Midnight Oil, who broke an 18-year drought between studio records when they released 'The Makarrata Project' in October, will perform a handful of special outdoor concerts called Makarrata Live in early 2021.
The Oils will be joined by prominent First Nations artists performing songs from 'The Makarrata Project' as well as classic Oils songs that revolve around themes of Indigenous reconciliation.
"We're relieved and excited at the thought of finally playing music to live audiences again," Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett says.
"Lots of the songs which have struck the deepest chords with our audiences over the years, like 'Beds Are Burning', 'Jimmy Sharman's Boxers', 'The Dead Heart' and 'Truganini', revolve around Indigenous issues so we're definitely inspired to be playing a set that combines older songs like those with newer songs that share similar lyrical themes."
These gigs will seek to elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart which calls for a Makarrata – or 'truth telling' – to account for the theft of lands and displacement of First Nations people.
Set to take place in Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Canberra, Geelong and two special concerts as part of 2021 WOMADelaide
, these concerts will also be the first since the recent death of the group's long-time bass player, Bones Hillman.
The band had been scheduled to perform Makarrata Live at Splendour this year till COVID derailed those plans; any further plans for Makarrata Live shows were cast in doubt with Hillman's terminal illness, but Bones was adamant the shows must go on.
"Bonesy leaves giant shoes to fill, but we'll need to find a new bass player for this tour," drummer Rob Hirst says. "On this issue Bones was clear: 'the show must go on!' he said, 'as soon as it's safe to play gigs again'.
"We're hoping that these Makarrata Live shows will increase awareness of The Uluru Statement From The Heart and further the reconciliation between First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians – we'll also be dedicating the tour to Bones."
'The Makarrata Project' is Midnight Oil's first #1 album since their 1990 record 'Blue Sky Mining'. "The most fulfilling part of 'The Makarrata Project' came through collaborating with so many First Nations artists during those recording sessions," the band's guitarist and keyboard player, Jim Moginie says.
"I think everyone's looking forward to seeing what shape all the music from different eras takes as those gifted singers add their voices to it live.
"We've never done anything like this, so it feels good to still be pushing the envelope a bit despite everything that's happened in 2020."General public tickets on sale from 2pm (local time) on 16 December. WOMADelaide general public tickets on sale from 9am ACDT on 11 December.
Midnight Oil Makarrata Live 2021 Tour Dates
Sun 28 Feb - Sirromet Wines (Mount Cotton, Brisbane)Sat 6 Mar - WOMADelaide (Adelaide)* Midnight Oil headline performanceMon 8 Mar - WOMADelaide (Adelaide)Sat 13 Mar - Hope Estate (Hunter Valley)Wed 17 Mar - Stage 88 (Canberra)Sat 20 Mar - Mt Duneed Estate (Geelong)