Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Tiger Lillies


My friend Cheryl Davis took me to see The Tiger Lillies concert at St. Ann's Warehouse last night. I was very familiar with "Shockheaded Peter" (I saw it at the Little Schubert, have the CD and have foisted the CD among others), but not their other work. The Tiger Lillies consists of Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge (best percussionist I've ever seen) and Adrian Stout (who plays the bass, saw and Therimin!).
Their non-Shockheaded Peter songs are certainly related to it; in retrospect, Shockheaded Peter was the perfect vehicle for them. Their big themes and images are death (hanging, drowning), violence (particularly among criminals), and the sea and sailors (none of their sailors want to be at sea). Several of the songs are set in Marseilles.
Martyn Jacques is a truly gifted lyricist. He uses very few words to conjure up entire worlds. The songs sound very influenced by Berlin cabaret (not Viennese songs, which are much sweeter); certainly Kurt Weill but other German composers as well.
They were generous with encores, and wound up with one of my favorites, "Fidgety Phil." St. Ann's was packed.
Photo by Joshua Valocchi.

1 comment:

Barry Rowell said...

Catherine and I saw "Shockheaded Peter" and their Christmas show at St. Ann's Warehouse two years ago—they're really incredible live! We'd been debating getting tickets for the concert but it hasn't reached the top of our list this year. There's an Ovation cable network documentary on them that we saw a few years ago around the time they were doing "Shockheaded Peter" that follows them when they were still doing shows in pubs in London: that's something I'd really love to see... but those days may be long past; I'd be surprised if they can play a venue that small back home, either.

Incidentally, the show I know we're hoping to get tickets for is Kneehigh Theatre's "Brief Encounter" at St. Ann's: we saw them in London and then again at the New Victory here and they're an amazingly talented company. I recommend it highly: http://www.stannswarehouse.org/current_season.php?show_id=42