After six years of rocking, self-titled best band in the world Die Roten Punkte have now become an important fixture in the Melbourne comedy firmament- not just for the annual reprise of their show, but their frequent appearances at Festival Club and their often-epic ‘Haus Parties’. If you’ve not yet seen them live (and if you haven’t, you should), ‘The Red Dots’ are a comedy band comprised of German siblings Astrid and Otto Rot. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the act is that the songs, in addition to being very funny, are actually also very good musically (a frequent failing in other comedy bands)- you can rock out to them completely independently of the context. Musical highlights from their latest festival show Eurosmash!
include the opening number ‘Do You Speak Dance?’, a Eurovision-esque vision of breakdancing aliens; and a ‘We Are the World’-like charity-parody that is so bang-on you can’t help but sing along.Almost as importantly, each song also adds a new layer of world-building onto the Die Roten Punkte mythos- there are little callbacks and references to songs and shows throughout the band’s career- you don’t need to get these to enjoy the show, but if you’ve been a long-time fan it really contributes to the sense that this band a has a real, coherent history. This commitment to the illusion is so strong that the characters can go almost anywhere- two hecklers were not just shut down, but actually incorporated into the show in a long running joke that paid big dividends.
The downside of this familiarity is that it is familiar- the characters are so well drawn by this time that you almost know what is going to happen- Astrid will sneak booze behind the drumkit, Otto will try to kiss Astrid- this happens in every DRP show and while it will be no less funny to newcomers, there may be diminishing returns for repeat viewer- while there are all new songs, conceptually there is nothing significantly new here that wasn’t here in previous years.
But the performers are so warm, so full of personality, that I found that personally this didn’t make any difference- I was just as happy and entertained as I was the very first time I saw them. You fall in love with the characters- you wish they were real. The real trick of the show is that, by the end of this highly entertaining show, you almost believe they are. Highly recommended.