The beginning of the noughties seemed to be a particularly rocky time for Australian pop stars — Savage Garden, Bardot and Killing Heidi were just some of the acts who quickly withered from the spotlight, having released massive first albums.
So it was for Bachelor Girl. Despite a platinum-selling 1998 debut, Waiting For The Day, which gave birth to five enduring radio hits, by the time their second album Dysfunctional was released in 2002, momentum was lost. Before long, they quietly went their separate ways.
Now the pair, Tania Doko and James Roche, are reuniting, promoting a recently-released ‘best of’ collection (Loved and Lost, which compiles their eight singles alongside choice album cuts and a clutch of previously unheard material) with a string of intimate live dates around the country.
Doko spoke to the Star Observer about the reformation from her Stockholm home, where she’s earning a living as a songwriter for hire.
“Why now? From 18 to the age of 30, we were working towards the [record] deal, getting the deal, then maintaining the band. All my adult life was working with James,” she explained.
“We made a third album which we really loved but never got released [four songs from it appear on Loved and Lost]. So more than just your standard best of, this is something that James and I wanted to put some energy behind, because there are songs on there no one’s heard yet that we’re very proud of.”
While Doko admitted that their third album not seeing the light of day was a frustrating ordeal, she said it never tested her friendship with Roche.
“I’m sure a lot of people were wondering what the hell happened to us, but we evolved very naturally and then dismantled very naturally, without drama.
“At the time, we needed to try other things. James got married and lived in London, I formed the dance project She Said Yes and toured with Darren Hayes. We needed to tick a few other boxes.”
Indeed, the spiky electro-pop sounds she’s explored in the ensuing years have been a world away from the radio-friendly pop-rock of Bachelor Girl. Does she still enjoy singing those songs?
“Of course not! No, I’m only kidding. I go through phases. I know I’m always going to be seen as the girl who sang Buses and Trains.
“And if I’m really honest with myself, I’m still that girl James described as walking under a bus and getting hit by a train. I thought I wouldn’t relate to that any more, but he really did pin me in Buses and Trains, because at 36, I still feel like that girl.
“Most people my age are getting married and having children, whereas my first love is travelling, making music, and throwing myself under the bus!”
info: Loved and Lost: The Best of Bachelor Girl out now. The band plays Melbourne’s Forum on May 28 and Sydney’s Basement on June 3.