The Tiger Lillies — Cold Night in Soho (10 Feb. 2017) √→ The Tiger Lillies are a cult British musical trio formed in 1989 by singer, Martyn Jacques. Often described as the forefathers of Brechtian Punk Cabaret. Location: London, England Album release: 10 Feb. 2017 Record Label: Misery Guts Music Genre: Dark Cabaret/Avant~Garde Duration: 58:40 Tracks: 01 Salvation Army 4:48 02 You Wouldn’t Know 2:13 03 The First Day 3:30 04 Dance Floor 2:48 05 Just Another Day 2:15 06 Heroin 3:54 07 Ticking of the Hours 4:41 08 Go 3:45 09 Let’s Drink 3:09 10 Screwed Blues 4:53 11 Funeral Song 2:03 12 In the Winter 2:44 13 Soho Clipper Blues 3:55 14 Pierrot Clown 1:24 15 Finsbury Park 3:13 16 Cold Night in Soho 9:25 Personnel: → Martyn Jaques — Vocals, Accordion, Piano, uke → Adrian Stout — Double Bass, Musical Saw, Theremin, Vocals → Jonas Golland — Percussion, DrumsReview Andy Gill, 19 days ago; Score: ***** √ There’s a Marmite quality to the weird, falsetto keening of Tiger Lillies’ singer Martyn Jacques that’s very much an acquired taste. The exaggerated, theatrical manner of his singing confounds the notion of “soulful” authenticity that some listeners require to buy into a song — yet with Cold Night In Soho, the trio’s first album in a decade not linked to a stage show, he wields it in a range of ways, variously serious, humorous and blasphemous, that lead one, unsuspecting, to an emotional climax that just reaches in and tears out your heart. Having set us up with the jocular, mordant cynicism of songs like “Heroin” and “The First Day”, the sucker punch of genuine human tragedy in “Cold Night In Soho” is simply devastating, a dose of reality that throws pop’s parade of placebo “feelings” into sharp relief. The album is The Tiger Lillies’ fond tribute to the Soho of two decades ago, before streetwalkers and drunks were swept away by baristas and tech upstarts. Booze and drugs are rife in these non~judgmental tableaux: “Heroin” offers a grimly ironic account of artistic dissipation and celebrity ambition, set to jaunty oompah cabaret accordion, Jacques advising some wannabe star, “You got to be tragic, if you want to be magic”. But later on, we encounter that same youth as the homeless loser addict of “Screwed Blues”, desperately seeking the release of terminal overdose, his plight serenaded with plunking guitar and bowed saw. The saw’s lachrymose tone likewise laments the tramp gradually covered in snow as he sleeps in a shop doorway in “Just Another Day”. “The ice has entered your veins,” sings Jacques. “Now it’s time to go.” √ In the face of such brutal human tragedy, it’s hardly surprising that presumptions of God’s redemptive nature come in for a kicking. “The First Day” retells the Genesis story as a parable of God’s abandonment of mankind, while “Salvation Army” offers an enthusiastically blasphemous creation myth, with whores blowing angels and God as a drug dealer whose supply never runs dry. “Salvation Army comes to Soho, eating apples from God,” mocks Jacques over piano and lowing euphonium. “Well, we never likes him anyway. He’s a miserable sod.” But the album really comes together late on, when the subject of “Soho Clipper Blues”, a bluff account of a clippie’s devious tricks conning sad Soho johns, reappears in the concluding “Cold Night In Soho” as not just a character but an actual friend of Jacques — the victim 30 years ago of an aggrieved punter who left her corpse in Rupert Street. Over nine minutes wreathed in shivering bowed bass and saw, the album comes into focus on a more personal level, with Jacques’ wracked delivery becoming slower and slower as the emotion drains out of him and he sinks deeper into grief~stricken memories. It’s a remarkable performance, one which confounds their reputation as theatrical ironists and confirms that behind the greasepaint lurks genuine emotion. √ http://www.independent.co.uk/ Website: https://www.tigerlillies.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheTigerLillies Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheTigerLillies/ FB AS: https://www.facebook.com/adrian.stout G. EDWARD LUTHERIE INC.: http://www.gelbass.com/bass/bass4RN.html CLIFTON Basses and Guitars: http://www.cliftonbasses.co.uk/page17.html Notes: Adrian Stout plays an Eminance RN 4 removable neck bass. Available from www.gelbass.com. He also plays the Clifton Frequent Flyer by Clifton Basses.