In the genre of Dark Cabaret, these guys are the one eyed, alcoholic, prostitute pimping, donkey show organizing Fathers of the genre. They’ve been around since 1989, before the 1990s neo burlesque scene and the post 2000 coinage of the Dark Cabaret genre title.
I saw them in concert a few years ago knowing nothing about them, and they were awesome. And utterly unique. And dark. Definitely dark (they were once described as Surrealist Pornography), but with that polite neo-victorian style.
Let me save my breath and give you an example.
This was one of those rare concerts where you’re seeing a band for the very first time and smack in the middle realize you could simply sit here all night and watch them play their nihilist Dickensian showcase.
The singer, Martyn Jacques, apparently trained himself as a castrati style opera singer, whilst living alone above a strip joint in Soho for seven years. Which… you know… makes a whole lot of sense.
They even wrote an opera, a “junk opera”, Shockheaded Peter. Shockheaded Peter is based on a popular German children’s book from the mid 1800s in which a series of children’s stories, using rhyme as you can imagine, “demonstrate the disastrous consequences of misbehavior in an exaggerated way”. The biggest difference is in the book, occasionally a child lives. In the junk opera, every child in every tale dies.
Tell me you’re not dying to hear a tale?
I am, so let us to the video room go.