Cold Chisel singer Jimmy Barnes has played one of the weirdest gigs of his career... serenading Australia's politicians with a ripper version of "Flame Trees" on Tuesday night.
It kicked off as soon as Barnes arrived at Parliament with disgraced speaker Bronwyn Bishop making a bee-line for the rock legend, warmly kissing him on the cheek and standing beside him.
The event was put on by the new and aptly titled, "Parliamentary Friends of Australian Live Music".
Barnesy belted out his trademark "Flame Trees", with other performances from singer-songwriter Josh Pyke, Something For Kate's Paul Dempsey and Baby Animals singer Suze DeMarchi.
He was forced to stand and pose for selfies from the adoring older politicians and their staffers. Though he did think some of their behaviour was rude AF.
"They tended to talk a lot and not listen as much as they should. But I seem to have less problem with that," said Barnes.
"And I'll punch them if they don't listen."
Parliamentary group chair Ewen Jones was the mastermind of the event and said it was about making sure politicians were aware of the problems facing live music.
He wants to take the radical step of removing "music" from the arts portfolio and into the innovation and small business portfolio.
The Queensland MP also has big plans for the annual Parliament concert.
"I want to see it looking out towards the War Memorial, looking out down the drive with electric guitars. My dream is to see Tim Rogers and You Am I, playing 'Berlin Chair' at full throttle... because no one in the world attacks a guitar like an Australian," said Jones.
After performing, Barnes gave an interview, launching into an impassioned two-minute speech summing up the problems facing young Aussie musicians - Spotify and lockout laws, chief among them.
Speaking of politics, Barnes re-stated his desire for anti-Islamic groups NOT to use his music at their rallies this election season, pointing to his immigrant experience.
"I come from a multicultural family. My wife's Thai. My children are half-Asian, half-Scottish, we're all immigrants," said Barnes.
"The best thing about this country is the difference in all of us. We all come from different backgrounds, it's a really beautiful thing."
"I don't mind if people want to stand up and say, 'I don't like that' but don't use my music to do it."
So... really... Barnesy 4 PM??!?!?!
Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at email@example.com.
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