This summer is shaping up to be one of the biggest seasons for concerts ever in New Zealand. With a huge line-up of international acts alongside the usual packed festivals, music fans are spoiled for choice.

However, one home-grown act has big plans to out-pop them all. Two Hearts, the musical comedy from Laura Daniel (Jono and Ben) and Joseph Moore (Fail Army), returns to Q Theatre this week for the "glorious return" of their Auckland World tour.

That may seem a little on the nose for a fairly new act but, as the two comedians explain, that is the point. Daniel says pop music is easily parodied and rife for comedy while Moore sees arena shows as a kind of comedy in their own way.

"In the way they will kind of do anything to look sick," he explains.


In Two Hearts, the two play "heightened versions" of themselves masquerading as slightly pretentious pop stars in what is both a tribute and parody to the genre.

"A lot of this show, we were kind of poking fun at but also embracing pop music's desire to cover all the issues and make social issues trendy," Moore says. "They'll take issues that are genuinely important, but since things go through 80 people before it becomes a song, it goes kind of wrong."

A number of the songs make light of that trend while allowing the pair to work their own comedy into performances.

"We were trying to come up with ideas for songs and I said, 'It's like when you want to be a feminist but there's one girl you really hate'," Daniel says. "We've got a song about loving all the women in the world except for one… We do a very misguided kind of comedy."

Part of the comedy comes from trying to make a big scale event on such a small budget. While a grant from Comedy Festival helped get the first show off the ground, it hasn't allowed them to reach their full potential.

"We don't have a million dollars as I imagine Taylor Swift spends on her things. We were unable, on a budget, to achieve my dream of us flying over the crowd," Moore laments. "That's a work in progress."

The show's musical side comes from their shared love of the genre.

"For me personally, I've always wanted to make real music," Moore says. "I can't sing but I've always wanted to make the beats for pop music. My connections are not in that scene.

"Before Laura joined us at Jono and Ben, we tried to get stuff off the ground but we lacked the front person for it, and it was to my great delight to discover Laura is a very good singer and very good at selling jokes."

The pair's original songs will be familiar to any regular viewer of the TV sketch comedy show Jono and Ben. These have included Daniel's tribute to her home town, Palmy North, and a romantic ballad during the election, Orange Guy.

With plans to tour the show around New Zealand next year, as well as international festivals, the home-grown act could soon be giving their idols a run for their money.
What: Two Hearts
Where & when: Loft at Q Theatre, Tuesday-Saturday