The Tiger Lillies performed at Seattle’s Teatro ZinZanni for two evenings in November, 2014. I caught the first night, and was (as during the other two times I have seen them) captivated by their musicianship, performance style and naturally, their appearance.
That appearance, which I could describe as extra naughty vaudevillian clown crossed with just that bit of goth, definitely appealed to the sold-out crowd. The venue allowed the English trio to perform under a big tent, with audience members seated at swanky tables. This show was neither for the faint of heart nor the slightly underdressed. When I say faint of heart, I mean that Tiger Lillies’ lyrical content could frighten some people. If you are upset by peculiar tales of bad deeds and depravation, you are in the wrong place hanging out with the Tiger Lillies of evening.
However, if topics such as prostitution, murder, religion and emotional pain presented in a way not usually addressed in popular music, interest you, you are with the Tiger Lillies’ fans. That the Tiger Lillies have a strong following testifies to the fact this band is not just all about shock and horror. Their songs are dynamite. This is a band worth seeing live, for all their charm and real abilities as musicians, performers and the damn right unique vocals of lead singer Martyn Jacques.
The Tiger Lillies, prolific and well-versed in any number of topics to cover (they’ve made music based on topics from Hamlet to Edward Gorey), have a tremendous oeuvre to draw from. Equally at home performing a cover of Judy Collins’ “Send in the Clowns” or tramping out with their own songs “Masturbating Jimmy,” “Banging in the Nails,” or “Heroin & Cocaine,” the Tiger Lillies really know how to play.
And, thank you to the Tiger Lillies for letting me backstage to take some photos of you. What a treat to hang out with you & see you putting your makeup on!!