Lynda and Jools Topp, identical twins with an eerie twin kinship and irresistible propensity for finishing each other's sentences, are as different from each other as they are from the stereotypical country & western, lesbian, political, theatrical humorists. More physically solid, Lynda has the magnificent yodel. Jools, sparer in size and in conversation, sports a dry sense of humor and comes alive on-stage, pacing their musical sets with her guitar.
Raised on a dairy farm on the north island of New Zealand, Lynda and Jools milked cows from ages five to 15 and obtained the "educational certificates that we needed in order to leave school." Taking inspiration from their mother, who used to sing, and a guitar given to them by their brother when they were 11, the Topp Twins got their chance to play and sing at a yearly local shindig. Lynda and Jools later moved to Christchurch, the biggest city on the south island, supporting themselves with blue-collar jobs. They played their first gig to 300 people there. A women's fundraiser followed, as did skits and theatre bits for their debut tour in 1979. Touring with Helen Caldicott in New Zealand and with Billy Bragg in England brought them an eclectic, loyal following. They were voted New Zealand's Entertainers of the Year in 1987. Their commissioned theatre show was voted Best TV Performance, the same year.
In response to their un-self-conscious charm and sense of fun, audiences have swelled around them across tiny New Zealand and the broader expanses of Australia, Canada, the United States, and the U.K. At the National Women's Music Festival, the audience liked the Topp Twins' yodeling so much that, following a main-stage appearance, the Topps drew a standing-room-only crowd for an after-hours coffeehouse set.