The sun is unforgiving when we arrive at one of the tastefully bare warehouses at Carriageworks in Darlington, the location of the first ever FBi Sydney Music Arts and Culture Festival. We’re among 60 other people who’ve made the bad decision of arriving in a place with no air vents at a time when going outside offers no respite from the sweltering indoor heat. Our shirts stick uncomfortably to our backs and trickle with sweat as we share a bottle of water.
We’re in the midst of regretting our life decisions and rethinking our spontaneity and mediocre planning when we spot an old man standing slightly off-centre on the main stage. His dark grey crew neck and black cargo pants combo makes for a normcore, Target-inspired look. For a moment we can’t tell whether he’s a security guard or an underground musician. It’s only when the lights flicker for a moment that it clicks. “I love you Anthony Albanese!” a girl with light-up shoes shouts from two rows away. We agree and are immediately transported to the astral plane as ‘DJ Albo’ works his magic. It’s a surprisingly good one too: Florence and the Machine opens the four-track set, followed by a clever transition from the Wombat’s Let’s Dance to Joy Division to Joy Division’s own Never Tear Us Apart. New Order rounds off the set as we gather on the side of the stage, eager to catch our very own glance of Albanese among the throng surrounding him.
Our time finally comes. We make eye contact with the legendary DJ, whose sweat patches exceed ours. “FBi’s a great community cause,” he explains, “Community radio is so important.”
He uses the word ‘community’ a lot.
“I hosted rage when I was deputy PM,” he continues, telling us of his inspiration. “People liked the music I played – Spiderbait, Teenage Fanclub – so naturally, I performed gigs at the Victoria Trades Hall and the Newtown Social Club which had huge turnouts… and here we are.” Despite his noncommittal answer to the question of his favourite genre (“I just love linking music from my generation with newer music”) and his musical talents – awfully reminiscent of the Spotify crossfade feature – we still think that Albo’s attempts to ~stay relevant with the youth~ are working, at least better than Hillary’s.