The self-proclaimed “best band in the world”, Die Roten Punkte, may have broken up, but (fictional) siblings Otto and Astrid are back at the Potato Shed this week to present their very first joint solo project show.
Otto and Astrid (aka Daniel Tobias and Clare Bartholomew), whose shows have received international critical acclaim for the better part of 20 years, recently split due to numerous personal and professional difficulties.
However, after both struggled to find musicians to replace each other they agreed, “for the sake of the music”, to be each other’s backing musicians.
“It’s not always easy to find people that like to hang out in the same way that you like to,” Otto said.
“For me, I like to go to museums and eat fruits and stuff. And some people are just wanting to go to the pub all the time. And so you don’t always find it easy to find people that are like-minded, you know?”
Astrid had other difficulties retaining a backing band.
“People didn’t like the way I ran my rehearsals; I guess you could say they walked out,” she said.
“It was just really hard to find musicians that would stick around. So unfortunately, now I have to play Otto’s songs on his half of the concert and Otto has to play on my half of the songs.”
The pair, born in Berlin, became orphans when a trip to the zoo for Astrid’s 12th birthday turned to tragedy, with their parents getting run over by a train (or eaten by a lion, depending on who you ask).
Some years later, the young orphans saw David Bowie in concert, who seemed to appear to them as “a golden angel” with a fateful message.
“I feel like he reached out to us and was like, this is your destiny, Otto and Astrid,” Astrid said.
“You have to be powerful musicians in the world. And here we are, heading to Warrnambool and Geelong and Portland.”
Astrid said in honour of the Potato Shed she would only eat potatoes on the day of the performance.
Berlin’s prince and princess of art rock and Europop, Otto and Astrid are at the Potato Shed on Wednesday, November 22 at 8pm.