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Manchester reviews.

Some lovely reviews from the show in Manchester at the weekend. First, a five star review from Whatsonstage:

Over the course of twenty years - and an astonishing 30 plus albums - The Tiger Lillies have walked their own unique path. Whilst never mainstream, they have managed to attract a dazzling collection of celebrity fans: Marilyn Manson, Terry Gilliam, Simpson’s creator Matt Groening and Mark Almond have all rhapsodised over the Lillies’ dark, twisted music.

Almond is a good point of reference, as singer Martyn Jacques - made up like a gruesome circus clown - is similarly drawn to life’s underbelly; ‘Brechtian punk cabaret’ is Jacques’ own description but that’s only half the story. Possessed of a remarkable falsetto voice, he sings troubling songs about prostitution, rape, murder, infanticide and addiction. There’s little between-songs patter, and Jacques stays in sinister character throughout.

Lets not overlook the deft musical contributions of double bassist Adrian Stout and drummer Adrian Huge (a dead ringer for dead James Joyce): the latter’s backward tumble off his drum kit is the most theatrical thing I’ve seen this year (well, it’s only February).

A Tiger Lillies gig isn’t for the easily offended. Yes, they like to provoke but many of their songs are remarkably tender odes to lost love: "Sweet Suicide" is the equal of anything recorded by Nina Simone.

At the end of this sold out show, the band received a rapturous standing ovation. The Tiger Lillies are a truly unique phenomenon. They’re rumoured to be on the FBI’s ‘subversive bands’ list, by the way; there is no greater recommendation.

*****

Steve Timms

See the whatsonstage review here.

And here is a 4.5 (!!!) star review from thepublicreviews:

The bastard love-child of Kurt Weill and Tom Waits, The Tiger Lillies are as riotous as one would imagine. Perhaps less expected is the haunting poetry that also bleeds out from the stage. When founder Martyn Jacques opens his mouth it’s as though a dove has flown out of his throat. A mangled, bloody dove but still, there’s a purity to Martyn Jacques’ vocal which belies the seediness of his lyrics.

Read the whole review here.

Some lovely reviews from the show in Manchester at the weekend. First, a five star review from Whatsonstage:

Over the course of twenty years - and an astonishing 30 plus albums - The Tiger Lillies have walked their own unique path. Whilst never mainstream, they have managed to attract a dazzling collection of celebrity fans: Marilyn Manson, Terry Gilliam, Simpson’s creator Matt Groening and Mark Almond have all rhapsodised over the Lillies’ dark, twisted music.

Almond is a good point of reference, as singer Martyn Jacques - made up like a gruesome circus clown - is similarly drawn to life’s underbelly; ‘Brechtian punk cabaret’ is Jacques’ own description but that’s only half the story. Possessed of a remarkable falsetto voice, he sings troubling songs about prostitution, rape, murder, infanticide and addiction. There’s little between-songs patter, and Jacques stays in sinister character throughout.

Lets not overlook the deft musical contributions of double bassist Adrian Stout and drummer Adrian Huge (a dead ringer for dead James Joyce): the latter’s backward tumble off his drum kit is the most theatrical thing I’ve seen this year (well, it’s only February).

A Tiger Lillies gig isn’t for the easily offended. Yes, they like to provoke but many of their songs are remarkably tender odes to lost love: "Sweet Suicide" is the equal of anything recorded by Nina Simone.

At the end of this sold out show, the band received a rapturous standing ovation. The Tiger Lillies are a truly unique phenomenon. They’re rumoured to be on the FBI’s ‘subversive bands’ list, by the way; there is no greater recommendation.

*****

Steve Timms

See the whatsonstage review here.

And here is a 4.5 (!!!) star review from thepublicreviews:

The bastard love-child of Kurt Weill and Tom Waits, The Tiger Lillies are as riotous as one would imagine. Perhaps less expected is the haunting poetry that also bleeds out from the stage. When founder Martyn Jacques opens his mouth it’s as though a dove has flown out of his throat. A mangled, bloody dove but still, there’s a purity to Martyn Jacques’ vocal which belies the seediness of his lyrics.

Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout join Jacques on stage and the three-strong musical ensemble have an effortless charm and presence which only years of touring together can produce. There is also a wonderful apathy to the Tiger Lillies’ interactions with their audience. Inane banter in-between songs is unnecessary when material is this strong and the intermittent silences only serve to add to the tangible beauty of their performance.

Martyn Jacques has obviously been inspired by his many years spent living above a Soho brothel. Songs are littered with references to the seedier aspects of life and The Tiger Lillies take us on a frank and brutal journey through London’s crack alleys and whore houses. Despite the filthiness of the lyrics, the Tiger Lillies are so much more than a raucous cabaret act. Songs are deliciously constructed and Martyn Jacques stunning vocal range with a hugely impressive falsetto is so remarkable as to evoke involuntary gasps from the sold out auditorium.

What is also wonderful about this Brechtian inspired band is the fact that no theatrical dressing is necessary. The music stands for itself and it is this mesmerising simplicity that makes the evening such an overriding success. Despite obvious influences ranging from The Threepenny Opera to Leonard Cohen, The Tiger Lillies’ macabre style feels fabulously fresh and one can’t help but be appalled and endeared in equal measure by the sinful confessions of this twisted trio.

Clare Boswell.

Read the whole review here.

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