“Brechtian punk cabaret” is how The Dresden Dolls aptly describe themselves.
This documentation of two sold-out shows at London’s Roundhouse captures their sense of gothic musical theatricality. It’s akin to a rawer version of how The Tiger Lilies reworked Shockheaded Peter.
Amanda Palmer (vocals/piano) and Brian Viglione’s (drums/guitar) stage show is perfect for DVD footage. Although a duo, their restless stage movements and guest appearances from a vast array of dancers, musicians and other performance artists are a visual feast. Their lyrics are also darkly engrossing; see the retro sex-toy tale of ‘Coin-Operated Boy’ or the nightmarish road trip ‘The Jeep Song’ for evidence. Despite a killer closing double-whammy in the shape of their frenetic ‘Mad World’ cover and the rush of ‘Girl Anachronism’, at over two hours, this release is one of the converts only. As with their albums, The Dresden Dolls are a more curious proposition in the flesh.