Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Photogenic Accordian: The Tiger Lillies at Komedia

Forget light-hearted parodies and witty ditties, The Tiger Lillies served up a relentless offering of vulgarity, bad taste and grisly wit at their first of a three night run at the Brighton Festival. Dimly lit and presented in a seedy cabaret style in which the lead singer is a sneering, grumpy clown, they appeared like some sort of twisted vaudeville nightmare. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of vulgarity and coarse humour, but it can become a bit oppressive when song after song features such macabre themes as kicking babies down stairs, dying from cancer and inciting abortion. Add to this the grating squawk of aforementioned clown/singer's limited-range vocals and you might want to have a stiff drink handy. On the up-side, I loved the general ambience of the occaision - an eccentric crowd (I wasn't the only one wearing a silly hat*), consummate musicians, and a real sense of 'theatre' in the burlesque tradition - even to the extent of the frontman staying in character for the (minimal) banter between songs. A few of the gentler numbers alleviated the incessant offensiveness, and occaisionally revealed a less irritating, softer vocal style. I wouldn't rush out and buy a CD, but might be tempted to download one or two songs, as there is certainly a place for the Tiger Lillies in my musi-comic hall-of-fame, albeit in its metaphorical gutter.





*On leaving the house to attend the gig, I felt compelled to don my bowler hat (purchased for my Sally Bowles costume) for the occaision and have decided it will become my festival hat! You can see the back of said bowler here, and birthday girl jen rolling up. Another interesting choice of head adornment in the background...


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