After nearly two years, ARIA-nominated ‘faux French’ duo Baby et Lulu has finally been able to release their third album, Album Trois. This new record features several original music compositions. Baby et Lulu hit the road on their Album Trois tour around Australia in February 2022, playing 11 dates in locations all over the country already. Ahead of their show at Marrickville’s Camelot Lounge, Abby Dobson and Lara Goodridge sat down for an interview with City Hub. During our conversation the duo spoke about everything from their personal favourite songs on the new album to the ways in which they dealt with performance anxiety after an extended break from performing.
“Every show has been incredible, explained Abby. “We are just so happy to be able to fly together again.”
Prior to forming Baby et Lulu Abby Dobson & Lara Goodridge were highly regarded musicians in their own right. Abby first rose to fame in 1997 as part of Leonardo’s Bride with the song Even While I’m Sleeping. Whilst violinist Lara was a core member of the FourPlay String Quartet.
When asked how it felt to perform live after such a prolonged wait, Abby said that they had a lot of fun even though it was initially “nerve-wracking.” Lara Goodridge, lovingly referred to as Lulu, then added that while it was great to get rest during lockdown, she had forgotten how thrilling it was to get back on stage. Lara told City Hub she missed the energy that they felt from sharing their music on-stage.
“There’s nothing else that can give you this form of expression,” said Lara.
“Particularly, in this band, some of the songs that we sing are very moving, passionate, and deep, while some of them are extremely frivolous, joyous, and light,” added Abby. “There is nothing else that can facilitate this range of expressions.”
Before eventually coming together to form Baby et Lulu both Abbey & Lara had been friends for 20 years. Over that time hey had grown to motivate and inspire each other in several ways.
“Lara is one of the most incredible humans that I have come across. She is capable and extraordinarily talented,” said Abby. “She is very musical and deep, but she is also extremely organised and efficient. She makes this band happen.”
Lara was then quick to respond by saying, “Abby feels so much, and she expresses so well on stage. She breaks free in every show.” In a moment of self awareness Lara then admitted to being more “reserved” compared to Abby, “She is very detail-orientated and meticulous. It’s like I am rushing with a bucket of water and Abby is there to catch all the drops.”
Despite being each other’s “yin & yang” planing tours doesn’t always go smoothly. As the duo explained, they disagree regularly about all kinds of things.
“There are a million decisions to be made all the time about artwork, song choices, tempos, hotels, budgets, and schedules,” explained Abby. “We are a six-piece band with moving parts so when we are busy, there is an awful lot to do.”
“We choose our battles so it’s very rare that both of us will hold firm to our desires. One of us will yield, knowing that we will be very happy with the results. We trust each other with the decisions.”
When asked about their personal favourite songs from Album Trois, Lara picked Abby’s song La Ballade De La Mer, an original piece by Abby that roughly translates to The Ballad of the Sea.
“It was a song that [Abby] wasn’t sure she was going to properly finish and write but she just brought it on home,” said Lara. While Lara is fond of all of Abby’s songs, this is one which strikes her as extremely beautiful every time they sing it on-stage. “The song is also representative of Abby and her life.”
Despite their confident fronts on stage, both Abby and Lara often get anxious before a performance.
“I get anxious from the moment I wake up on a show day… It’s pretty exhausting,” said Abby. “It’s funny because I didn’t know that Lara just as anxious until a year ago. She had hidden it from me, I thought she was just sailing through.”
When asked how they overcome these anxious moments & thoughts Abby said, “I meditate and set my intentions before the day. Lulu and I recalibrate to try to be present and remind myself that it is not a battle.”
Lara then added that the support they provide each other is vital, “We feel really supported by the other person. There’s a kind of joy there that you are not alone. I felt very safe in Baby et Lulu in so many ways. Even if Abby and I drop the ball in some way, the band is there to support us. We are usually right there to catch each other,” Lara said.
Apr 8. Camelot Lounge, 19 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville. $54+b.f Tickets & Info: www.camelotlounge.com