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VIKA & LINDA BULL MAKE GRAND RETURN RETURNING to the Grand Hotel Mornington, soulful powerhouse sisters – Vika & Linda Bull. For 30 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, Rockwiz, C.W. Stoneking, Deborah Conway, Kasey Chambers and many more. Their invitation to join Joe Camilleri’s Black Sorrows ushered in that band’s most successful era: Hold Onto Me, Harley and Rose and Better Times were all tripleplatinum albums between ‘88 and ‘92, and the sisters’ prominent vocals captivated massive audiences, here and worldwide. Vika & Linda, their debut album of 1994, was produced by Paul Kelly and written by some of the most accomplished songwriters of the era, including Paul Kelly, Joe Camilleri, Stephen Cummings, Mark Seymour and Nick Barker. The next decade found the sisters embracing a range of

musical possibilities on a string of albums. On stage and in the studio, they continue to seek challenges as diverse Tell The Angels, a gospel album recorded live in a Brunswick pub; Meet Me In the Middle of the Air, an innovative mix of jazz and

gospel created by Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowsky; The Merri Soul Sessions presented by Paul Kelly and Paul Kelly’s Seven Sonnets & A Song. Additionally Vika has taken the lead in At Last The Etta James Story which saw its world premiere

in Melbourne in 2013 and since then has toured Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Vika has also recently shared the stage with iconic singer Debra Byrne in “Tapestry: The Songs Of Carole King” which played to packed houses around Australia since

2016. Date: Friday 27th July 2018 Tickets: Available online www. grand.oztix.com.au or from the venue direct 5975 2001. This is a General Admission standing show.

THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Confessions of a Beverage Snob By Stuart McCullough EVEN I was shocked. Some things, once said, cannot be forgotten. Even if not written down, they live on in the memory of those unfortunate enough to have heard them. They’re permanent. Words, once they leap over your lips and escape past your teeth, can never be caught. To hear my own voice speaking the unspeakable was an existential jolt to the system from which I may never recover. I began to question everything. How did it come to this? What kind of monster have I become? Is it too late to change my order? Because never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d ever utter the following words: I’ll have a skinny decaf flat white, thanks. I’m not sure how it came to this. One day, you’re completely normal. The next you’re ordering a coffee that has more names than an Oxfordeducated scrum half. It’s a simply diabolical state of affairs, no matter how you slice it. At least I didn’t ask for almond milk. That would have been a bridge too far over troubled water. Granted, that very same troubled water would soon be water under the bridge, unless of course I elect to cross that bridge when I come to it; an act that is, of itself, delayed because I’ve decided to stop for coffee. You can see why I’m worried. On the one hand, the heart wants what it wants. If that’s a warm beverage that takes longer to say than it does to drink, so be it. On the other hand, there are some things that are rightly the subject of ridicule because

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Frankston Times 2 July 2018

they crash through the boundaries of decency. Even I knew I’d gone too far. This was made clear to me when the waitress reacted to my order by looking incredibly disappointed. Discouraged even. In fact, now that I think about it, there may well have been a tear in the corner of her eye. It wasn’t always this way. There are many things that make

my family what it is. We share common values, a sense of humour and an almost uncanny ability to park crookedly. So much so that my brother and I have taken to texting each other whenever we manage to get the car even remotely within the lines. Some mornings, I’ll pick up my phone to find a text message from my brother

that consists only of a photo of his car parked neatly in a parking bay. I always compliment him on his skills and never point out that, technically speaking, he ought to parked front to back and not side on as he has inevitably elected to do. The other thing we have in common is coffee. The standard McCullough order is simple: white with one. That’s been the standing order for decades. Despite this, whenever my father puts the kettle on, he still asks how I take my coffee. As though I might have changed my mind. Or, worse still, that even though it’s the same way that he takes his coffee, my father hasn’t yet committed my order to memory. For many years, our coffee of choice was International Roast. Even the name was cosmopolitan. We were devotees of the standard edition beverage rather than the more upscale (and supersized) caterer’s blend. This was unkindly referred to as ‘instant coffee’ notwithstanding that it might permanently damage your taste buds and that the aftertaste lingered like graffiti on your metaphorical gustatory walls. Little wonder we decided to upgrade. From International Roast, we moved on to Blend 43. I’ve no idea what happened to the other forty-two blends. Best not to think about it. It even looked fundamentally different to International Roast. Instead of a fine powder that both looked and tasted like something developed in a cold-war laboratory, Blend 43 was a far more granular affair. Which made

it seem more genuine. This was fine until Moccona blew our minds. Suddenly, Blend 43 was the acid wash denim of the beverage world. But through it all, my order remained the same: white with one. Then coffee became something you bought when you were out, rather than something made around the kitchen bench. And, quite frankly, once I experienced coffee as made by a trained professional rather than, say, my father, it was pretty hard to go back. Like lots of people, coffee became part of my daily routine. And, frankly, I’m spoiled for choice. So much so, that simply saying ‘white with one’ is no longer an option. I can’t imagine the reaction that’d get from my barista. Doubtless, he’d have to do all he could to not unravel his man-bun and try to throttle me. But it’s not just a case of ‘how did I get here’? It’s also a matter of ‘where am I going?’ If my coffee journey started at International Roast and has arrived at a decaf skinny flat white, goodness knows where I’ll end up. Before I know it, I’ll be demanding cold-filtered organic coffee that’s been slow-dripped into a beaker over eighteen agonizing days by a Nobelprize winning organic-certified barista with soy milk, a dash of cold water and topped off with truffle shavings and a caramel drizzle. At that point, my transformation will be complete. And as I sit down with my coffee and gaze off into the middle distance, I’ll be sure to stop and think for a moment: who on earth am I? stuart@stuartmccullough.com

2 July 2018  

Frankston Times 2 July 2018

2 July 2018  

Frankston Times 2 July 2018

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