HOME Manchester, 20 April - 5 May 2018
A Mexican setting provides the backdrop for this brand new cycle of songs and its stage show, as the Tiger Lillies embark on a Latin vacation that takes a turn for the worst.
An orphan, barely twelve years old, in a dusty, one-horse town... the beautiful Maria, and the drug baron who really shouldn’t have crossed her... strange, furtive rituals and mysterious characters who may be alive, or not, amidst the wild din of the Day of the Dead that swirls all around them... ¿que pasa? What can it all mean...? If only there was a glimpse of poncho and the stench of an evil-smelling cheroot we would know where we were, even a pocket-watch or a distant whistle on the wind... but no, that sound, it’s like Hell’s house-band is playing, and so it is: the Tiger Lillies are going down Mexico way.
Seemingly abducted from their latest touring performances, the band, or perhaps it is the oddly familiar Los Flores del Tigre, wind up in a disreputable outpost near the Mexican border where the singer starts to tell his sorry tale. In these story-telling songs, his corridos, we hear about the tough life he suffered from the start, as a child accordionist playing bars to try and earn enough for a crust of empanada, before a couple of other lost mariachis joined him and together they were given an offer they couldn’t refuse: to sing the praises of the local drug lord. Older now, his heart is inflamed by Maria, who is also being kept at the hacienda, and in his youthful passion he resolves to free her and demonstrate his noble spirit. But Maria is also loved by the wicked crone, who lays a curse on our hero, and thus caught up in such a web of intrigue and emotion there is no escape for him and his compadres. Yet no story like this would be complete without revenge, and eventually we come to understand that the festival of the Day of the Dead is here to be taken very literally indeed.
These songs of murder, retribution and lost love make up the album, which is also the soundtrack for the new, full-length stage show, “Corrido de la Sangre”, presented by HOME and given its world premiere on 20 April, the same day the album is released. The show features projected sets and startling visuals courtesy of regular Tiger Lillies amigo Mark Holthusen (Haunted Palace, Rime of the Ancient Mariner etc.), alongside original music from the Olivier Award-winning and Grammy-nominated trio, widely celebrated and enduringly popular for their distinctive sound that marries high-art cabaret with sordid depravity.
Martyn Jacques’s singing and performance on accordion, piano, harmonica, organ, ukulele or guitar is accompanied as ever by Adrian Stout’s multi-instrument playing, on bass, euphonium and musical saw, plus sepulchral backing vocals; drum duty is handled by Andreas Winter, with guest spots from Jacques and also Timm Brockmann, the master of the mix. For that essential extra quality, Christian Krille plays trumpet on just over half the tracks.