Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Tiger Lillies

So you grew up thinking Alice Cooper was extreme…You were convinced that Marilyn Manson was the ultimate Goth horror provocateur. Surely, you said, nobody could top Mayhem, Gorgoroth and their other Norwegian compadres in blasphemous and obscene lyrics and behavior. Well, think again. For here come the …Tiger Lillies.

Martyn Jacques, an accordion wielding "Tom Waits on helium" British countertenor, spent almost 8 years of his life in a brothel perfecting his piercing and faultless falsetto. Adrian Huge prefers to play drums with toy babies instead of sticks. As for former session musician Adrian Stout on double-bass and/or musical saw, if you look in his bio details you will find that "…This once serious musician has since then found himself dancing in leider hosen, making love to inflatable sheep and dressing as a cheap prostitute."

Shockheaded Peter was the start and from then on their creativity has been phenomenal. Theme albums and performances, circus acts and punk operas, gypsy cabarets and strange collaborations. Take for example their collaboration with the Cronos quartet on the brilliant 2003 album "The Gorey End", homage to writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. Or the DVD only 2006 "Mountains of Madness" collaboration with Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) on the works of H.P.Lovecraft.

For 24 years they have been banging in the nails and they have thrived in the controversy surrounding their songs and performances. Unclassifiable and a marketing nightmare, the Tiger Lillies have never played it safe. In the words of Martyn Jacques: "People come up to us in airports and say ‘Oh, you’re in a band’ and they say ‘What sort of music do you make?’ and the three of us sort of look at each other. ‘What should we say today?’ We usually say ’satanic folk,’ that usually scares them away."

If you are not yet familiar with this band you deserve to …sleep with the fishes.

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