News

Review from The Opera House Wellington NZ

The Tiger Lillies' magic is in the theatricality that effortlessly flows, bridging the songs, making use of evocative lighting to assist the mood of the pieces, perfectly playing with schadenfreude.

Celebrating 20 years of alt-Cabaret, taking in everything from subverted standards (My Funny Valentine, Autumn Leaves) to quirky originals with dark subject matter, the London-based Tiger Lillies trio kept their keen fans spellbound through two sets of disturbing imagery, all sung by the arresting and haunting Martyn Jacques.

Picture Phil Judd in his vaudevillian attire with a touch of Kurt Weill, backed by the constantly inventive drumming of Adrian Huge (tinkering away over splash cymbals, scurrying his wire brushes across the snare and around the rims) and the theremin, bass and bowed saw of Adrian Stout.

Jacques moves between guitar, piano and accordion to conjure overtly troubling lyrics about the enjoyment he gets from pushing babies down stairs (for this, Huge actually accompanied with a baby doll as a drumstick) and being in love with a sheep (named Wellington for the evening, Huge blowing up an inflatable sheep as a prop).

The Tiger Lillies' magic is in the theatricality that effortlessly flows, bridging the songs, making use of evocative lighting to assist the mood of the pieces, perfectly playing with schadenfreude.

Songs about prostitutes and mothers "in the mad house" bombarded an audience who seemed to be in on the joke at every twist and turn, understanding that a nod or a wink was not required.

Jacques never broke character, his painted face staring out blankly, dragging himself between instruments as if the death of a clown had already occurred and no- one was there to raise a glass.

Huge hammed it up behind the kit, using toy hammers for an anti- drum solo in which he pushed over the cymbals, knocked the drums on their sides and kept playing to appreciative whoops and hollers.

It's a strange form of musical lightning the Tiger Lillies have bottled, but they have kept a lid on it, lifting it only to those who care.

WHAT: The Tiger Lillies.
WHERE: The Opera House, Tuesday, August 11.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/entertainment/reviews/2746966/Lillies-lift-lid-on-lightning

 

SHARE ARTICLE