BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2017: THE VERY WORST OF THE TIGER LILLIES at Magic Mirror Spiegeltent

BWW Review: ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2017: THE VERY WORST OF THE TIGER LILLIES at Magic Mirror SpiegeltentReviewed by Christine Pyman, Friday 16th June 2017.

The Very Worst of The Tiger Lillies is all about decadent, debauched songs of death, drugs and decay with mesmerising tones, led by the angelic falsetto voice of Martin Jacques, soaring sometimes gently and sometimes frenetically through some fun, filthy lyrics. Jacques's unique voice has led to him being known as the criminal castrato, in The Tiger Lillies's many performances worldwide.

The band has been performing since 1989, with only the percussionist, Jonas Golland, joining more recently. The stage presence of this trio was immense, frighteningly forward as they performed gypsy polkas and dirty ditties in their own dystopian world, with stark lighting enhancing the Brechtian style of the original Weimar Republic kabarett.

The setting of the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent was perfect for this atmospheric act, with possibly only the addition of opium pipes all around to add to it. These sometimes startling songs had the audience guffawing and cheering at the antics of Auntie Mabel and Foolish Harriet, not to mention the manic cheerfulness of the hamster song.

Musically, the band are excellent and inventive, with Adrian Stout playing the Theremin, musical saw, guitar, and double bass, but the specially made piano accordion played by Jacques very much sets the scene for sleaze. Extreme changes of tempo and clarity of sound added to the excellence of the act. The very worst of The Tiger Lillies is very good indeed.


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