The time has come. Midnight Oil is back and they’re coming to the Hunter Valley in October.
The much-loved Aussie band made the announced live on Facebook at 9am this morning, fielding questions from reporters and fans against a Sydney Harbour backdrop.
They will play at Hope Estate on October 21 with Birds of Tokyo and Ash Grunwald.
It is the band’s first world tour in more than two decades. They also unveiled plans to release three archival box sets including a collection called The Overflow Tank which will contain more than 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material.
The band also confirmed at the press conference that they would be recording new music – in fact, they had already started throwing ideas around.
Peter Garrett said he had “never felt better, fresher, more energetic. An opportunity to get together with brothers in music, it’s incredible. Your musical heart never stops beating even if you’re doing something else at the time”.
The Great Circle 2017 World Tour will see the group’s classic line-up literally circle the planet for six months, starting and ending with gigs in Sydney. Appropriately for a band forged in their hometown’s sweat-drenched beer barns, the tour will begin in mid-April with an intimate local pub gig (details to be announced closer to the date). Midnight Oil will then hone their live show with over 30 gigs around the world during the northern summer, playing iconic venues from Sao Paulo’s Espaço das Americas and the Wiltern in LA to London’s Hammersmith Apollo and The Olympia in Paris. They will share festival stages with artists like Arcade Fire, Sting and The Pixies and finally return to New Zealand after 20 years.
This long-awaited world tour will climax with 18 special homecoming concerts through October and November, 2017. Given the band’s deep connections with central Australia the local leg will kick off in Alice Springs and Darwin before starting to circle their homeland with a show in the rainforest near Cairns. The tour will then loop clockwise around the country in mainly outdoor venues including Hope Estate, Victoria’s Hanging Rock and Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Brisbane’s Riverstage and the Village Green beside Adelaide Oval before “The Great Circle” finally comes to a close right back where it all began; with a final show in Sydney on November 11 at that traditional home of Australian political activism, The Domain.
These will be Midnight Oil’s only shows in the past 15 years apart from two stadium benefit concerts (and their related small warm-up gigs), Waveaid at the Sydney Cricket Ground (2005) and Sound Relief at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (2009). It will also be the group’s most extensive world tour since their classic late ’80s/early 90s albums like Diesel & Dust, Blue Sky Mining and Earth & Sun & Moon sold more than 10 million copies around the globe.
Special guests who have signed up to be part of this unique tour include John Butler Trio, AB Original, Adalita, Apakatjah, Bad/Dreems, Birds Of Tokyo, David Bridie, Ash Grunwald, Irrunytju Band, Jack River, Jedediah, The Jezebels, The Living End, Abbe May, Something For Kate, Spiderbait, Dan Sultan, Urthboy, and Frank Yamma.
The Oils will release of a remastered CD box set called The Full Tank, featuring all of their existing albums and EPs plus a mammoth new four-CD/eight-DVD trove called The Overflow Tank which will include more than 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material. Both of these box sets will be housed in replica miniature water tanks like the one featured onstage at so many Oils gigs.
People who sign up to Midnight Oil’s mailing list at midnightoil.com/mailing-list in the next few days will get first access to Australian tickets in a special presale on Thursday, February 23 alongside Frontier Touring Members. Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, February 27.