The Tiger Lillies in concert at Teatro ZinZanni

Tiger-Lillies-main-1140x400px-650The Tiger Lillies’ show-stopping, wildly popular act returns to Seattle November 4 and 5 as one of only three stops being made in the U.S. during this international tour. Formed in 1989, The Tiger Lillies find themselves a quarter of a century later still one of the most unique, provocative and genre-defying bands one could come across. So they might be twenty five years older in 2014, but they are definitely none the wiser and that’s something they intend to celebrate in their 2014 concerts, performing a wide selection of songs from their over 30 self-released albums.

The world of The Tiger Lillies is dark, peculiar and varied, with moments of deep sadness, cruel black humor and immense beauty. This unique “anarchic Brechtian street opera trio” tours the world playing songs about “anything that doesn’t involve beautiful blonde girls and boys running at the meadow” to quote their founder Martyn Jacques. Hence, their songs cover all the dark aspects of life, from prostitution and drug addiction to violence and despair. Always with a touch of twisted humor and sharp irony, The Tiger Lillies “point an implicit accusing finger back at us: what on Earth are we doing, laughing at this stuff?”. Their music is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera and gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertolt Brecht and Jacques Brel. The Tiger Lillies shock, amuse and entertain in a postmodern vaudeville way, with their inimitable in-yer-face performances, where no limit should be taken for granted.

Martyn Jacques, the band’s front man, songwriter and founder, spent most of his twenties in a flat above a brothel in London’s Soho, peeping through his window at the buzz of Soho’s lowlife. It took him a good ten years to turn that strange world into art, while training as a singer and songwriter. In 1989 he bought his first accordion and was given a painting of Tiger Lillies that he hung on the wall above his bed. And that’s where it all started.

The Tiger Lillies stood out immediately for their distinct sound and style and worked their way up from London pubs to the Piccadilly Theatre and buskers’ benches to the Sydney Opera House. Soon the The Tiger Lillies were touring the world giving concerts and participating in various art and theatre projects. A couple of the many highlights in their career was the Olivier Award they won for the cult hit musical Shockheaded Peter and the Grammy nomination for their album “The Gorey End.” Within the last two decades, The Tiger Lillies have been doing an average of over 200 gigs a year and despite spending so much time on the road they have managed to also release more than one album a year (total number is somewhere around 35, but who is counting?). They have participated in numerous shows all over the world, collaborating with artists of all disciplines: from circus performers to Shakespearean actors, experimental dancers to avant-garde photographers and burlesque puppeteers to classical music ensembles.

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