TSB Bank Mainstage, Nelson

25/10/2012 - 26/10/2012

Nelson Arts Festival 2012

Production Details

One of the few New Zealand acts that can undoubtedly be called a cultural institution, these truly original entertainers return to Nelson. 

National treasures The Topp Twins have performed around the world as an original country music and comedy duo for more than 25 years. Known for their vast array of personas and ability to re-invent themselves on stage, they change character, musical styles and gender with ease. Armed with guitar, mouth-harp and spoons they deliver original songs, encourage audience participation and comedy in a fast-paced and hilarious entertainment experience.

‘…these sisters are the best thing to come out of New Zealand since lamb chops.’ – The Toronto Star

Thur 25 Oct 7.30pm, Fri 26 Oct 8.30pm
TSB Bank Mainstage
110 minutes, including interval

PRICING:  GA Seating: Early bird $38 • Full $42 (Plus service fee)
BOOKINGS:  Everyman Records   03 548 3083   or book online here  

1hr 50 mins, incl. interval

Favourite characters, spontaneous repartee and fine singing form Kiwi treasures

Review by Gail Tresidder 26th Oct 2012

From their radical busker beginnings through thirty-three years of touring New Zealand and the world, 54 years old Lynda and Jools Topp, Camp Mother and Camp Leader to the nation, are now iconic Kiwi treasures, perhaps even higher than the buzzy bee in popular esteem.

Appearing on stage in extraordinarily tiny black and white gingham skirts, hitched high on shirred elastic waistbands, their ensemble fetchingly set off by silly straw hats, the Topp Twins instantly engage this audience, enraptured with the glory of their ensembles.  From the very young to the very old, we start laughing and hardly stop throughout the concert.

As Lynda and Jools are so popular they could probably just stand on the stage, strum a guitar, do a little yodelling, play the harmonica, demonstrate dexterity with spoons and bring out the same old, same old material.  It is a possibility but this concert, combining new material with old favourites, is noticeably different from their last one here in Nelson two years ago. The best remain.  In a glittering pink pant suit, Lynda’s air-brushed short and long poi routine is still a riot as are Camp Leader’s inane and infectious giggles.

The recruitment, willing or otherwise, of a man in the audience to help Lynda up and down off the stage is an anticipated part of any Topps concert.  This time it was Kevin’s turn, given plenty of advice in the execution of his duties.  “Not so high, Kev, not so high, I’ll get carpet burn!” one of her better double entendres.  He is rewarded by leading us in a song and dance routine of “Da Doo Ron Ron” and retreats to his seat, somewhat thankfully, one would imagine, clutching the Twins latest DVD.

Their spontaneous repartee, together and with the audience, is quick as a flash and often mordantly amusing.  To a group of three friends – “Oh, you are a threesome: must be from Golden Bay” – and to others, here from Invercargill, they wonder whether there is anyone left in that city.  They chat with Owen and Edith from Stoke and a Nelson woman who is bothered with the Council not helping her out with a parking problem: “We have nothing to do tomorrow, so we’ll come and paint some yellow lines on the road for you.”  Eventually from Jools, “We’re too old for this, Linda.”

The twins grew up on a farm with 69 cows.  They knew all their names.   We listen to them as they voice their opposition to factory farming of dairy cows and join in their protest song by loudly singing the chorus “Holy Cow”.  Even though their campaigning zeal may have modified somewhat, it is good to see Lynda and Jools remain passionate and this is much appreciated by the audience. 

Apart from all the jokes, we are treated to some very fine singing.   Slim Dusty’s song ‘When the rain tumbles down in July’, ‘Here I am on the railroad’ blues and Patsy Kline’s ‘Honky Tonk Angel’ are particularly enjoyable.  Old favourites like ‘Untouchable Girls’, ‘Pinto Pony’ and ‘That’s Home Sweet Home to me’, are also warmly received, as are the encores, ‘Palomino Moon’ and ‘Calf Club Day’, Jules singing high and sweet.

All three of their concerts here in Nelson, two for a general audience and one for children, are sold out.  Jools looks wonderful – healthy and well.  One hopes that she and Lynda will be happy to entertain and delight us for many years to come – at least until they qualify for the pension! 


Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council