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Byron Bay News

Marching to a different drum in Byron Bay

Rob Hirst, drummer with Midnight Oil, was performing at the Basement with Paul Greene (folk rocker and former Olympian) when he paused mid-set to recount how their gig at Byron Bay the week before had been hijacked by a politician.

Labor's candidate for distant Kingsford Smith, Peter Garrett, was in the Bay and phoned Hirst to ask if he could join him and Greene on stage that night after addressing a meeting of the faithful.

Hirst told punters at the Basement last Thursday that he was not at all impressed but agreed, after a long silence, saying: "OK. If I can come on the campaign trail with you ... and support the Greens."

It went downhill from there, with Hirst and Greene turning up at the venue to see Garrett's name "up in lights" on the board outside the Rails venue and themselves relegated to jobbing musicians.

Hirst said Garrett's "couple of songs" turned into a half-hour ALP rant. Introducing the only Oils song he and Greene performed at the Basement, My Country, Hirst said "Peter got up the other night and sang this song. And forgot all the words. Of course. Just like the old days."