Last week I went to a concert of Tom Waits songs performed by Stewart D’Arrietta. He was accompanied by a band made up of some of the finest musicians around – Ross Hannaford of the Daddy Cool fame, Philip Rex -one of the most brilliant Australian Double Bassists and Danny Fischer – drummer extraordinaire.
For a show of Tom Waits music performed by someone other than Tom Waits, it was a pretty good show. To borrow the lyrics of “The Real Slim Shady”:
Who dress like me; walk, talk and act like me
It just might be the next best thing but not quite me!
The band was fantastic, and Stewart had the audience totally captivated. I was really enjoying it, up to the point later in a night where D’Arrietta decided to stop the show and impart on the audience his views on Australian Governments’ policy concerning illegal immigrants. According to him, all immigrants coming by boats really want to work here and be a part of our society, and all we need to do is let them in, give them some land around Bourke and Australia will rip the benefits. Clearly, D’Arrietta has an agenda to push, and isn’t really concerned about the facts. The facts are, that more than 60 per cent of refugees to Australia have failed to get a job after five years. Another fact is that more than 60 per cent of those people without jobs had a poor command of English.
Regardless of all the facts, I find it absolutely appalling that musicians use the stage to promote their views and agendas. If I wanted to get engaged in a political debate, I would’ve gone to a political rally, or turned on Parliament Question Time on TV.
So in an unlikely event that D’Arrietta will read this blog – a word of advise: mate, when you are up on a stage, unless you have lyrics of Tom Waits coming out of your mouth, please- keep your gob shut.