STICKY BISCUITS - nerdy&naughty Comedy Songs (Berlin)

Sun 16th – Sat 29th August 2015

reviews

William Shaw

at 09:00 on 22nd Aug 2015

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Whoever it was that said German comedy is no laughing matter has clearly never seen Sticky Biscuits on stage. Berlin duo Naomi Fern and Marc Seestaedt have put together a rock solid comedy act, a lean, witty and hugely entertaining forty-five minutes of music, which frankly deserves a much larger audience than its small Cowgate venue is likely to allow for. The show's billing as a set of nerdy and naughty songs is not inaccurate, but rather undersells the sheer charm of these two performers and their skill at playing a crowd.

Both musicians sing while Fern plays the ukulele (that most clichéd of comedy instruments) and Seestadaedt plays an assortment of Casio and Yamaha novelty toys. This outfit looks a bit tacky and silly to start with, but the pair demonstrate a genuine creativity and cleverness which means they're able to create genuinely brilliant comedy out of such a basic setup.

The songs themselves are generally lovely, quirky and filthy in equal measure. Few performers could transition smoothly from a song about a zombie apocalypse/messy breakup to a song about fisting, employing the whimsical analogy of a sock puppet. It's this willingness to combine the sweet and the smutty which makes Sticky Biscuits such a unique act, with particular highlights including songs about gentrification and unrequited love, and a song detailing the Sad Reasons People Get Into Particle Physics. This is hugely witty, shocking stuff, but the pair carry it all with such grace that what could have been simply crass and horrible becomes charming and almost genteel.

It's not a flawless show; the songs are all very similar in tone and style, and there are places where the show feels at risk of feeling pretty samey. There were a few technical shortcomings as well, with sometimes lengthy periods of faffing about between songs as Seestaedt swaps between plastic novelty instruments. The act sometimes feels a bit disorganised, with the closing of the doors being an odd stumbling block at the beginning of the show.

But these are nit-picks in what is otherwise an utterly charming little show. At about forty-five minutes this is a lean and efficient show which brings a few nice little ideas to the table and doesn't outstay its welcome. A solid little show of the free fringe, Sticky Biscuits are a cheeky comedy act with a wonderfully dirty streak. Well worth a watch.

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Catherine Crook

at 09:09 on 22nd Aug 2015

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A Berlin-based duo, Sticky Biscuits are a comedy musical act that write songs on a variety of themes, such as death, misery, and threesomes. Making music with a variety of weird and wonderful instruments, Sticky Biscuits’ songs are catchy and light-hearted – if you’re anything like me, you’ll be singing ‘Sock Puppet’ all the way home.

The two halves of Sticky Biscuits, Naomi Fearn and Marc Seestaedt, are effortlessly charming and amusing, winning the audience over with their matching neon pink Lycra outfits and gift for small talk. Audience interaction was also aided by their card system, where they asked a question and audience members could hold up either a red, yellow or green card (for disagree, maybe, agree respectively), which led to some amusing moments, such as identifying the individuals in a room who would be “down for something sticky” and those who would most decidedly not.

Their quirkiness was aided by the mixture of eclectic instruments, such as a stylophone, a melodica, and the ever-present ukulele, providing a sweet and delicate sound to contrast their songs’ subject material – honestly, you’d be surprised just how delicate the orchestration can be on a song about fisting. The contrast between their cutesy, delicate sound and lyrics such as “cunnilingus sucks, when you’re fighting back acid reflux” was a comedic device that just kept on giving.

Admittedly, the songs are all a bit too similar – once you’ve heard the stylophone a few times, it starts to lose its charm with its noisy, buzzy weirdness. However, their formula is obviously tried and tested and definitely works, and the audience were amused and receptive throughout.

Sticky Biscuits lacks a certain polish to it, but their spirit of fun and bawdy lyrics, combined with their self-proclaimed ‘naughty and nerdy’ segments makes it a hilarious and surprisingly charming way to spend an hour, particularly considering it’s part of the Free Fringe! Quirky, ff-the-wall fun without a price tag, Sticky Biscuits is a great fun show from two delightfully entertaining hosts – and due to their matchmaking abilities, you may even find love as well, or something stickier.

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