French duo are magnifique
THERE'S something exquisite, something sophisticated, something delicious about the language and culture of the French.
That's according to Abby Dobson, aka Baby, one half of French duo Baby et Lulu.
Dobson and Lara Goodridge, aka Lulu, have been touring the country with their new album, Album Deux, which features a collection of classic and contemporary chansons, as well as a few new originals, written in French.
It's the first time the pair have made any compositions in French.
Anyone who's learnt a second language knows it's no easy task.
"We've loved the challenge of writing songs in French and it's been quite liberating," Dobson said.
"There might be some pronunciation errors, but fortunately both Lara and I have a pretty good accents, so we're not singing French in a really broad Australian accent.
"We were quite anxious when first we started this show and occasionally we would ask if there were any French people in the audience.
"Now we get a lot of French people come to our shows, and French people love it.
"They say that we're mignon, which is a French word meaning cute."
The pair met "many years ago" through their bands Leonardo's Bride (Abby) and FourPlay (Lara) which were touring in similar circuits.
Dobson said the pair had a "great respect" for each other and Goodridge had helped her put out her solo album. But it wasn't until a catch up in France that the pair discovered they both shared a passion for French music.
"We became good friends from working together but we had never actually played music together," she said.
"I was in Paris for a spell and she came over for a holiday and she brought a lovely book of French songs and we went to a bar and had a couple drinks and she said 'wouldn't it be great if we could do a song together'.
"It was just our little love… and gradually we put a repertoire together.
"We sing with such passion and we're allowed to be passionate and dark and joyous and feminine as well."
Dobson said her love affair with French culture began when she was a young girl.
"Even before I studied it at high school I was quite fascinated by the language," she said.
"And my aunt could speak French and it just seemed like such a sophisticate, delicious culture.
"It was the first place I wanted to go."