The Tiger Lillies, Taunton Brewhouse and touring

MARTIN Jacques (that’s not as in Hattie Jakes or As You Like It Jay-quez but Jax) and his merrie band took Taunton by peculiar storm on Saturday 22nd June, when the new Tiger Lillies album, The Devil’s Fairground, was performed in its entirety.

The trio (now with one replaced member) used to be regulars on the south western circuit, before they conquered the world of dark, sleazy cabaret burlesque in the style of Kurt Weill. Now they spend most of the time in central Europe, with long seasons in Austria and Germany and an upcoming tour of Russia.

Performances in the UK are few and far between, and always attract fans from a wide area.  And many of them dress as assiduously for the Lillies as they would for a singalonga Sound of Music, albeit from a different wardrobe.

Jacques is 60 now, but the sound of his falsetto spits out the despair and frustration with the world’s progress as powerfully as it ever did.

The new collection of songs, adding to the large collection of albums, is angry and hopeless, pointing to the inevitab­ility of desolation, destruction and death with moments of brilliantly-observed wit.

The band, long-time Lillie Adrian Stout on theramin, saw, bass and guitar and relative newcomer Jonas Golland on all things percussionary including the incongrously gentle tinkling of a mini xylophone, join with their leader’s accordion and piano to make often beautiful sounds among the wry gloom.

They were as marvellous as always. Come back soon!


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