Vika and Linda Bull

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Vika and Linda Bull

One of the standout tracks of Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul Sessions is ‘Sweet Guy’; a Paul Kelly classic, the lead vocal is by none other than Vika Bull. About to head out on tour with Kelly over January and February, this is where we begin to chat ahead of their performance at Motor City Music Festival over the March long weekend.
“This record that we have made with Paul is something very different as to what you’d usually expect. It was really good fun and from the outset he wanted to make a soul record and he wrote all these fantastic tracks. There are many different people singing and collaborating on this album and I think that’s one of the main factors. It feels very inclusive and I can’t wait to get out on the road with it. It’s a four-month tour all around Australia and it should be good fun.”
Having sung with Kelly for a number of years, Bull feels that this album was the most fun to be involved with because of the number of musicians and singers involved with it. Over the years, the Bull sisters have had the opportunity to support and work with the likes of Billy Joel, Joe Cocker, Sting, Bob Dylan and Paul Kelly in addition to their solo careers; yet it all started in the mid-eighties upon being asked to join The Black Sorrows.
“We were fresh out of school and had a hit with Chained to the Wheel and went touring the world for seven years. It was pretty full-on and Linda and I didn’t realise what was happening, how lucky we were to be touring on that scale and being looked after.
“Looking back, I wish that it could have happened a little slower so that we could appreciate it a little more. We were chucked into the deep end and singing six nights and that really help build up our vocal chops.”
Supporting musical legends such as Dylan and Joel meant that Vika and Linda were thrust into the big capacity venues, and although they are thankful for the opportunity, it was a little overwhelming at the same time. “Although it was very fun to work in those venues with big production and sound, it was very daunting as well. You’re a little bit out of your depth and the crowd aren’t there to see you. I don’t really like doing it because it is overwhelming, but it was a great learning experience nonetheless.”
Over their 25-year career, Vika and Linda have also performed for the King of Tonga for his 70th birthday celebrations, performed in the bullring in Pamplona, and for the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Ruben Carter. “We are really lucky with our job that we are able to see all of these different places around the world.
“We never really thought we would have these opportunities, but they have been some of the best of our career.”
With a gig lined up at Motor City Music Festival, Vika Bull finished the interview like this: “We are really looking forward to coming back down to Geelong. I was reading up on the festival and it seems huge. Everybody should come down and party with us!”
When&Where: Motor City Music Festival
By Tex Miller