Topp Twins – As Kiwi As Buzzy Bee
New Zealand’s Topp Twins are bringing their show Heading for the Hills to the Gisborne War Memorial Theatre on October 13. “They love New Zealand’s provincial towns so the yodelling cowgirls will be right at home when they come riding around the mountain (figuratively speaking) next month,” writes Mark Peters in an article in the Gisborne Herald.
“Armed with guitar, mouth-harp and spoons, and stocked with characters like side-burned, rollie-smoking, Ken and Ken, and Camp Mother and Camp Leader, the twins bring an old-fashioned style of entertainment to their audiences,” according to the article.
“So how does a sister act from 1950s Huntly, with 1970s feminism bubbling beneath their skins, flourish in 21st century New Zealand with its high-tech film companies, Maori arts brio and iconoclastic comedy,” asks Peters in the article.
“There’s no one else like us. What we choose for all our characters and concepts gets a laugh because it’s kiwiana. People say ‘that’s Dad, that’s Gran’. We allow ourselves to laugh at ourselves. Old school New Zealand is who we are,” said Jools Topp.
“Born in Huntly in 1958, Lynda and Jools Topp made their debut at five years old when they performed Walking in the Sunshine with boaters and canes at a cousin’s 21st party. They were brought up on movie musical-comedy and country standards. When Lynda heard her first yodel she became obsessed about learning it,” writes Peters.
“In 1977 they sang at the International Women’s Convention in Hamilton. With original songs like Paradise and We’ll Fight For Our Freedom they became the darlings of the women’s movement.”
“Feminism never goes away. It’s part of your makeup,” said Topp. “There was a time we were invincible, we could change the world. We marched on protests against the Springbok tour and nuclear warships.” The Twins also sang in support of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in the 1980s.
The Twins point out that there are not many protest marches anymore and also lament the widespread use of plastic.
“We don’t grow vegetables any more. Lynda and I think the next generation will call our generation the plastic generation. In my cupboard it’s glass jars and containers.”
“Camp Mother and Camp Leader, and Ken and Ken, bring back that moment in time. It’s OK to feel some soil in your hands,” said Todd.
“And that is the old-fashioned, down-to-earth New Zealand Jools and Lynda Topp aim to restore,” writes Peters.
“We bring what we can to little towns in New Zealand to bring people together. It’s silly and fun and beautiful. Sometimes we just need to laugh together.”
Article Source: Gisborne Herald, Mark Peters, September 28, 2017
Image Source: Twitter – ToppTwins