Vika Bull – The Life and Music of Marvin Gaye

Vika Bull 1For 25 years, the glorious voices of Vika and Linda Bull have comprised one of the most distinctive, versatile and emotionally charged sounds on the Australian music landscape. Since their multi-platinum conquest of pop radio with the Black Sorrows in the late 1980s, the sisters have forged diverse pathways into soul, gospel, blues, country and the island music of their Tongan ancestry.

By turns tender and powerful, their rich solo vocals and instinctive harmonies have spawned eight albums of their own, as well as illuminating studio and concert performances by Paul Kelly, Renee Geyer, John Farnham, Hunters & Collectors, Tim Finn, Kasey Chambers, John Butler and many more. Born of a Tongan mother and Australian father, Vika and Linda have been singing together for as long as they can remember. (from their website).

 

 

 

Now, excitingly, Vika will be singing together with Lloyd Cele in The Life and Music of Marvin Gaye at Joburg Theatre from 7 – 16 May 2015. 

These two fine voices are perfectly suited to bring you the life and music of Marvin Gaye and the women in his career.

Vika Bull sings I’d Rather Go Blind as part of The Etta James Story in The Sydney Opera House.

Your character is an amalgam of the three main women in Marvin’s life; Tammy Tyrell, Diana Ross and Anna Gordy. How interesting is it to play these three influential women all in one show?

I am telling their story not acting. I am singing Tammi’s parts and Diana’s parts and Kim Weston’s parts as well. Marvin sang a lot of duets with different women but I think Tammi was his favourite. Anna Gordy sounds like my type of women – a little bit fiesty – I like that.

Please describe the experience of supporting Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sting and Joe Cocker.

Vika Bull 2The experience was getting the opportunity to perform on very big stages with very big PA’s and performing in fronVika Bull 4t of crowds that otherwise would probably never come to see me perform at all. Being able to watch these people work was incredible – a master class.

Is there anything specific you can tell us about the production of the Marvin Gaye story?

Marvin is a very important musician – someone everyone should know about. His music, his life and how he wrote about things that were happening around him and how they affected him. His songs are incredible and in the show we perform 24 of them.

Back in Australia you’re well known both in your own right as well as part of Vika and Linda. What’s it like to come to a country where you’re relatively unknown and take part in a show like this?

I am so excited to be given the opportunity to visit South Africa. I never thought I would ever be able to visit there – it is a dream come true. I am a little nervous.

Is this your first time in South Africa? And welcome to South Africa!

First time and thank you.

What specifically are you looking forward to with the South African audiences?

I have no idea – I hope they clap and dance and sing and laugh and cry. I like audiences that do that – that get involved and I am hoping the South African audiences will be like that.

Is there anything specific you would like to get across in this interview?

No – just come to the show and have fun.

Thankyou and I’m really looking forward to seeing the show!

Thank you and I look forward to meeting you.

 

 

THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF MARVIN GAYE: on The Mandela stage from May 7th to May 16th 2015.

Read our interview with Lloyd Cele here and our interview with producer Simon Myers here. 

Simon Myers – The Life and Music of Marvin Gaye

simon myersSimon Myers has been producing films, promoting artists and presenting shows and concerts for the last 15 years. Among his many achievements, in 2009, Simon produced The Man in Black: The Johnny Cash Story which won a Helpmann Award in 2010 (Best Australian Contemporary Concert). As a Producer, Simon Myers has had a string of theatre successes; EVA – Tales From the Life of Eva Cassidy, enjoyed fourteen sold out performances and starred Clare Bowditch who brought the audience to their feet every night. As well, there was The John Denver Story; The Ultimate Rock n Roll Jam Session, Doris Day – So Much More Than The Girl Next Door; all of which featured fabulous musicians and musical arrangements.

You’ve just done some amazing shows including John Denver and Johnny Cash and your shows are a new theatre genre called Narrative Entertainment. Please tell us more about this and about your initiative Room 8?

The Narrative concert is a new format where we find fantastic performers, such as Lloyd, and get them to tell the story and sing the songs of a legendary star, such as Marvin Gaye. Rather than imitating, they pay homage to the star  by bringing their own fantastic talents to the  show.

Room 8 was formed by Moira Bennett and myself to provide top quality entertainment at an affordable price. To this end we have developed a new genre of theatre entertainment called “The Narrative Concert”. This genre is a mix of the life stories of the artist in question and the hit songs which brought the artist worldwide success. We engage local musicians whose standing in the marketplace ensures success.

Marvin GayeIs there anything specific you can tell us about the production of the Marvin Gaye story?

It’s full of great songs a smoking hot band and and two wonderful perfomers Lloyd Cele and Vika Bull. Half the band is from South Africa and half from Australia which is really  exciting  

How did you find Lloyd Cele?

The Joburg Theatre assisted in finding Lloyd.

Is this your first time in South Africa?  And welcome to South Africa!

Yes this is our first time in South Africa and hoepfully it will be the first of many.

What made you decide that the time was right for a Marvin Gaye show?

I suppose Marvin’s songs are timeless, however it seems recently  his songs or part of  songs are being used more and more  in movies and as inspiration for new R & B artists

What specifically are you looking forward to with the South African audiences?

I am hoping they love the show and I am sure they will love Lloyd’s and Vika’s performance. I’m sure there will be plenty of dancing in the aisles

Is there anything specific you would like to get across in this interview?

The fact that we are really excited to be working with the Joburg Theatre, Lloyd and the local musicians in a true Co – Production of the show.

Read our interviews with Lloyd Cele here and with Vika Bull here

THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF MARVIN GAYE: on The Mandela stage from May 7th to May 16th 2015.