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The Boston Globe

Music

Music Review

Tiger Lillies get tunefully macabre at Oberon

CAMBRIDGE — We’re all used to post-punk Brechtian cabaret by now (thanks, Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls!), but the Tiger Lillies, who played Oberon on Monday night, are another matter. This trio, formed in London in 1989, have been performing their songs and theatrical works over the course of more than 30 albums and in shows at clubs, theaters, and, in one instance, an abandoned prison. They’ve written song cycles based on “Hamlet,” “Woyzeck,” stories by Edward Gorey, and their own macabre tales, replete with pimps, prostitutes, murder, mayhem, and ghosts.

The focus of these events is singer-songwriter Martyn Jacques, who performs, outfitted in bowler derby, his face swathed in grease paint. Singing alternately in a high countertenor or a deep Tom Waits growl, he’s a combination of Mack the Knife and a Pagliacci from hell.

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