Lara Goodridge, singer, Baby Et Lulu

France has an elegance about it that is unashamed. She is rich with traditions dedicated to style and beauty in art, music, food and wine ...

For many travelling souls, France holds a certain romantic mystique that leaves feelings of longing well after leaving the country. French is the language of love, and Paris is far and away one of the most romantic cities in the world – so it’s easy to see why so many people are obsessed with French culture. For Lara Goodridge and Abby Dobson, France is more than just a favourite travel destination – it’s their spiritual home. As Baby et Lulu, the duo constantly tour and perform iconic French songs to Francophile-filled audiences, channelling their own obsession for the sounds of France and putting on enchanting and seductive performances. Baby et Lulu are returning to Brisbane Powerhouse for a one-off show on Thursday July 28, so we had a chat with Lara Goodridge to find out where her love of France came from and what we can expect from Baby et Lulu this time around.

When did you first discover your love of French music, and France in general?
I think it was probably one weekend afternoon watching black and white movies on the TV when I was a kid – films with Simone Signoret and Yves Montands, Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve. I loved the sound of the language so much, and started to follow that sound to its culture and music!

As a die-hard Francophile this might be a tough question for you, but what is your favourite aspect of French culture?
France has an elegance about it that is unashamed. It is rich with traditions dedicated to style and beauty in art, music, food and wine, carefully developed over centuries, whilst being steeped in revolutionary thought and political fervour. C’est délicieux! 

You’ve put together a second album of music with songs made popular by some esteemed artists – how do you go about picking the best songs to perform as Baby et Lulu? Do the two of you ever argue about which ones make the cut?
Well we don’t argue as such! We are both always willing to give a song a go, but occasionally we have different ideas about what will work. Mostly, we are really on the same wavelength though, and are very pleased if the other has found a great new song to try. 

Album Deux also has some original compositions written in French – can you tell us a bit about the writing process and how you found a style that fit in well with the rest of the chosen songs?
Writing in French has been a beautiful and challenging process – for me it is quite liberating. The critical voice seems far quieter when I write in French, perhaps I think it all sounds beautiful in French! I try to take inspiration from poetry and literature when I write, and stylistically it’s fun to write with classic styles in mind – a chanson, a waltz, a blues number – which we know will be performed so skilfully and musically by our incredible band!

If you could get one French singer to perform with you on stage – living or dead – who would it be and what would you sing?
Oooh, what a great question! Oh, how I’d love to sing an upbeat song with Yves Montand, a ballad with Françoise Hardy, a cheeky number with Serge Gainsbourg, a belter with Edith, and an Aznavour song with Aznavour! Is that greedy??

What can audiences expect from your forthcoming performance at Brisbane Powerhouse?
We are thrilled to be back at the Powerhouse. We had such a great time at the Queensland Cabaret Festival last time. We’ll be prancing around with our French accents, singing those classic fun and beautiful songs, in close and warm harmony, backed by our truly, truly stunning band, taking you back to some time and place that feels delicious and exciting. You know, that kind of thing.

Often, words in other languages communicate something succinctly that English can’t. Do you have a favourite French word?
So many French words just have that je ne sais quoi! 

We are brunch mad and travel starved at The Weekend Edition – can you describe the perfect Parisian brunch?
Whilst in France, it’s hard to go past a fresh baguette avec du beurre et confiture! That’s good old bread with butter and jam. And a café au lait. I mean, really, that is just so, so good!!

Baby et Lulu will be performing a set of classic French tunes as well as a few of their own compositions at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Thursday July 28. Head to the Brisbane Powerhouse website to score your tickets now.


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