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Abby Dobson Interview: La Soiree Cliche

Home > Adelaide > Cultural Events | Festivals | Food and Wine | Music | Romantic
by Jonathon Tonkin (subscribe)
I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Find out all the reasons you need to see Baby et Lulu
Most people will remember Abby Dobson as the lead singer of Leonardo's Bride, an Australian Folk-pop band that saw success between 1992 and 2001. The group was most well-known for their 1997 song "Even When I'm Sleeping". The song got to number 4 in the Australian charts and the group were nominated for 3 ARIA awards that year including Single of the Year, Best Breakthrough Album and Best Cover Art. The group has since disbanded but Abby Dobson continued to follow her passion for music and she's now incorporated her love for French culture and sound into it as well. Enter Baby et Lulu. Teaming up with Lara Goodridge (FourPlay String Quartet), Baby et Lulu is a chanteuse duo which celebrates everything that makes France great. Their sound is moving with a tremendous amount of energy aimed to bring any atmosphere to life. I spoke with Abby Dobson to get some insight into Baby et Lulu and her love of France.

La Soiree Cliche, Baby et Lulu, Adelaide French Festival, Abby Dobson
Abby Dobson (Left) and Lara Goodridge (Right) make up Baby et Lulu

Straight off the bat Dobson goes into her love of Baby et Lulu and her passion for French music.

"It's such a beautiful show (La Soirée Cliché) that we love. It brings us a lot of pleasure and who knew we would still be doing it after all these years. We've been doing it for 6 years and it started as a side project. I guess is started as a joy project that we were just going to do one show. So the fact that we are still doing it and people still come and love it, it really delights us. Particularly in the last year the show has seen us through all sorts of personal weather. I'm used to playing music as my offering. I don't try and take anything from the audience, I just give but with this show we've been surprised how much it's given us. There has been times where we've just thought, "How are we going to get through this? We get on stage and we're the most joyous we've been in a long time so it's sort of medicine for us too."

La Soiree Cliche, Baby et Lulu, Adelaide French Festival, Abby Dobson
Professional Body Painter Emma Hack will be ppainting a piece live throughout the evening.

Clearly there is a lot of care and love that goes into Baby et Lulu. What are the beginnings of this magical group?

"I met Lara when I was in Leonardo's Bride and she was in FourPlay String Quartet which she's still in now. We had crossed paths at festivals so I knew of her but not very well. Then I left Leonardo's Bride and was thinking about my solo career and she saw me perform in The Basement in Sydney and loved what she saw and offered me a record contract. She had set up a little label called Craving Records. At the time I was considering other avenues I wasn't quite sure I wanted to go with something so boutique. Lara just seemed to keep appearing, her approach was gorgeous. Everything I did with her was easy so I signed with her label. We soon became firm friends. Then we were both in Paris at the same time. It wasn't until then that we realised we both spoke French and that we loved the language and French poets and music. We thought why don't we do a song one day in French. I didn't know she could sing at that point because she is an extraordinary violinist. A few months later we were back in Sydney. Her partner at the time was having party and suggested that we perform our song. When we sang we were so dazzled and enchanted by each other. To sing in harmony and in French it was bringing together these joyous elements. We were both ecstatic in the true sense of the word. I don't even remember if anyone there liked it but we were hooked. So we decided to do just one show to get it out of our system. We did the show and people loved it from the get go and it's become a precious part of our lives."

La Soiree Cliche, Baby et Lulu, Adelaide French Festival, Abby Dobson
Included with your ticket will be a 3 course banquet/sharing menu provided by Cliche Restaurant.

I asked Abby to go into detail of what is Baby et Lulu's sound and what to expect at a show.

"It's very joyous and uplifting. It's quite irreverent but reverent as well. Often people come to our shows and then they come again and they bring their friends. Then they come again with different friends. It's quite a celebratory kind of show and I find in the end people don't want to go home. People hang around after the shows over, they've had a good time. They decide tonight's the night, "We're listening to French music. We're going to drink champagne or beautiful red wine." Having said that the music is also quite intense and passionate and moody as well. Like it's not just frivolous it's passionate but the overall feeling is uplift."

"Don't be put off not being able to understand the language at our shows. Lots of people don't understand the language but absolutely love it anyway. We're a 6 piece band so we play with extraordinary musicians, really beautiful musicians. Apart from Lulu and I being up the front in our Froufrou dresses and our feux French accents. The music is very magnificent it's a mixture of us being silly but the songs being exquisite."

Baby et Lulu will performing in Adelaide on the 13th of January at La Soirée Cliché as part of the Adelaide French Festival. The show is at the Adelaide Festival Centre. You can find more information here.
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Why? For a magical evening of French food and music
When: 13th of January
Where: Adelaide Festival Centre
Cost: $100
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