Vika and Linda Bull’s soulful voices and magical harmonies have entwined themselves in every Melbourne music lover’s mind for the past three decades. At this special performance, their first set is inspired by the gospel singalongs they livestreamed during lockdown, and the second set is a fabulous showcase of their entire career.
So, if you’re seeing Vika & Linda Live at the Bowl, why not make a day of it? Since the show starts, early (gates open at 3pm, the show starts at 5pm), there’s plenty of time to relax over a long lunch beforehand. It’s Sunday, so here are a few ideas – some of them personally recommended by Vika & Linda themselves … so you know they’re quality!
One of the Bull sisters’ favourites is Grossi Florentino. This Melbourne institution is perched high on Bourke Street, and Guy Grossi and the team serve up seasonal, symphonic Italian fare. Book early and take your time at this dramatic fine diner. If time isn’t on your side, there’s the Cellar Bar and the Grill downstairs for faster food with flare. Always great.
If you happen to find yourself with a few songs’ worth of spare time before the show, why not head to Ponyfish Island for a sparkling drink in the sun, literally surrounded by the Yarra? Ponyfish Island is nestled under Evan Walker Bridge (the pedestrian bridge that links Southbank to Flinders Walk) and has had a recent renovation. Sit back in the fresh air, watch the water glitter and think of the swaying sounds you’re about to hear.
Once the gig is over and you’ve had a soul-filling time at the Bowl, head up to Spring Street. If you’re like Vika & Linda, you might find yourself at The European for a late dinner and a debrief. This classic favourite of the sisters is like a little slice of Europe at the top end of the city. Seasonal pastas are always excellent, as is the coffee and the silky, flaky Portuguese tarts. Late in the night, you can even get a tray of party pies. How classy is that!
If you really want to push the boat out and celebrate the wonder of what you just heard, the restrained opulence of the legendary Flower Drum, another favourite of Vika & Linda, is a lavish showcase of Cantonese cuisine that has rightfully earned many awards. The service really is out of this world.
Hmm, time for a nightcap? What’s a fitting choice? Maybe the cosily hidden, ever stylish Romeo Lane, with their cocktails that always hit the right note? Or perhaps Gin Palace, suitably legendary, a little bit wicked, and with décor as lush and spirited as the songs you’ve heard tonight.