The Tiger Lillies staging world premiere in Prague

The British band will perform Bohemian Nights with the Berg Orchestra

The British cult band The Tiger Lillies present the world premiere of their new show Bohemian Nights at divadlo Archa on Sept. 26 at 27. They will perform along with Berg Orchestra, conducted by Peter Vrábel.

The show has mostly new songs, plus the classic “Is That All There Is?”, in symphonic arrangements by composer Michal Nejtek.

Jacques and Nejtek have worked for more than a year on the current project, specifically with a premiere at Archa as the goal. The band intends to create an album called Devil’s Fairground from the shows.

The Tiger Lillies originated in 1989 in London and billed themselves as messengers of obscenity, the bizarre, and decadence.

The trio spent a lot of time in Prague in the wild 1990s and used to play in Žižkov pubs. Since that time The Tiger Lillies’ songwriter and leader Martyn Jacques, the only original member, has kept close touch with the city.

Jacques said a sense of nostalgia inspired him to explore the concept of Bohemian nights, which refers both to geographical Bohemia and the carefree spirit of the 1990s. During his time here, he played in different pubs every night and met a broad range of people from artists to drug addicts.

The band is known for performing in retro 1930s cabaret-style costumes with heavy theatrical makeup.

The trio’s music has the influence of street opera, pre-war cabaret, French chanson, Romany songs, and thematic links to Berthold Brecht.

Jacques says he likes the angry concept of punk music but chose to do something a bit different by using an accordion instead of a guitar, and singing in a more blues and operatic style.

He also wants the band to always be doing something different, which is why they are exploring symphonic arrangements for this show.

The trio now has more than 30 albums and collaborations with a number of artists, including Alexander Hacke & Danielle de Picciotto, Nan Goldin, St. Vincent and others.

Their musical Shockheaded Peter won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2002, and Jacques picked up another one for his acting.

The album The Gorey End, made together with Kronos Quartet, was nominated for a Grammy in 2003 for Best Classical Crossover Album.

The Tiger Lillies were last in Archa in 2016 with the show Songs From the Circus. They also appeared in 2010 with the musical Zde jsem člověkem! Here I am Human!, directed Jiří Havelka.

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