The Topp Twins shared a womb so travelling in a small red shed on wheels for their national tour will be roomy, jokes Jools Topp.
Jools and twin sister Lynda will stop at the Matakana Country Park woolshed on April 22 and 23 during their ‘Heading for the Hills’ tour.
Their travelling accommodation, purpose-built by Ashburton locals, is nicknamed ‘stinky’ after wagons that road workers lived in and dried socks over potbelly stoves. The Topp’s version will have a small kitchen, room to sleep, hang costumes and house Jools’ dog White Feather.
Jools says they enjoyed the last time they toured in close comfort for the Gypsy Caravan Tour in 1989. The Kiwi music and character comedy icons have been busy travelling NZ for the past three years for the TV1 show Topp Country.
The culinary journey “poking our noses in other people’s backyards” features locals like the family behind Lothlorien feijoa winery at Ahuroa.
“There are so many people doing weird and beautiful things, coming up with an idea and following it to fruition. The show ended up being about couples and what it means to have a great partnership,” Jools says.
Her partnership with Lynda has grown even stronger after battling breast cancer.
“We don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.”
She says they love performing live.
“It’s our greatest joy. With filming you can do it again, but performing you’ve got one crack at it.”
The latest show will be family-friendly with comedy, music, yodelling and iconic favourite characters including Ken and Ken, Camp Mother and Camp Leader and the bowling ladies.
“It’ll be a bit of everything and a good time. If you don’t get that you’ve been short changed.”
Jools told Mahurangi Matters they do their homework for each country town they visit by reading the local paper and incorporating topical issues in the show.
They have a head start in Auckland’s north, where Lynda had a bach in Leigh and Jools has a horse ranch in South Head Kaipara.
They both still have strong connections with rural life and it is the theme of their tour.
“It’s where we come from, we will always honour that; we are farming stock. If you’ve ever been a farmer or lived off the land you know it never leaves you,” Jools says.
They also enjoy the pace of country life, say there is time to slow down and turn off your devices, but at the same time “country folk know how to have fun”.
The Topp Twins are originally from Huntly and have been performing for 35 years. They have received the New Zealand Order of Merit and Honorary Doctorates, and in 2010 were inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame in 2010.