Die Rotten Punkte are a a comedy rock duo from Austra… sorry, I mean Germany. Like The White Stripes, they wear red and black, play drums and guitar, and claim to be brother and sister. And this year, the have decided to bring their new show of songs and silliness, Otto and Astrid’s Joint Solo Project, to the Edinburgh Fringe.
Except they are very clear that this is not a Die Rotten Punkte show. Otto and Astrid, after years of arguing about which songs should be on their new album, have decided to embark on solo projects. But as they couldn’t find any other musicians to play with them, they have agreed to play their solo projects at the same time, as each other’s backing band. Hence, joint solo project.
Otto and Astrid’s Joint Solo Project is at its core a rock show, and as you would hope, the songs are great. If you’re unfamiliar with their music, imagine an indie rock version of Tenacious D, Flight of the Conchords or Steel Panther. Otto has a catchy garage song called ‘I Wanna Be Your Kitten’, inspired by ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ by Iggy and the Stooges but with a more relatable and friendly animal. Meanwhile, Astrid gives us a sultry electro pop song full of double entendre about food called ‘Tasty Snak’, which sounds like a Blackpink song only with more innuendo.
Just as funny as the songs are the banter between them. Throughout the show there is this running narrative of the tension between the two characters, which escalates into Astrid drawing a ‘wall’ out of tape across the stage to stop Otto from interacting with her (‘have we not learnt from history?’ Otto objects). Some jokes are a little obvious and low-rent, but the interplay between the two very different characters is always funny, as is whenever Astrid tries to get on and off the drum kit which is a little bit too high for her.
It’s not easy to mix comedy and music, but Otto and Astrid’s Joint Solo project is a funny premise executed well. Even if rock music isn’t your thing, I dare you not to be singing ‘Party Explosion’ to yourself when you leave the venue.