The 7 Deadly Sins ****

The Famous Spiegeltent, 7 – 30 August 2008

Reviewed for The List, issue 611

You’re all going to Hell. That’s the message the Tiger Lillies are gleefully preaching with the help of a punk Mister Punch and his civil partner Jude.

Gogol Bordello and Flogging Molly influence the Lillies’ distinctive sound, which flavours toe-tapping folk with punk effrontery. The puppet show – a twisted modern Creation myth that casts Punch and Jude as a hedonistic Adam and Eve working their way through the Seven Deadly Sins – provides a narrative around which to weave their latest set of sin-themed numbers.

While the show’s lyrical content ranges from death by diarrhoea to kicking babies down the stairs, musically the set is a fairly safe mix of rowdy dance tunes and more sedate balladry, and the majority of the songs are built around essentially the same hooks.

It also seems a shame to waste such a lively set of tunes on an audience that can only sit down and tap their feet in appreciation (or frown in disapproval). But as frontman Martyn (high-pitched and stiff-jointed in skull make-up) and fire-eating burlesque diva Ophelia Bitz constantly remind us, this isn’t a rock concert. It’s punk cabaret: it’s about the spectacle, not just the music.

Written by The Tiger Lillies

Cast includes Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout

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