Lily Marlene is a singer/songwriter of British and American background. Her music is a unique cocktail of primal blues, garage, glam, folk rock, girl-group and 70s NY punk. She divides her time between Los Angeles and London and formed UK-based rock band MOTO VAMP in 2015 along with pursuing her solo music career.
Lily began playing music at the age of 13 with Los Angeles all-girl teen punk sensation 'The Grown-ups' featuring avant-garde poet/singer Paloma Parfrey. The band became a local institution drawing mass attention from the likes of Hole guitar player Eric Erlandson, members of Redd Kross, Sonic Youth, The Go-Go's, The GTO's, Kim Fowley and KROQ's legendary DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. Erlandson went on to produce their first album with X-cop and punk rockstar Bill Bartell of White Flag, sending Lily off with a head start in the music industry. Before her 15th birthday she had released music with Long Gone John's legendary label, Sympathy For the Record Industry and Rhino Records.
She then went on to form cult glam/garage band 'Lily and the Ladies' and has since worked with Don Bolles of The Germs and 45 Grave, as well as K Records artist Jeremy Jay and Sugarpie Jones of Celebrity Skin and The Cramps on diverse musical projects. Her solo shows continue to captivate audiences with her raw, primitive yet ethereal musical quality.
She has performed at many high profile venues including The House of Blues, The Roxy, Viper Room, The Troubadour, Largo, The Echo, Spaceland, Whiskey-A-Go-Go, Dublin Castle and The Groucho Club, touring extensively in the United States and performing on bills with acts such as Cherie Curry of The Runaways, Lavender Diamond, Silversun Pickups, No Age, Deerhoof, The Melvins, Elliot Smith, Kid Congo Powers, Nikki Sudden and many more...
Halloween All Year Magazine by Gib Strange:
If you were sipping whiskey with Lily Marlene at one of her favourite trashy Hollywood drag bars you might never suspect that the petite, soft spoken, glam rocker in black with the hybrid English accent could unleash such a fierce inner spirit when on stage. Her swamp momma ghost blues seems to come from nowhere in search of our filthy hearts and bringing with it a sickly sweet deathrock kiss. One only needs to watch Lily sitting alone with her guitar performing a wild, twisted version of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” to know she’s as genuine as they come.
Here’s what I’ve gathered about Lily’s background: After moving from London to Los Angeles in the early nineties, she played in teen grunge phenomenon THE GROWN-UPS with future SHARP EASE singer Paloma Parfrey. Then she formed LILY AND THE LADIES with Buko Pan Guerra and Lady Annabella who specialized in an almost psychedelic brand of rock and roll. Lily is so enigmatic that that’s kind of how I feel about classifying the songs. But suffice it to say that the style is as diverse as delta blues, French pop, and sixties garage rock and the result is fantastically inexplicable music.
Lily’s attitude and approach is completely dauntless. You know how Marc Bolan could take any simple bubblegum lyric and endow it with some special hidden value? Her songs are full of the kind of sharp word play that makes pop music dangerous. Of course it helps having a siren’s voice like hers—capable of force and precision but also quavering like a sudden chill and stretching itself through the air in a beautiful flux
This is not in praise of Lily’s breasts, which are great, but I sometimes like to pretend I’m watching a Russ Meyer flick when I see her play, maybe the one he wanted to make with The Sex Pistols. But in addition to that almost camp aesthetic, there’s also this Satanic quality about her stage presence that reminds me of some sort of irresistible Kenneth Anger muse. She’s always well dressed too! She arrives proudly displaying the forgotten treasures of what I imagine must be expert searches of the best second hand stores in town. That’s how the lady is—she has a great eye. She could draw you a treasure map of her home neighborhood, downtown Los Angeles. I took a tour myself and she showed me a completely different LA than the one I knew, opening my eyes to all the hidden little sights that make the city interesting. I suspect that’s how she approaches art as well, tracing all the forbidden genealogies of music and movie history and weaving the best elements into her own personal musical language.
So if you find yourself in some seedy dive deep in the dark heart of Los Angeles, and you see a pale face with doe eyes smiling to herself, beware, you just may be drinking with the infamous vampire dolly rocker Lily Marlene.”