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Cabaret Festival rendezvous with Baby et Lulu


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Playing violin and singing harmonies. Jazz music and French. These are a few of Lara Goodridge’s favourite things – and she manages to incorporate them all into Baby et Lulu, her show with singer Abby Dobson.

Described as “a night of sassy romance in Paris”, Baby et Lulu is part of this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival and features songs by the likes of Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot.

While Goodridge (aka Lulu, a childhood nickname) hasn’t been to France herself, she has completed a Masters in European Studies, focusing on French language, linguistics and literature.

“I never really imagined what Baby et Lulu would be, but it really is the culmination of all my favourite things – I love singing harmonies, I love playing violin and I love French and jazz.

“There’s a classic beauty to the songs we take on in this repertoire.

“We wanted to look at songs over the whole 20th century from the great French songwriters, but we didn’t really want to be a straight-up French revue doing all the hits after hits. We wanted to be a little more eclectic in our choices and throw some humour in, so there’s some fun in there and also some really, really beautiful songs and some classics.”

The repertoire includes songs such as Gainsbourg’s “Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que M’En Vais” (I’ve Come to Tell You That I’m Leaving) and George Brassenf’s “Il N’y a Pas D’Amour Heureux” (“There is No Happy Love”), as well as a French version of the Leonardo’s Bride hit “Even When I’m Sleeping”.

Dobson (Baby) is probably best-known as the lead singer from Leonardo’s Bride (and perhaps more recently for her audition for TV show The Voice), while Goodridge is a member of the string quartet FourPlay and has played with musicians such as Tim Finn, The Whitlams, Josh Pyke and Brian Wilson.

Although self-doubt about her ability to make it as a full-time musician led her to study something else, Goodridge was always playing gigs on weekends and has been playing the violin since she was just three-and-a-half years old.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m great now but I’ve been playing for a long time … I was watching a concert for Suzuki violin [as a child] and said, ’I want to do that’, and my parents made it happen, which was wonderful. I still have my first violin and my son will soon start playing it.

“I absolutely loved playing classical music but I didn’t actually listen to a lot of it. I kind of grew up on the ’60s folk music. I really loved Simon and Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Elvis, even as a young kid … I used to sing along in harmony to a lot of it.”

The Goodridge-Dobson partnership was born after the pair sang together in French at a party. They have earned glowing reviews during a national tour by Baby et Lulu, backed by a band of Sydney musicians, and launched their album in Adelaide with performances in the Spiegeltent at this year’s Fringe.

“Singing harmony with Abby is just such a beautiful experience,” Goodridge says. “But also as a show it’s a lot of fun – it’s just a really fun show, despite the tortured songs.”

Baby et Lulu will perform two shows at the Festival Theatre on June 16 as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

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