Last night I chatted to Tania Doko from Bachelor Girl, one of my favourite singer-songwriters from the late 1990s – early 2000s. We talked bands breaking up (vale Silverchair), bands reforming (welcome back Bachelor Girl!) and the
obvious cheesy – public transport.
Buses and Trains, Treat Me Good, Permission to Shine and Lucky Me are songs that I still sing along to. Buses and Trains was awarded song of the year by the Australasian Performing Right Association in 1999, and in that year, Bachelor Girl was Australia’s most broadcast artist. I told Tania that Bachelor Girl was the last concert I saw before I set off on my new life to Melbourne, eight years ago. I met Tania four years ago at a Darren Hayes concert and then on the plane the next day. I have been in contact with her ever since, asked her for an interview, and true to the name of her previous band, she said yes!
Bachelor Girl are back with a new album called Loved and Lost, and are touring for the first time in eight years. They never officially broke up, Tania Doko told me. She and bandmate James Roche went off to do their own things for a while. Tania was in a dance project called She Said Yes with Jack Jones and Karl Lewis in 2007 – 2008. She’s had a job as a youth worker. And for the past three years she’s been living in Stockholm and Los Angeles, writing songs. James eloped overseas and now has a child. He did some music recording and composing for the screen.
(Now she’s lived overseas, I wonder which mode of transport Tania misses more – Melbourne’s buses or Melbourne’s trains? “Melbourne’s public transport is not good compared to Europe. I love public transport – it gives me a break from the traffic and I get time to think”, she says.)
So why did Bachelor Girl reform in 2011? “Now the timing is right for Bachelor Girl to reform, release a best of album with some new songs and do a tour”, Tania says. When the tour’s over, Tania says, she will return to Stockholm, refreshed and ready to write songs.
Tania’s written songs for Australian singers The Veronicas, Ricki Lee and Renee Geyer – she regards them as strong female singers and praises their vocal talent. She dreams of writing for Adele and Katy Perry in the future.
She’s excited by touring, but says things have changed since the early 2000s. “I’m consumed by the preparation”, Tania says. She does a lot of her own promotion in addition to the record company’s. She’s used social media to promote the tour. “To be an artist these days is more than just showing up and doing a gig. There’s so many more people you can reach with social media”.
The new album, Loved and Lost, features their favourites from their first two albums Waiting for the Day and Dysfunctional, plus four new songs. Tania says the new songs are pop-rock, uplifting and free and easy. She says that during rehearsal for the tour, Bachelor Girl’s bass player said the new songs are ahead of their time.
I mentioned to her that Buses and Trains is a timeless song – I think it was ahead of its time in 1999. It’s still so relevant. She agrees, but she now sings it in a different way. To her the song is no longer only about love. Getting hit by a bus is a broader analogy. “It’s about life. It’s about screwing up in life and being motivated to take risks. I’m not going to be stopped by screw ups “.
And the new album takes a new emotional direction. She describes it beautifully. “Waiting for the Day was more about break ups, but Loved and Lost is like a love letter to your future love of your life”, Tania says.
Bachelor Girl are touring soon:
28 May – The Forum 2, Melbourne (tickets via Ticketmaster)
3 June – The Basement, Sydney (tickets via Moshtix)
4 June – The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide (tickets via Moshtix)