I love music, but I have never been that over the top about any particular band or artist. I never felt the need to wait back stage to get a glimpse, nor have I ever thrown my knickers on stage, or fainted because a band member may have just glimpsed in my direction. I have never planned my life around concerts for a specific group… but I have followed The Tiger Lillies for nearly 20 years now. I first saw them perform “Shock Headed Peter” and from that performance I was hooked. I will admit that I hang around and get merch signed by them and I am unabashedly a bit of a groupie for these guys.
Now, they are not your run of the mill boy band I will tell you that. They are a twisted and dark set of performance artists. Martin Jaques plays the accordion, ukulele, piano, guitar (not all at the same time) and vocals , Adrian Stout on double bass, jaw harp, musical saw, theremin and backing vocals, Jonas Golland on drums, percussion and backing vocals. The band blends the musical styles of pre-war Berlin macabre with a punk edge, creating a truly mesmerising and unique sound.
The band have presented some truly amazing shows and “Haunted Palace” is just another of their visual and sound extravaganzas.
I had the great pleasure of seeing this last week in The Queens Hall, and the stage had been set with piano to the right of the stage, Adrian and his many instruments to the left and Jonas up stage right with his drum kit.
In the centre of the stage, a bordered, multi platform area, with projections initially making it look like a stage, but these projections changed throughout the performance, sometimes a raging sea, sometime blossoming flowers, sometimes flying ravens… you get the idea hopefully.
Martin acts as the narrator, and is presented as the raven. He has a female side kick who wheels out the disembodied head of Poe. From here you are thrown in to a nightmarish sinister world of Poe, his madness, his relationships and his ultimate demise. There is a dancer who acts as Poe throughout the performance, writhing around the stage in an embodiment of the torment of the poets own turbulent life.
The songs are haunting and draw in elements of Poe’s life, combined with traces of stories that he had written, the raven acting as his “pimp” for “special ink”
The story line and songs keep elements of Poe’s own sardonic humour while incorporating the unique stylings of The Tiger Lillies that they fans adore.
The show is filled with their usual raw and passionate style and the spectacular visuals echo the their truly amazing performance.
The piece is a great collaboration between Paul Golub, Peter Bjurman, Martin Jaques and Mark Holthusen.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like the guys are back in the UK for the rest of this year, but if you get a chance to see them perform, it is a must as it is an experience which is not soon forgotten.
If you want to see where the next performances are, you can find them here
Have you seen The Tiger Lillies? Why not tell me about your experience in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?