The Tiger Lillies can be described as:
a) Three existentialist old men
b) An episode of Playschool gone horribly, horribly wrong
c) The result of Dame Edna breeding with the Muppets
d) All of the above
Very good children, the answer is in fact ‘d’.
Adrian Huge has steps up onto his stool, downs a huge bottle of pills which mysteriously resemble peanut m&m’s and manages to play an impressively rhythmic drum solo by spitting them down onto his kit. This, after seeing him play the drums with life sized thigh bones, rubber chickens and toy babies, is no longer a surprise. This animated drummer later dies only to return as a ghost pig who reads the works of Edward Gorey.
Expect all morals and everything you know to be right and good to be turned inside out when you see the Tiger Lillies. Martyn Jacques (Piano, Piano Accordion and Vocals), Adrian Huge (Drums and assorted objects) and Adrian Stout (Electric Double Bass and Saw) lead their audience through a destructive, grotesque path of naughty British humour which speeds right past Benny Hill and crashes into murder, brothels, bars, the crucifixion, drugs and severe mental illness.
During the course of songs such as “She’s a Lovely Schizophrenic”, “Sex with Flies”, “Masturbating Jimmy” and “Mummy’s in the Mental Home” to name a few it was not certain whether or not the majority of the audience was laughing, crying or vomiting.
Vocalist Martyn Jacques tears at emotions with his amazing high tenor/countertenor notes then guides the audience into a pit of depression with songs such as “Heroin” and “Death Train” where he switches to a deep, gravel like lurching noise that melded with Stout’s Saw and Bass to rumble through the floor of the verandah. It was a breezy night in Perth and the sound of wind whipping past the microphones was used to good effect making it seem like this unusual trio came down from space (or up from Hell?) to teach us all about the sins in life we all secretly want to hear about.
If you are a stickler for the correct and proper treatment of musical instruments do not watch Huge batter his drum kit down to the ground with a plastic mallet the size of his head; it makes you understand why those toys are no longer sold to children. Also do not bother if you are a particularly ethical individual as you are bound to be shocked by Jacques singing lyrics like “I kick a little baby – or maybe an old lady – I kick a little baby down the stairs” while Stout sings along and Huge holds a baby doll by its legs and plays the drums with its little head - although this may prove to be medicinal for the overly humourless audience member.
The Tiger Lillies are definitely an act not to be missed if you don’t take life too seriously and realise that absolutely any topic can be turned into a meaninglessly good time and masses of laughter. When these three men pause awkwardly after a song, sway a little, look suddenly frail then exclaim “I like a little hamster up my anus!” it's clear that the Tiger Lillies are a very witty, very funny and very bizarre trio, pulling inspiration from all styles of music and theatre, who can put a smile on the face of any adult.
Perth International Arts Festival presents
The Tiger Lillies
Venue: Becks Verandah
Dates: February 11 - 12, 2007
Time: 8.30pm; doors open 7.30pm
- Tickets: Standard $30, Friends $28
The Tiger Lillies are performing in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. For more details: www.tigerlillies.com