Opera House, Wellington

01/11/2014 - 01/11/2014

Whanganui Opera House, Whanganui

31/10/2014 - 31/10/2014

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

29/10/2014 - 30/10/2014

Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland

24/10/2014 - 26/10/2014

Regent On Broadway, Palmerston North

02/11/2014 - 02/11/2014

Production Details

Topp Twins Continue Tour Celebrating Country Music Greats 

  • New Album #1 in NZ Music Charts
  • Featuring special guests Tami Neilson, Phil Doublet, Cam Luxton
  • Fiddler extraordinaire Marian Burns joins the tour

“sheer entertainment …a slam-dunk hayride to hitsville” – Southland Times 

Well-loved New Zealand entertainers Lynda and Jools Topp begin the North Island leg of their national tour this week in their brand new show paying homage to country music greats and celebrating contemporary Kiwi music. 

With six South Island shows behind them, The Grand Ole Topp’ry now heads to Napier, Hamilton, Auckland, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Wellington and Palmerston North. 

The Topp Twins in The Grand Ole Topp’ry is playing at the Bruce Mason Centre on Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October.

Reminiscent of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, where comedy and country music always went hand in hand, the Topps’ hilarious characters host The Grand Ole Topp’ry channeling stars from the US Country Music Hall of Fame, and joined by New Zealand’s top country music performers. 

The story of Country Music from the swamps of Tennessee to the Waikato hills has never been told, so come along for the ride of your lives. Special guests include 2014 New Zealand Country Music Awards Best Female winner and Silver Scrolls finalist Tami Neilson, supported by Dave Khan and Ben Woolley, 2014 New Zealand Country Music Awards Best Male winner and legend guitarist Phil Doublet, 2014 New Zealand Country Music Awards Horizon Award winner Cam Luxton, and New Zealand fiddler extraordinaire Marian Burns replacing all-girl Johnny Cash band The Johnnys who played in the South Island shows. 

The Grand Ole Topp’ry tour comes hot on the heels of the release of The Topp Twins’ new CD The Very Best of The Topp Twins which is currently at #1 in the New Zealand Music Charts, while Tami Neilson’s album Dynamite is at #7 and Cam Luxton’s debut album Laid Back Man is at #9. 

Lynda Topp says that just as Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry has changed over the years, like the Topp Twins, it has remained a cultural institution. 

“Our take on the Grand Ole Opry (Topp’ry) celebrates country music’s diversity and it’s a night of rollicking good fun, foot-stomping music to laugh and live by. You will laugh, stomp and holler and perhaps, even shed a tear.”


NAPIER: Municipal Theatre | Wednesday 22 October | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

HAMILTON: Founders Theatre | Thursday 23 October | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) SOLD OUT

AUCKLAND: Bruce Mason Centre | 24-26 October | Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999

NEW PLYMOUTH: TSB Showplace| 29 & 30 October | Book at Ticketmaster 0800 111 999

WANGANUI: Royal Wanganui Opera House | Friday 31 October | Book at

WELLINGTON: Opera House | Saturday 1 November | Book at Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

PALMERSTON NORTH: Regent on Broadway | Sunday 2 November| Book at TicketDirect 0800 4 TICKETS (484 253)

A Variety Show with real class

Review by Holly Shanahan 30th Oct 2014

Every time I have seen the Topp Twins it has been a total delight, and they certainly did not disappoint a full house at the TSB Showplace in New Plymouth (where they have had to add a show due to demand: go the Naki!). This show, however, differs from their standard format, playing out much more as a variety show, with some of the most talented country/blues performers NZ has to offer. It is a testament to Linda and Jools Topp’s support for, and love of, country music. 

The Twins introduce a few new characters in this show, each doing segments comprising only a song or two. Not quite as much as I would have liked to see but delightful nonetheless.

There are the staple Kens and the Gingham sisters, alongside the all new ‘Buck brothers’, an uber hillbilly duo from Arkansas. One of the funniest moments comes from this duo, as Jools’ huge character buck-teeth come flying out mid song. In true Topp Twins style, it all becomes part of the act, and very funny at that!

The other new character is the all-American Tammy Wire-Netting, who give a few old croony country numbers in that smooth southern drawl.

In the Twins’ interludes between acts, they also give us a bit of country music history. The title of the show is derived from the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Often called the ‘home of country music’, it has launched and presented many of the most famous country artists in the world. As we hear the history of the venue, we also hear a few renditions of songs by artists who graced the stage there from the Twins, and special guests.

Tami Neilson is the first special guest, and she certainly is that. Originally from Canada, now a true-blue Kiwi, this woman deserves all the praise and accolades coming her way. Her voice is immaculate, and the passion and joy with which she tears out classics and her own original songs stops you in your tracks. I particularly love her Hank Williams number and the upbeat originals she whips out in the second half of the show. For all her energy and enthusiasm it is hard to believe she is on the road with a 4 month old baby! A nominee for the Silver Scroll (announced tonight),* she will be a name Kiwis will know in years to come.

Cam Luxton, accompanied by the no less than the incredible guitarist Phil Doublet, ps next, with piercingly pure gospel numbers and mainstream country folk. This young man too has a huge future. The winner of the Golden guitar, he is off to Nashville to perform next year and I have no doubt someone will snap this handsome talented young man up in a heartbeat. The duo’s harmonies are particularly beautiful.

The other guests to join the Twins are ‘the boys in the band’ Dave Khan and Ben Woolley, again two more accomplished musicians, and the absolute joy that is fiddler extraordionaire Marian Burns. Burns is one of those people who make you smile just by seeing her; she is remarkable to watch. 

Back with the Twins, their audience antics are are mad as ever and so damn charming that, looking around, there isn’t one audience member too cool or bored to join in. There is even an older gent doing pirouettes in the front row. That is the likeability, experience and comedic skill of these two.

On the whole, those expecting a ‘Topp Twins show’ will get something a little unexpected. The Grand Ole Topp’ry is a variety show and will appeal not only the the Twins’ fan base but to country music fans in general. Although not a die-hard country fan myself, I don’t know how an audience could fail to get swept up in the upbeat swinging numbers, or just admire beautiful voices singing the blues, with some good old classic Topp Twins humour to keep things rolling.

It almost feels like something that should happen around the country every year: A Variety Show with real class that’s also fun, frivolous and showcasing some of our best talent. 

*And Canadian Country singer Tami Neilson and her co-writer and brother Joshua Neilson have indeed won the Apra Silver Scroll Award for Walk (Back to Your Arms) in a ceremony at Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena tonight.


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council