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Christeene: Trigger review at the Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘obscene’

Christeene Vale Christeene Vale

Watching Christeene Vale in action is like staring at some glorious assemblage of flesh, sweat and mascara, some Frankenstein’s monster of sex. Part Antichrist Superstar-era Marilyn Manson, part Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen, part Death Grips, she thrashes across the stage, crotch thrusting, spit flying as she tears down foetid masculinity with her filthy Texan drawl.

A dragged-up fuckstorm from Austin presumably via some warped alternative dimension, Christeene is the creation of artist Paul Soileau, and their new show Trigger is a ruthless demolition of the sexual exploitation of the music industry, embedded in a high-volume barrage of lust and fury.

The opening salvo of tracks, including fan favourite Fix My Dick, is as intense as anything anywhere on the Fringe, and while there are occasional dips in energy in the mid-section, they’re almost necessary to allow the audience to breathe.

Beats are fat and filthy, lyrics relentlessly crotch-focused, but when Christeene slows down, her message is one of acceptance and self-determination. She urges us to keep our tank full, to find the pony that lives within us, and ride it hard. It’s absurd, obscene and delivered with an energy that cracks like the supersonic tip of a whip.

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Life-affirming hour of relentlessly filthy hip hop and electro-punk beats from the Texan drag monster