Musical comedy is nothing new; but nothing quite matches the powerhouse duo Die Roten Punkte for spot-on musical satire, hilarious stage personas and thumping good tunes.
You should stop reading this review right now, and go and book tickets. This smash hit of the Edinburgh Festival is only showing at the Brisbane Festival until Saturday 3 October - go, go now!
Die Roten Punkte is German for "The Red Spot", and the brother-sister combination of Otto and Astrid Rot certainly bear a passing resemblance to The White Stripes. But there is more here; their Robot/Lion show bears a heavy debt to Kraftwerk and Plastic Bertrand, with nods to David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, The Cure, Beth Ditto and Nick Cave.
Otto and Astrid hail from Berlin; Otto is the boyish straight-laced but emotional guitarist, who constantly tries to keep his bon vivant drummer sister Astrid off the more traditional rock 'n' roll path of drugs, booze and sex. Together, they're the heavily made-up, self-styled "Best Band in the World", and they're here to show you how to "Rock Bang!"
The interplay between these dysfunctional Teutonic siblings is what makes the show shine: Otto tries to serenade a female audience member (in this case, yours truly) by declaring her his "Straight Edge Girl" (sadly appropriate for those of you who know me); only to be upstaged by Astrid achieving a musical climax to the smashing drums of "omg yeah". The pair reveal their sordid family history in the 8 minute epic "The 4:15 to Spandau Will Not Run Today"; before getting the audience up and dancing to "Astrid's Drinking Song" - complete with non-alcholic alternatives suggested by Otto.
The highlight in undoubtedly the song that gives the show its title: "Ich Bin Nicht Ein Roboter (I Am A Lion)". The choreography, key-tar and cowbell (yes! cowbell!) are spectacular enough; but the pitch of this electronica number is so perfect, it would have been a smash hit in Europe in the 80s.
If you're still unconvinced, you should know that after the show - I purchased not only the CD, but the special Robot/Lion souvenir t-shirt. Did you hear that? I went to a rock comedy concert and - for the first time ever - bought the t-shirt.
Die Roten Punkte Robot/Lion is playing until Saturday 3 October at The Carnival's Edge. Tickets cost $28/$25 - but I would advise seeing them now, because in years to come they're going to cost you a lot more.