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The trio themselves: The Tiger Lillies | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr
The trio themselves: The Tiger Lillies | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr
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Meet The Award-Winning Tiger Lillies Frontman, Martyn Jacques

Picture of Briony Lewis
Updated: 24 April 2017
The Tiger Lillies: Olivier award-winning, Grammy nominated, alternative cabaret trio. Known for their unique sound, Tiger Lillies have a particularly macabre style which has transformed the cabaret scene. Ahead of their near sell-out show ‘Lulu – A Murder Ballad’ at the Royal Opera House, we were lucky enough to enter the weird and wonderful word of lead singer Martyn Jacques to find out more about the man behind the painted face.
The masters of alternative cabaret | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr
The masters of alternative cabaret | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr

What is the most unusual venue you have played’

The amphitheatre in Arles, France singing a soundtrack to photos by the photographer Nan Goldin – that one springs to mind. Also The Tiger Lillies were invited to perform in support of protesters in Syntagma Square, Athens in 2011. We came and played some songs while tear gas grenades were being fired around the square, it certainly was an extraordinary situation.

What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the music business?

Don’t ask me! I’m always amazed that we’re still going strong after nearly 30 years. Be true to yourself I guess.

What’s next?
Australia – concerts at Sydney Festival, our Hamlet show at Perth Festival. Then a tour in Asia, two new shows – it never ends!

The trio themselves: The Tiger Lillies | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr
The trio themselves: The Tiger Lillies | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © J. Prandtauerstr

What is the most memorable moment from your career?

Singing to thousands of people in Russia and Greece, seeing how happy they are to hear our music, how important it is to them.

If you could only bring three things to a desert island, what would they be?

My accordion, a bowler hat and a copy of the Bible as I’d need something to make a fire with.

How would you describe yourself in 80 characters?
Godfather of alternative cabaret, Olivier winning, Grammy nominated, workaholic, weirdo

The band performing ‘Lulu - A Murder Ballad’ | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © Tom Arber
The band performing ‘Lulu – A Murder Ballad’ | Courtesy of Arthur Leone PR, photograph © Tom Arber

Mozart or Manic Street Preachers? Mozart of course!

Staycation or tropical vacation? Is a staycation staying at home” I’ll choose that as I’m always on tour!

iOS or Android’ iOS

Pasta or sushi? Pasta

Tim Burton or Steven Spielberg? Tim Burton

Paul Gauguin or Grayson Perry? Grayson Perry

Interview conducted by Briony Lewis