Nothing but exuberant

Linda and Jules Topp’s award-winning documentary The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls screened as part of the Inside Out LGBT film festival at the Royal Ontario Museum in May. The film is part documentary and part concert, with footage of the women in performance over their 25-plus-year career from busking on the street to sold-out shows. Their music is country-folk influenced, with tight harmonies and great joy in the mix and their style is best described as exuberant. “What else is there?” Lynda responds to a question about the delight that shows on their faces as they play and sing. The film also shows how the 52-year-old sisters have been agents of political change in New Zealand, campaigning against nuclear power and for Maori land rights, gay and lesbian rights and demanding the 1981 tour of New Zealand by the South African football club the Springboks, be halted. “It’s so subversive when you think about it,” says singer Billy Bragg in the film of the twins’ cross-cultural appeal. “Of all the forms, to choose county and western (music) is the most redneck, the most gender-specific of all popular culture. To use that as a way of pushing forward gay rights, it’s so subversive.”


Tags: Documentary  LGBT  Ontario  Star (The)  Topp Twins  Untouchable Girls  

Gemma New a Highlight of 2021 Classical Calendar

Gemma New a Highlight of 2021 Classical Calendar

The year in classical music was marked by challenge and determination as the pandemic continued its cultural stranglehold for much of 2021. But for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), which Wellington-born…