Album Review

Tiger Lillies, The – “Shockheaded Peter: a Junk Opera” – [NVC Arts]

Thurston Hunger   3/22/2013   A Library, CD

Broad comedy without the broads, well apologies to the
anatomically correct Tamzin Griffin. The shrill trilling
of Martyn Jacques is strongly featured here to remind
you of the tone-deaf charwoman who doubled as your wet
nurse from your long-lost British childhood. In small
doses, the whimsy and whinny may work better (blessed
be the brevity of radio) for some. Surely others may sup
this up like sweetened cod liver oil, from the first sip
through the verbal slips and the snip, snips of Conrad.
Strongly recommended if Graham Chapman were yer favorite
Python. Penguin on the Telly, nudge nudge wink wink…
the music is often a two chord vamp, With the accordion
waltzing about through the playground garden with its
toy flowers and toy pianos and of course the many graves
of naughty little boys. Well the fairer sex does get
one turn in the cabaret dunk booth on “The Dreadful
Story About Harriet and the Matches.” Old cautionary
tales of Heinrich Hoffman parsed into quick couplets
and quicker gruesome ends. More gaslight than ghastly,
and truth be told this recording from last century (1998)
could have faired well a century before that as well.
We only have the music here, but I’ve caught glimpses
of the theatrical version online, and on stage is
where the Tiger Lillies are meant to kill it.

-Thurston Hunger

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