The first thing that strikes an audience at a Topp Twins gig is the what the hell is this? factor. And anyone who has stumbled across the Kiwi comedians’ television show late at night would know all about it. It’s part country music sing-along, part bizarre character comedy. In New Zealand -“ where the Twins are household names -“ the tv show is on at 7pm.
We’re truly weird, hey? Jools Topp asks. Topp explains her Kiwi primetime television success like this: We’re real. We’re the only real TV around. The other stuff’s bullshit.
Topp has been singing and mucking around with twin sister Lynda since they were kids growing up on their parents’ dairy farm. When she picks up the phone, she explains she’s just come back from doing something to horse’s feet.
That’s my other job. When I’m not doing singing I’m starting horses and trimming feet, she says.
It seems an odd other occupation for an entertainer, doesn’t it? But it’s very nice and keeps me sane. It’s very creative hanging around with horses -“ every now and then you’ve got to get a boot in the head to remind you you’re on the wrong track.
The Topp Twins are about to set out on another NSW club tour, and audiences who have seen them before can expect more of the same (I suppose we’ll be funny again, Jools says).
For those who haven’t taken in a Topp Twins show before, prepare for anything.
There isn’t a show that’s ever the same. With our show we say, come with us. Meet our characters and then at the end you might really meet us, Jools says.
People say: what is it you do? What is it you’re trying to get across? And I go, I don’t know. We just go out there and play with our audience and sing a few songs and make a few jokes. That’s the simplicity of it -“ we’re not trying to get too clever or smart.
We love parodying ourselves and all of our parodies are based on a type of person. Like our Camp Mother and Camp Leader characters -“ there’s a lot of women like that in New Zealand. They can save the world with the contents of their handbag. They can jack up the tyre and change it on the truck and make a batch of scones at the same time.
The Topp Twins have never avoided questions about their sexuality. Both have been out lesbians since the 70s, and Jools says it’s never been an issue to any of their audiences -“ whether they’ve been at the Edinburgh Festival or Rooty Hill RSL.
It ain’t no big deal to us. We aren’t waving any banner. We got that out of the way in the 70s so no-one could put any bullshit on us. If I go out into the garage and I cut my hand I bleed just like straight people, she says.
In a way we’ve had some responsibility to the gay community, being out there and being seen. All sorts of people see us and think, -˜Jeez, those people are pretty normal.’ We’re a couple of dairy farmer’s daughters. You can’t get much simpler than that. We just say, this is who we are. But on the same hand our show’s about involving everybody. It’s not about putting anybody down. If anyone’s going to look silly, it’s us.
The Topp Twins are performing at: Ettalong Beach Club on Wednesday 1 September -“ bookings 4341 1166; Rooty Hill RSL on Thursday 2 September -“ bookings 9677 4916; Yallah Woolshed on Friday 3 September -“ bookings 4262 2655; Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL on Saturday 4 September -“ bookings 9559 0000; and Sunday 5 September at North Sydney Leagues Club -“ bookings 9466 8888.