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....
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
?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 |