The project: write and record a song a week over the course of the 2007 Australian federal election campaign, for broadcast on Tuesday morning’s edition of community radio station RRR’s breakfast program, The Breakfasters (which at that time was comprised of Tony Wilson, Fiona Bamford-Bracher and Sam Pang). The results varied from “hmm” to “hmm!”, but it was good fun to have a crack at it. By the time you’re reading this, the songs will probably make no sense whatsoever; rest assured, they didn’t make a lot of sense even in their prime.
Week One: November 24 – October 16, 2007
The election was announced on the Sunday, so this one had a verrry short lead time, hence the quick country pickin’ flavour of it. John Howard (Liberal Party) was the long-time incumbent Prime Minister and bastion of all that was unholy and evil, Kevin Rudd (Australian Labor Party) was the Opposition Leader.
Week Two: Stockholm Syndrome (Promises) – October 23, 2007
I liked this one. The first week of campaigning had been studded with outlandish (and outlandishly expensive) promises from both sides, and I thought it sad that nowadays we kinda expect those promises to be broken – that politicians’ relationships to the public seem increasingly based on S&M principles. Cynical? Oh but of course. It was the second week of an election campaign. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
Week Three: Behind You! – October 30, 2007
John Howard’s deputy was Peter Costello, who was increasingly unable or unwilling to hide his desire for the top job, yet never mounted an official challenge. Publically, this was out of “fear of destabilising the party”; privately, he couldn’t muster up the numbers. His disaffection was becoming a major political liability for the Liberal Party.
Week Four: Bullshit (Dagnabbit) – November 6, 2007
Liberal frontbencher Tony Abbott – one of John Howard’s staunchest defenders – had a bad couple of days in the middle of the campaign. This was the most fun track to do of all of them; Eden Ottignon contributed a funky bassline and Enio Pozzebon weighed in with some backing vocals, and, besides, it’s Tony Abbott. The shoutouts at the end are because Sam Pang had met a girl who no longer listened to the Breakfasters because she didn’t like the presenter ‘Steve Pang’. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
Week Five: “I’m Brown In The Greens And I’m Blue” – November 13, 2007
I only ever played it live in the studio, and I think I was inventing the chords and melody as I sang it. You can probably find it on the RRR website archive, but you certainly shouldn’t. Do yourself a favour.
Election Week: Saturday Night – November 20, 2007
As Election Week neared, the polls were still showing that the Howard government would fall. It was cause for optimism – cautious optimism.
And who won? Look it up on Wikipedia.