Review: Album Trois Tour by Baby et Lulu, Camelot Lounge, Marrickville – Sunday, 12 December, 2021. Reviewed by arts and entertainment editor, Rita Bratovich.
If anything is evident in watching Abby Dobson and Lara Goodridge, otherwise known as Baby et Lulu, perform, it is their sheer passion for singing. Their voices together make the most deliciously sweet French treat since crème brûlée, and their playful sense of humour renders the entire audience bons amis.
The dual gigs (6:30pm and 8:30pm) at the Camelot Lounge were rescheduled (curse the pandemic!) launch events for their eagerly awaited third album, Album Trois, and also marked the beginning of the Album Trois Tour. They performed a selection of songs from the album, interspersing them with frivolous, comical repartee.
On stage with the chanteuses was an ensemble of commensurate musicians in their own right: Harry Sutherland (piano, accordion), Julian Curwin (guitar), Matt Ottignon (saxophone, clarinet, flute) Ross Harrison (clarinet, saxophone) and Mark Harris (double bass, vocals). Harris, situated directly behind the ladies and eager to share the limelight, added some grunt to the vocals and cheese to the banter.
In jazz tradition, each musician got to show off their chops, and each was shown due appreciation by the audience. Of course, the stars of the night were undeniably Dobson and Goodridge. Dobson was resplendent in a vivid orange chiffon dress while Goodridge shimmered in a glimmering champagne number.
The set list included provincial styled tunes, torch song classics, fun ditties and one or two originals. It was a lovely assortment that maintained a mood of joy and levity while occasionally bringing in shades of depth and poignancy.
‘Je Suis Snob’ is a good indicator of the self-deprecating humour, even though – and this came as a shock to everyone – neither of the ladies is actually French!
‘Jardin Aux Souvenirs’ (‘Moon River’ with French lyrics) is a beautiful blend of the familiar with the novel.
‘Cette Nuit’ is a Dobson original; a jaunty, rollicking tune with a “ba ba baa” bit in the chorus that the audience was encouraged to sing.
Another Dobson penned tune is ‘La Ballade de La Mer‘, the first single off the album and a truly exquisite song.
No tribute to the French songbook would dare raise the tri-coloured flag without including Edith Piaf. Dobson and Goodridge sang the solemn, almost military sounding ‘Les Trois Cloches’ (‘The Three Bells’), with band members providing backing “bumps” and “oms”.
It was a fabulous night in the appropriately kitsch environs of Camelot Lounge.
The Album Trois Tour by Baby et Lulu continues with dates around Australia from February 2022 onwards – including another Camelot Lounge show on 12 February. For details, visit https://www.babyetlulu.com.au/shows.
Rita Bratovich is the arts and entertainment editor of the Sydney Sentinel.
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