Comedy review: Flo and Joan: Before the Screaming starts, Assembly George Square Gardens, Piccolo, Edinburgh

With that mix of empathy and tension that defines all sibling bands, Flo & Joan, aka Nicola and Rosie Dempsey, have been watching the infamous Bros documentary with trepidation.

Flo and Joan: Before the Screaming Starts, Assembly George Square Gardens, Piccolo (Venue 3)

Flo & Joan: Before the Screaming Starts, Assembly George Square Gardens – Piccolo * * *

But the singing sisters generally maintain a united front.

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Notwithstanding a deliberate false start, their opening track, Confidence, establishes the feminist swagger coursing through their set, and the sort of direct, expletive-punctuated responses to misogyny and brazen stupidity that is their stock-in-trade. Indeed, a running folk ballad, in the vein of Scarborough Fair, finds the protagonist adopting a #TimesUp stance of hip hop-endowed empowerment to put would-be suitors and haters firmly in their place.

Elsewhere, a trip they took to Disney World found the Florida hospitality a little too right-on, and they capably mock the certitude of anti-vaxxers, suggesting ulterior motives in a tune that showcases their versatility. Pulling an Irish Goodbye extends the Celtic theme of the slur with the traditional sound of bodhrán and tin whistle, a wake disappointing in its potential for hooking up. With Nicola generally sat deadpan beyond her keyboard, Rosie, on drums – a bone of contention between them – is more expressive. Starting to freeze each other out in affected dispute, they nevertheless reconcile their differing styles in a sober-enthusiastic, melodically hybrid finale. Entertaining without reinventing the musical comedy genre.


Until 25 August