A guide to the New East

Point of view: cult cabaret act Tiger Lillies’ tour of Russia

  • Text Lesya Myata
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With their Brechtian style cabaret and penchant for instruments such as the theremin, it’s no surprise that the Tiger Lillies are a big hit in Russia. The cult British musical trio have visited Russia so many times over the past decade that they’ve lost count of how often they’ve been. For their latest trip in November, The Calvert Journal gave them a disposable camera to document their adventures while on tour in Moscow, Voronezh, Novosibirsk and Minsk. The result is a photographic travel diary that takes us backstage and onstage at Moscow’s legendary 16 Tons club and sees the trio posing with huge Soviet statues and shopping for winter hats. The highlight, however, was a gig at a club in a shopping centre in Voronezh. “It was one of the strangest experiences we ever had,” says Adrian Stout, who plays the double bass, the musical saw and the theremin. “We were shown the unique design features of a shopping mall: the water fountain clock, the Russian-style tiles on the main floor and the live birds in cages in the food court … We nodded a lot and smiled. It was quite surreal. The gig was pretty weird too as we played in a restaurant-bar-club decorated like a pirate island. Not our usual venue.”

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