Martyn Jacques, the founder of The Tiger Lillies, spent much of his early years living above a brothel in London’s Soho. He is a self trained musician and singer, playing mostly the accordion, piano and ukulele. His hauntingly beautiful falsetto has become The Tiger Lillies’ trademark and combined with his dark and edgy songwriting style has led to him being widely known as the ‘Criminal Castrato’.
Martyn has composed music for and performed in numerous shows all over the world and enjoys working with artists of all disciplines: from highbrow theatre to circus, and from experimental dance to burlesque and puppetry. He is very proud that The Tiger Lillies have performed in opera houses and rock festivals as well as circus tents and smelly pubs. His music has been used in films (Plunkett & Macleane, Luftbusiness, Drunken Sailor, Return to Nuke ‘Em High) and recently he composed music for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which he performed as a live accompaniment to the iconic silent film in his first ever solo show.
Martyn has been commissioned by acclaimed American photographer Nan Goldin to compose an original score for her Ballad of Sexual Dependency slideshow project and has actually performed the piece with The Tiger Lillies as a live soundtrack to Nan’s startling images. Martyn’s work has been nominated for a Grammy Award (The Gorey End in 1998) and his memorable performance in cult hit musical Shockheaded Peter won him an Oliver Award.