Baby et Lulu and their 4-piece band performed an enthralling concert of French harmonies at Adelaide’s Church of the Trinity in Clarence Park (known for its Trinity sessions now in its 20th year) last night.
The Baby et Lulu concert opened with the fun Je suis snob, a song originally by Boris Vian, which is on their most recent Album Trois. However, Baby et Lulu did not limit themselves to their most recent album, performing songs from their earlier Album Deux and their debut self-titled album. Their 16 song set (including encore) counted 8 tracks from Album Trois and 8 from their earlier albums.
For Me formidable was introduced with an amusing anecdote about when you’re not sure of the French word and you try the English word with a French accent and hope for the best – Abby, you’re not alone, I had a friend tell her French host-family that we put the very thing you asked to not have in your wine, in our bread here in Australia!
Baby et Lulu don’t only cover famous French songs, they also pen their own French language songs. Several of Baby’s songs appeared in the set, including C’est Le Top, the fun reveal that they’re not really French (shock, horror!) of Cette nuit, and the very clever La Ballade de la Mer, which uses plenty of French idioms – French teachers, this would be a great song to use in your classes. Perhaps the best known of Baby’s songs is Meme, quand je dors, a French translation of Even when I’m sleeping, a nod to her beginnings in Australian band Leonardo’s Bride…
Among the set were also songs perhaps better known by Australian audiences in their English versions such Michel Legrand’s The windmills of my mind which saw him win an Academy Award for Best Original Song in The Thomas Crown Affair. Or again, Henry Mancini’s Jardin Aux Souvenirs perhaps best known as Moon River, made famous by the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Abby Dobson aka Baby wore a bright orange dress (which glowed in the dimmer lights) with a crystal belt, earrings and an eye-catching crystal ring (especially when shaking the egg shaker, a maraca like instrument). Lara Goodridge aka Lulu stunned in her black dress with a beautiful gold pattern which span when she twirled. When the girls swayed as they sang, I wanted to, too!
Their joy of performing again was palpable. This tour for Album Trois ironically was third time lucky after two previous cancelled tours because of COVID lockdowns and border restrictions. Their smiles infectious – the extent of which perhaps not visible to them under our masks. I love that when they sing duets, they perform them facing each other rather than the audience.
Baby et Lulu have been branded as faux Français and part of their signature performance style is their faux French accents and witticisms. They don’t take themselves too seriously – announcing “we might fuck this up” before their penultimate song, the challenging war-time track “Paris sera toujours Paris”. To be honest even if they had messed it up, I don’t think the audience of francophiles, the majority of which were non-francophones, would have known, or even if they did, minded!
Backed by a 4-piece band, with pianist, double bass, guitar and woodwind, plus Lulu on violin and Baby on egg shaker (that feels so strange to write!), Baby et Lulu are an extremely polished act who entertain from the moment they step on stage until the very end of their 2-hour set. The musicians were all exceptional but special mention must go to the musician who seemingly played as many woodwind instruments as possible – at first on sax, later on clarinet and then on flute. At times, the girls let the musicians take over giving them each their chance at a solo. They seemed as impressed and as mesmerised as we did while listening to the instrumental solos.
Baby et Lulu is a must-see show. Sydney-siders are lucky to have them perform a few times a year. Les filles, seven years between shows is way too long! Please come back to Adelaide more often!
5 CROISSANTS (is not enough for this must-see performance)
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe
Keep up to date with Baby et Lulu concerts
The Baby et Lulu concert was a one-off Adelaide show as part of their national concert tour for their Album Trois. Pop yourself on their mailing list or follow them on social media to make sure you don’t miss out on their future concerts:
There are a few dates remaining in the Baby et Lulu Album Trois national tour:
11-14 March Port Fairy Folk Festival, VIC https://portfairyfolkfestival.com/tickets/
8 April Camelot Lounge, Sydney https://www.stickytickets.com.au/15820/baby_et_lulu.aspx
3 June Newcastle https://lizottes.com.au/live/shows/booking/3298
11 June Blue Mountains Theatre, Springwood https://lizottes.com.au/live/shows/booking/3298
- Je suis snob
- For me formidable
- C’est le top
- Le Jardin aux souvenirs
- Que reste-t-il de nos amours
- La balade de la Mer
- L’amour, l’amour, l’amour
- Quand je pense
- J’aime plus Paris
- Cette nuit
- Les moulins de mon cœur
- Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais
- Même quand je dors
- Paris sera toujours Paris
- C’est magnifique
- Hymne de l’Amour