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Copyright Nick Morgan and crew

Concert Review by Nick Morgan

THE TIGER LILLIES Soho Theatre, London, June 3rd 2006

“You’re not lawyers are you?” asks a concerned Adrian Huge, who only five minutes earlier had propelled much of what passes for his drum kit onto the lap of the Photographer. I shrugged. “And what were you writing in that little black book?”. “Just stuff”. “That’s it”, said Martyn Jacques, still in his make-up and speaking a sort of Dickensian mockney, “he’s a lawyer alright”.

We’re leaving the Soho Theatre after a late night show by the inimitable Tiger Lillies (who are very kindly signing a disc for Serge), described by one writer as an “anarchic Brechtian blues trio”. Like many people my awareness of the Tiger Lillies began through their association with the award winning musical (‘junk opera’) Shockheaded Peter, which I must have first seen seven or eight years ago. This horror tinged black comedy, based on the German children’s stories (or perhaps more properly cautionary tales) The Struwwelpeter, will be best remembered by anyone who has seen it for the bizarre falsetto singing of accordion player Martyn Jacques (who wrote all the songs) supported by drummer Huge, and bassist Adrian Stout.
Now there isn’t much that hasn’t been said about Jacques, who tonight with pierrot make up and pigtail, permanent scowl (except when he laughs), strangely shuffling gait looks like a cross between a string less puppet and a matelot doll. So I’m not going to try and add any more. Instead I’ll share the contents of my little black book, which I think will tell you everything you need to know.    
Reviewer to barman: “I say barman, may we take a bottle of your finest claret into the theatre?”. Barman to Reviewer: “Yes, but only in a glass”. Pints of wine. Camera battery flat! Drum kit – rubber chickens, children’s toys. Songs. ‘Dribble down your chin’. ‘I’m a swine’. ‘Masturbating Jimmy’ (no need for any further explanation there). ‘Maria’ (prostitution, rape, anal sex, murder, dismemberment, necrophilia and vampirism). ‘Freakshow’. ‘Piss on your grave’ (biblical mass murder and grave pissing). ‘I killed my mother’ (he killed his mother etc. – audience silent at end). ‘Sheep’ (not sure if this is the right title – it’s about sheep shagging. Clockwork sheep on piano). ‘One further morning’ (? title – drowning, mournful. Stout is playing saw, Huge using hacksaw blade for drumstick). ‘My tin shack’ (seven days of drug taking and mystical experiences in a tin shack). ‘I’d kick a little baby’ (Huge playing drums with baby’s head, Jacques playing nice ‘National Steel’ ukulele). ‘Murder is easy’. ‘Bumhole’ (how did they manage to get the Rainbow Warrior into a song about bumholes???). ‘ABC’. ‘Snip snip’ (“that great long legged scissor man” – ace!). ‘I’m terrible’. ‘I’m banging in the nails’ (Crucifixion song, Huge destroying drum kit with plastic hammers, drum kit lands on front-row Photographer and Reviewer).
Need I say any more? Of course like certain whiskies we could mention it’s a love it or hate it sort of thing. We love it. Oh and by the way, I’m not a lawyer, but my sister is. - Nick Morgan (support by Kate)

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