A rock guitar-playing punsmith may sound like it has a niche appeal to a certain type of Fringegoer, but Robin Boot’s early afternoon show in Whistlebinkies managed to pull in a crowd with a 50-year age range, and left nobody disappointed.
A range of comedy rock songs and clever, unpredictable puns
Boot kicks off from the back of the room, dropping a killer AC/DC riff and walking on to a beautifully lit smoke-filled stage. High production values for a show on the PBH Free Fringe, and further evidence that the free shows can match the quality of the bank-breakers of the festival. He certainly looks the part, and is so comfortable holding his guitar one suspects he may feel naked without it. On that note, despite the implied nudity in his marketing, he remains fully clothed throughout the show (for better or worse!).
Over the course of the next hour, Boot delivers a range of comedy rock songs and clever, unpredictable puns. There is a wide scope of quality with the gags – some highbrow, some toilet humour, some falling flat, and some being rewarded with belly laughs from across the room. A few of the punchlines are a little cliché if you watch a lot of one-liner comics, but the setups are all original and well crafted. Listen out for his Def Leppard joke which was the standout for me. Subjects for his songs include online dating, an hilarious Eye of the Tiger parody and a number that will never let you look at your teddy bear the same way again. At some points he had audience members unconsciously tapping their toes, which is always a sign of a winner.
Boot bounces off his audience well on the occasions where he directly interacts with individuals, but his general “Is there anyone here who…?” comments are mostly met with silence. The songs are all fun and the guitaring is top notch. Well worth a punt for anyone who is tempted by the show description, with the added bonus of free entry and paying what you think the show is worth on departing.