Anthony Albanese is a proud, fierce advocate for the inner-west of Sydney. The Grayndler MP claims to know "every street, every road, every lane, every avenue" of his trendy electorate, hangs out at the local pubs, and local brewery even named a beer in his honour -- the Albo Ale.
He's also a well-known music tragic, and according to prominent local band Sticky Fingers, Albanese was actually the reason they didn't break up late last year.
Sticky Fingers, the massively popular Aussie reggae-inspired rock outfit, struggled to get visas for a planned U.S. tour in 2015. Talking to Music Feeds, band bassist Paddy Cornwall said they had "minor criminal record stuff like drink driving charges" giving them issues with American immigration authorities, and that the band were "very close to breaking up"... before Albo stepped in.
"Anthony Albanese got wise to the fact that we were having some trouble... But it turns out he was a fan of the band, so he got us all cleared and got us over there," Cornwall told Music Feeds.
Albanese is a noted music fan, with his regular DJ sets becoming somewhat infamous in political circles. We reached out to Albanese, who confirmed the story about helping the local boys get overseas.
"They had a big tour booked and it was getting closer to when they had to leave on the tour. Obviously having sold out concerts in the USA is a big deal for an Aussie band. It would have been a disaster for them if they hadn't been able to tour," he told The Huffington Post Australia.
"They contacted us, I spoke to the U.S. ambassador John Berry who I know, and essentially it got fixed pretty quickly. It was just one of those things, it just needs a push sometimes. The bureaucracy can sometimes take a long time in the U.S. and Australia."
Albanese has previously been snapped hanging out with the band backstage at one of their concerts.
Albanese said he has helped out constituents on similar issues before, saying he "makes presentations about migration issues all the time." He said he was happy to help out some local guys, with the band hailing from his inner-west electorate.
"They are locals, inner-west lads and some of them went to Newtown Performing Arts High. I was aware of the band because of that and my interest in music, and the fact many of their songs are about the inner-west. They've got a song called 'Australia Street', which is the street where my son went to school," Albanese said.
"There's an Australian economic interest here as well," Albanese chuckled.
"Ambassador Berry understood that a successful Australian band is essentially an export."
"It was a good thing to be able to get sorted."