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Baby et Lulu: Album Deux


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In a nation where the pop music audience rarely moves beyond the bog-standard tempi, instrumentation and subject matter served up by the trans-Atlantic hit parade, Baby et Lulu refresh like a cool summer breeze.

Already popular with Adelaide audiences after successful appearances at WOMADelaide and the Cabaret Festival, Francophiles Abby Dobson (Baby) and Lara Goodridge (Lulu) have developed a winning way with chanson.

Many associate French chanteuse with the iconic Edith Piaf, doyen of all things tragic, but the musical lexicon is much broader. It’s the joyous, jazz-based café style of music that Baby et Lulu celebrate.

Baby et Lulu CDBacked by a fine band, replete with the requisite “French”-sounding accordion and double bass, Dobson (formerly of Leonard’s Bride) and Goodridge (FourPlay) have curated a delightful selection of songs for their new release, Album Deux. The material includes a Piaf cover (“Hymne A L’amour”), as well as tunes by superstars Serge Gainsbourg (“Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais”) and Charles Aznavour (“For Me, Formidable”).

Perhaps more interesting, from an Australian perspective, are the handful of chanson written by Dobson and Goodridge. This material stands as equal to any of the songs sourced from France, so much so that only a close reading of the liner notes revealed this facet of the duo’s work.

From start to finish, Baby et Lulu’s close harmonies are captivating. If you can imagine The Andrews Sisters singing and swinging their way down Avenue des Champs-Élysées, you’ve got a good idea of the territory where Dobson and Goodridge ply their trade.

Moreover, while much of Baby et Lulu’s second album is joyous, they also embrace melancholy with aplomb – never more so than in Dobson’s beautiful “Adieu”.

I dare say that if we exported Baby et Lulu to France, they’d give their native rivals a run for their money.

Baby et Lulu perform on Friday 1 May at Trinity Sessions, Church of the Trinity, 318 Goodwood Road, Clarence Park, supported by The Baker Suite.


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