Tiger Lillies' odious adventures
The Tiger Lillies returned to Bimbo's on Wednesday, Nov. 13, where they delivered a set that covered the odious and putrid sides of human nature.
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| Tiger Lillies' odious adventures; || Wednesday, November 20, 2002|
"I'm lying in a pool of piss," trilled Martyn Jacques of the London cabaret act the Tiger Lillies,
as the table next to me joined in singing along with him. When a band
attracts the kind of crowd -- KQED moms in Central American jewelry,
leather-clad Eurogeeks, clean-cut heteros on dates and many of those
Sonoma County free spirits who are equal parts back-to-the-land, Ren
Faire and late-'70s Manhattan -- the Lillies did last Wednesday at Bimbo's, they obviously have no regard for a cohesive target market.
songs that delve face-first into the odious and putrid sides of human
nature, the band has built up a loyal Bay Area following since they
first played the Hotel Utah to a handful of people a few years back.
(This is thanks in part to their darkly comical theater piece "Shockheaded Peter,"
which reportedly sent agents and moneyed producers into a frenzy trying
to figure out how to get a piece of the "abuse and torture" crowd.)
And while there's no doubt that the way the band turns each song into a mini production of despair, with bassist Adrian Stout and percussionist Adrian Huge
often regarding Jacques as a filthy chancre who has commandeered the
stage with his whiteface and eerie operatic falsetto, after two sets
the "despicable and upsetting" angle began to wear a little thin for
me. When one song uses the alphabet ("A is for arsenic," etc.) and
another uses the days of the week ("On Monday I will lop off your
feet," or something to that effect), I start to feel that the band,
after trawling through the seedy waters of life, are starting to come
up with a bunch of old boots. Despite this, most of the ballads are so
riveting that even the crowd, hell-bent on the tongue-in-cheek misery,
completely stopped their tittering and shared a somber bout of extended