Soho Theatre review in the Stageonline
Adding to an eclectic season at the Soho Theatre, The Tiger Lillies bring their own particular brand of gothic cabaret to London for the first time. by Paul Vale
Adding to an eclectic season at the Soho Theatre, The Tiger Lillies
bring their own particular brand of gothic cabaret to London for the
Many may recall the huge success the cult band had
with their production of Shockheaded Peter a few years ago and this
concert will undoubtedly satisfy many of their hardened fans and fresh
converts alike. Those new to their work should be prepared for a
performance that practically defies description. Their style is acid
folk delivered with all the sincerity and gravitas of a funeral
oration. Their songs range from the sublime, almost hypnotic, Drowning to frankly perverse Flies and their salvation from the cruelty of their lyrics or questionable subject matter has to be the humour of their delivery.
Front man Martyn Jacques warbles falsetto from behind a sneering mask
of make-up while Adrian Huge bashes away on an eclectic mix of
percussion instruments, with only Adrian Stout remaining relatively
passive on the bass.
This burlesque of a performance has many
influences, from punk to Gallic torch songs, and what continually
amazes throughout is the precision with which each number is executed.
Huge smashes his miniature drum kit about the stage as Jacques
eulogises upon the joy of hammering in Jesus? nails on the cross. The
cacophony that arises matches the shock of the lyrics and yet there
never seems to be a point at which you feel either is out of control.
The Tiger Lillies have something in their repertoire that is likely to
offend everyone, yet their act has the same curiosity as a road
accident where human nature dares you to confront your own morbidity.