Vika and Linda Bull – Between Two Shores

Dunstan Playhouse 6:30pm 20th June 2019

VIKA and LINDA BULL – ‘Between Two Shores’ 4.5 Stars
Review by Gary Clarke

Vika and Linda Bull have been at it now for over 30 years since those heady days when they hooked up with Joe Camilliri in the 1980s. While many things have changed in the interceding decades some things have endured. The delightful Bull sisters have endured and indeed flourished. Their talents and musical credibility have developed and continue to mature to this day.

After just completing a tour across Australia they have arrived in Adelaide to bring us ‘Between Two Shores’, a reference to their Tongan and Australian roots and true to form we are treated to a rendition of a traditional Tongan folk song to kick off the show. But only one, because we are informed that it’s the only song the sisters can sing completely in the Tongan language ! Next up an Irish Lullaby dedicated to their dad who sang it to them every night as kids. All the songs in tonight’s show have personal meaning to the sisters and this is the tenor of the whole show.

The Bull sisters were brought up with Tongan church music in Melbourne and so they hit us with some gospel numbers because ” gospel is a workout for our voices” and they kicked it off with a searing versions of “Walk with me” and “Up above my head”. The harmonies were glorious.

As young girls growing up in 1970s Doncaster, TV was the thing and so they cut their musical teeth on theme tunes and advertising jingles. The main demographic of the audience found themselves singing along to Greenacres, Petticoat Junction, The Flintstones, Happy Days and Ads like Louis The Fly and one for “Linda” electric blankets that Linda Bull informs us is the source of her name. It was a lot of fun and very infectious.

Vika and Linda Bull are such icons of the Australian music scene and they project such a genuine joi de vivre that the almost full house were enraptured. Some other highlights were nods to friends and collaborators Paul Kelly and Jo Camilleri and a stunning solo version of “I’d Rather Go Blind” followed by Linda’s beautiful solo “Always on my mind”. Then there was a moving tribute to their Tongan grandfather and a rousing anthem, “Raise your Hands” written for the sisters by Casey Chambers and soon to be recorded for their upcoming album. Backed by an accomplished four piece band Vika and Linda gave us 90 minutes of their best and when they broke into a rousing and beautiful version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” they totally owned it ! The audience roared their approval with a standing ovation that continued well after the house lights cam on.

Review by Gary Clarke
for Kryztoff RAW. 4.5 Stars

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