A Dream Turns Sour
In spite of 25 years of non-stop touring and 34 albums on their backs, the Tiger Lillies' music-making frenzy is still going strong. Less than six months after Lulu: A Murder Ballad, which met critical acclaim after its performances around the UK, the “forefathers of Brechtian Punk Cabaret” are releasing yet another new album: A Dream Turns Sour will come out on June 28thand on that same weekend it will performed live for the very first time at Battersea Arts Centre, within the context of LIFT Festival 2014.
A Dream Turns Sour might be number 35 in the long Tiger Lillies' release catalogue, but there is something absolutely unique about it. It is the first Tiger Lillies' album to talk about an actual fact: World War One. The Tiger Lillies' songwriter, founder and front man, Martyn Jacques usually draws his inspiration from the gutters of his own imagination; sometimes his songwriting is based on famous works of fiction – such as S.T. Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Shakespeare's Hamlet – which he twists and turns relentlessly to bring up to Tiger Lillies' speed. But never before has he been inspired by anything as real and political as a war. And never before has he used the exact words of others in his songs, without being tempted to write his own lyrics instead.
A Dream Turns Sour is a bricolage of English and German World War One poems, transformed into an angry yet lyrical set of songs. Amongst its highlights is the haunting 10 minute long reciting of Isaac Rosenberg's “Dead Man's Dump”, the brilliantly melancholic ballad based on Leslie Coulson's “Our Little Hour” and the bitter, heartbreaking finale “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Noel Hodgson. One century after the beginning of the First World War, this doom-laden tale of death by The Tiger Lillies, makes one wonder if our “war-free” Western World suffers any less from despair, anger, violence and nationalism.