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Sisters singing in harmony


FOR AS far back as anyone in the

Bull family can remember it's al ways been Vika and Linda.

The Bull sisters were taught to sing in harmony with each other when they were only five years old by their mother, who was a soloist in a Tongan church choir.

Many childhood hours were whiled away in front of the television, mim icking renowned performing partners such as Donnie and Marie and Cher and Sonny. Although the youngsters joked about merrily chanting around the house, a career in singing was at the back of the minds of everyone within hearing distance.

"When we were growing up every one said they wanted to be a nurse or a haii-dresser," Vika said. "Back then singing wasn't the groovy thing

it is now."

Years down the track Linda trun dled off to art school to become a painter, and Vika became a secretary.

The "break-up" did not last as the sisters tossed in their respective jobs, retraced their steps to the fork in their paths and reunited in their first love. Since then the inseparable duo puts much of its compatibility down to the blood relationship that lends a certain flexibility.

"It's p-eat fun and we still get time to be sisters. You've always got your family with you," Vika said. "You can yell at your sister and not feel guilty about it.

"You hold back because you've got to deal with them the next day, whereas with your sister you can just say it and it's over."

The Tongan-Australian sisters said they had no problems deciding who sang what because when a tune came along it was obvious which one it would suit'.

Vika and Linda.

Their Tongan upbringing was largely responsible for the flavour of their music, which focused on island .rhythms and beats. After church in Melbourne Tongan feasts would be held with people congregating at the Bulls' house to eat, sing and play guitars and ukuleles. *

Vika said, "It didn't matter what the occasion was we would sing. We had harmonies around us ..., and now we mainly sing gospel .... It's a, way of letting loose, which is what gospel music is all about."

For the past six months the Bulls have toured Australia extensively, including three weeks on the road supporting Bily Joel laist November.

Reports of a "flawless" perform ance were buzzing, both backstage and in the audience, as the Bulls de livered their uplifting vocals and feisty gospel melodies.

They are on their own national tour offering tracks from their debut album Vika and Linda, soon to be re issued. It includes five gospel songs.

The Bull sisters perform at Til ley's Devine Cafe tomorrow (feb3) and Saturday night.