morally unsound that strikes a blow between the eyes in the name of entertainment.