Tiger Lillies – Music News

Written in reaction to the horrors of World War I, Austrian satirist Karl Kraus wrote the play “The Last Days of Humankind” – a condemnation of the events of that time. The narrative vividly depicts the ugly themes of a generation thrust into war that we have all become all too familiar with in the century since its publication and which remains as relevant now as it was then.

Fittingly, the Tiger Lillies gave us their take on Kraus’ work which was first performed in a theatrical production of Last Days of Mankind at the Leith Theater in 2018. The ‘Brechtian street opera trio (to quote another description of the band that goes a long way to sum them up in so many words) captured with skillful musical and narrative precision the inanity and futility that underscored such a horrific time in history. Although, not without sarcasm and dark humor, and sometimes poignant beauty, it will be familiar to those familiar with the band’s repertoire. War is Not Fair, Infant Mortality or Treason are some good examples of this set of songs.

With musical saw, theremin and drums adorned with percussion augmenting singer-songwriter Martyn Jacques’ signature falsetto and emerald green accordion, the Tiger Lillies have an unmistakable distinct look and sound. They are extremely prolific, releasing six studio albums in the last two and a half years alone, and have won an Olivier Award and been nominated for a Grammy. They also quickly became regulars at the equally unique East End music hall, which made it the perfect venue for theatrical performances of the Tiger Lillies.

Their 12-night run is due to end on Saturday September 17 and has of course spanned time since the Queen’s death and national mourning. Hence, a sense of austere melancholy that seemed to lurk in the shadows of the 200-year-old music hall, seeking to heighten a sense of omen as we move on to a not-so-new future where the past seems to repeat itself over and over again. Again. . Hopefully The Tiger Lillies will be around for many more years to light up those darker days.

Comments are closed.