Tiger Lillies. The name sums up what they are - a sharp combination of danger and sweetness. Over their 21 year history, the 3 piece band has acquired cult status around the world with their unique melding of dark words and taboo themes with tightly played dance music.
Martyn Jacques, the unsettling, clown-faced falsetto singer and musician, steps on to the stage with Adrian Stout,the slim bass player dressed like a ‘40s spiv with his resigned rolling eyes and pencil moustache, and Adrian Huge, jolly and manic on the toy drum kit.
Without a word, the audience is invited to roll up to a world of freak shows, carousels, Penny Arcades and perversions. It cheerfully taps its feet along to the macabre comic lyrics set to slow foxtrots, waltzes, and gypsy rhythms.
There are no words or chat between the songs so the Tiger Lillies and their musically tight and accomplished performance is the absolute focus. Sometimes the lyrics are jawdroppingly shocking but delivered with such talent and panache through the seductive strain of the accordion that you’re almost singing along! Very Cutleresque!
In true clown fashion, their expertise let’s them appear foolish without fear. They can sing play, write, amuse and entertain with their own absurd, comic, compelling cabaret.
Often at concerts these days, encores have become clichéd, with time deliberately factored in to accommodate them. There was a real sense of the Tiger Lillies’ encore being genuine for this enthusiastic full house with fans in the audience calling for favourites. We were treated to the gloriously outrageously funny Auntie Mabel.
Tiger Lillies are unique and irresistible! How have I missed you till now?
4-21 August (not 11), 9.45pm
£14 (£12.50); Weekends £15 (£14)