Saturday, 18 March 2006

Tiger Lilly Love

2 people in white jackets and white straw hats come onto a large balck stage and twiddle with synths making musical sound while we watch the tops of their heads, since their faces are down to the deck. Large screen images don't enhance the music or catch the interest. This is music for movement. It feels very odd sitting silently watching when this is a much more kinetic feeling sound. Those making it seem rather disinterested in it and their audience who in all likelihood are here for the Tiger Lillies.

The sound of a cigarette lighter (the stroke and the flame) is similar to a motorbike's roar but on a synthetic level. Other sounds used were mic feedback, white noise and synthetic drips. Sort of decided you needed drugs to really get into this music. After half an hour that was that.

Its hard to watch the Tiger Lillies in a concert hall - their roots in the two-penny street opera and their early days in the Kings Head competing against the hubbub of a crowded bar and an audience who danced their own version of the waltz whilst drinking and screaming felt closer to the filth, debauchery and desperate-slum-ecstacy that the music evokes. Much harder to feel that in the comfort and quiet of the Queen Elizabeth Hall where the stage, lighting and conventions of the concert divide the musicians from the audience and decree that those listening sit still. However, Alexander Hacke's sound effects, horror voiceover and general demeanour worked very well against Martin's falsetto and the sound of the band. So while I miss the riotous early gigs its still a treat to see them.

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