The Tiger Lillies - Live in Concert

Underbelly, Bristo Square

From 06 August 2013 to 17 August 2013

Rating: ****

Review by David Chadderton

The Tiger Lillies has had a change to its line-up since I last saw them, with drummer Adrian Huge being replaced by Michael Pickering, who is certainly more than adequate as a musician but doesn't enter into the performance style of the band as much as the more long-standing members.

This slick concert with superb technical back-up on lighting and sound, especially for the Fringe, gives a good sample, for the uninitiated, of the Tiger Lillies' style. The music is heavily influenced by Kurt Weill and Berlin cabaret but ranges from hauntingly beautiful to jolly and lively. On top of this, lead singer Martin Jacques, mostly in a powerful falsetto, sings lyrics that revel in the gutter.

He sings of prostitution, drugs, sex, death, dismemberment and murder with an adolescent glee, his onstage character proudly proclaiming he runs the best paedophile ring in town, and explaining bizarre sexual perversions and hideously violent deaths in great detail.

Jacques also plays accordian and occasionally keyboard, while Adrian Stout plays electric double bass, a hauntingly beautiful saw and even the theremin.

The band is perhaps an acquired taste for some, but its style is unique and it does it very well. The audience at Underbelly shouted for more at the end and many knew enough of the repertoire to make requests, so we were treated to an encore in which Jacques sang of the pleasures of putting a hamster up his rectum.