Another review from Sydney
GETTING hot and bothered about a controversial Sydney Festival show is a bit like going to a footy game and being shocked at the brutal nature of the tackling. Really, what did you expect?
Why all the drama over cabaret act
By STEPHEN DOWNIE
All good art pushes the boundaries. All good arts festivals should include subject matter which challenges how people think.
UK cabaret act The Tiger Lillies is the latest to come under fire from
Christian moralisers. As if such people didn't already have their hands
full protesting about gay cowboy movies.
Of particular concern is The Tiger Lillies' song Banging In The Nails, essentially about crucifying Christ.
Seeing the song played live, it's hard to be offended. The Tiger
Lillies are just so odd it's near impossible to take their music
seriously. Singer Martyn Jacques, with his white face paint and his
falsetto voice, is a cross between Krusty The Clown and Dame Edna
Skinsman Adrian Huge was described by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne as "James Joyce playing drums".
He comes into his own in a song about kicking a baby down the stairs,
in which he uses a baby doll as a drumstick. It is one of funniest
moments of the show.
Sure the thrust of the songs can be a little risque, violent and, well ... blasphemous.
But on the opening night of the group's run of festival shows they received a huge cheer from the crowd.
Much of the rest of their music comes across like slightly bawdy sea
shanties - full of ageing prostitutes, pimps and scoundrels. All very
harmless, PG-rated stuff.
There is a song about the love for a
sheep named Willington, and Huge inflates a plastic sheep and holds it
under his arm for the duration of the song.
The suggestion is,
of course, that they may have a sexual relationship, but you would hear
worse on TV shows such as Rove or some breakfast radio shows.
Both of which reach a much wider audience than The Tiger Lillies ever will.
Only a couple of people walked out during the show and that appeared to be for toilet breaks only.
In truth, most people seemed to have a good time. So either it was an
audience of heathens riding a greased pole to hell, or it was full of
festival-goers who don't mind a bit of satire.
Crucify The Tiger Lillies? No way.
For those who want to see what the fuss is about The Tiger Lillies play in The Studio at the Sydney Opera House until Saturday.