Taxpayers fund explicit band
A band that sings graphic songs about prostitution, suicide and drug abuse will perform in Melbourne this week at a festival backed by local and state governments. (Here we go again) The right-wing press take it upon themselves to warn society.
Article in Herald Sun, Australia
Taxpayers fund explicit band
Shannon McRae and Sarah Wotherspoon
14 Oct 2004
BAND that sings graphic songs about prostitution, suicide and drug
abuse will perform in Melbourne this week at a festival backed by local
and state governments.
Family groups have condemned British
cabaret trio the Tiger Lillies, who begin a week-long stint in the
Spiegeltent as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival,
sponsored by Arts Victoria and the City of Melbourne.
The State Government's arts arm has pumped $5.5 million into the festival.
The band's website shows graphic pictures depicting bestiality and they sing about murder, rape and Jesus having sex.
National co-ordinator of family lobby group Endeavour Forum,
Babette Francis, yesterday called for all shows to be cancelled.
"The fact that the State Government is sponsoring a festival
featuring these people is appalling, especially considering the recent
child pornography scandal," she said. "This sort of thing, when it is
presented as art, only encourages people in that sort of disgusting
Australian Family Association vice-president Bill Muehlenberg said it was disgusting taxpayers were footing the bill.
"I think the Government needs to be a bit more accountable about
how they use taxpayer funds, and they should have more discretion in
the acts they support," he said.
A spokeswoman for the City of Melbourne said it only provided funding for the public programs in Federation Square.
A government spokesman said the festival appointed an independent board that chose acts.
Lyrics from the band's 15 albums -- with titles including The
Brothel to the Cemetery, Spit Bucket, Farmyard Filth and Low Life
Lullabies -- penned by band front man Martyn Jacques, are displayed on
Jacques insisted last week that Melbourne
audiences would not find the Tiger Lillies controversial, saying his
work -- described by critics as surrealistic porn -- was art.
The band performed at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June last
year. Audience members walked out in disgust after Jacques mocked child
"If people say that this isn't allowed, then I
would say they are rather fascistic in their outlook on life," Jacques
"All I'm doing is self-expression, going places a
lot of people wouldn't go -- it's a form of entertainment. The only
people who say it's not allowed are narrow-minded -- most places I go,
there isn't any controversy."
Festival artistic director Robyn Archer said audiences had a choice whether to see the show.
"The Tiger Lillies write and perform songs about life, its beauty
and ugliness, joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain," she said. "They have
been touring the world with these songs and for 14 years, playing to
ecstatic audiences who pay money to see them, as is evidenced in
Melbourne, where their Spiegeltent season is completely sold out.
"Audiences pay to see these performances -- it is their choice. Nothing else needs to be said."