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TL at Soho Theatre 18 May from Timesonline

?MUMMY!? The strangled yell rang around the tiny theatre and was sucked into a large silence. The audience of youngish middle-class apprecianados and polite but committed Goths tittered helplessly, already crippled with horrified laughter....

http://timesonline.typepad.com/music/2006/05/the_tiger_lilli.html



Soho Theatre, Thursday May 18

?MUMMY!? The strangled yell rang

around the tiny theatre and was sucked into a large silence. The

audience of youngish middle-class apprecianados and polite but

committed Goths tittered helplessly, already crippled with horrified

laughter by a rousing little ditty about cancer. The yeller?s

contorted, grotesquely painted face glowered at them from centre stage.

?MUMMY!? he shrieked again. ?My... Mummy?s in a mental home.?

Martyn Jacques, the Tiger Lillies? singer and accordionist, is a very

alarming man. Painted like a nightmarish clown with a disgusting plait

slung coquettishly over his shoulder, he yowls his way through numbers

like I?m Just a Whore in an ear-splitting falsetto that makes you

wonder if he?s fully intact. He?s certainly a couple of sandwiches

short, if nothing else. With his continual satanic rictus and beautiful

green glittery accordion, he makes his cohorts, drummer Adrian Huge,

resplendent in a glorious tartan suit and fetching red waistcoat, and

bassist Adrian Stout in a lovely little floral number, look positively

ordinary.

?I killed my mother/I drank her blood, I killed my

mother/Up above, I raped my mother...? you get the idea. It shouldn?t

be funny, but this British take on Brechtian cabaret is hilarious, with

its dark echoes of Roald Dahl, Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls and the

splenetic filth of Derek and Clive ? no taboo remains intact. I can?t

help wondering what kind of reception they?d get in, say, Idaho. Huge

enthusiastically bashed away on a toy drum kit with what looked like a

pair of enormous cotton buds, which he then sensationally swapped with

a baby doll for Kick a Baby Down the Stairs, by which time the audience

was incapable. My mascara had travelled to my chin and my face ached.

It?s not all gleeful ghastliness. A sad refrain on the piano and the

solemn producing of a saw to make beautiful, eerie sounds heralded a

rather melancholy song about a drowning, and My Tin Shack was pretty

sobering stuff. I did feel a bit disappointed with the last line, ?God

is dead,? though, which struck me as a bit mawkish. It?s not meant to

be comfortable though, too much cosy complicity would defeat the point.

Aunty Mabel (a direct reference to the aforementioned pair of dirty old

gits, Derek and Clive) was particularly squirm-inducing: ?Aunty

Mabel/She wasn?t a chick. You could take her for a spin/leave her money

in her disabled tin.? Ouch.

Posted by Nancy Durrant on

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 04:41 PM in Avant-garde, Indie, Jazz,

Performance art, Singer-songwriter, Underground |

 

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