The Tiger Lillies: On Tour
Review: Tiger Lillies, on tour throughout the UK until June, and finishing in the Ukraine in July 2023. Book tickets here.
[Disclosure: Our reviewer received free tickets, and free drinks for the purposes of this review.]
The British leg of the Tiger Lillies’ European Tour kicked off last night in Oxford. For the uninitiated, the Tiger Lillies are a British musical trio – whose genre defying music blends pre-war Berlin cabaret, Romani, punk, and performance art, among many other genres.
Adrian Stout, Martyn Jacques, Budi Butenop.
Imagine having a David Lynch-esque nightmare, featuring the Twin Peaks little man dance, set back stage at a failing circus full of psychopathic clowns, singing falsetto - and you’ll get some idea of a Tiger Lillies' experience.
The Tiger Lillies’ original music explores the dark side of human nature and the human condition – sometimes the songs are darkly humorous, other times they are hauntingly beautiful.
Lead singer/songwriter, and band founder, Martyn Jacques only sings in falsetto; which he can morph from richly sweet and evocative – such as when he sings If You See My Face – “It would mean so much to me if I could give up drinking…” to Michael Palin-esque slapstick – as when he sings Banging in the Nails – “I’m crucifying Jesus, I’m banging in the nails.”
The Tiger Lillies music video for Banging in the Nails - warning - some people may find this song/video offensive.
All three band members are superb musicians, and the number of musical jokes throughout the performance bring an extra dimension to the extremely confrontational lyrics.
Lead singer, and band founder, Martyn Jacques.
The Tiger Lillies tour is a breath of fetid air. Going to see it will reset your cultural antennae, scraping away the airbrushed perfection of contemporary pop culture to reveal the rotting, maggot ridden reality beneath.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
If you enjoy the sinister, dark and macabre, you may enjoy reading my review of Creation Theatre's pandemic show, Grimm Tales for Fragile Times & Broken People, which you can read here.