It’s exactly one week until Midnight Oil finally launch the homecoming leg of their Great Circle 2017 World Tour in Alice Springs. The iconic rock group has spent the last six months playing more than 50 gigs in 16 countries across six continents. They have played nearly 100 different songs including at least half a dozen that they have never performed onstage before. However the band has clearly still got more surprises up their sleeves.
Today Midnight Oil announced an intimate benefit gig to help protect The Great Barrier Reef and to support reef activism and research. It will happen in Cairns on Friday October 6. Appropriately enough for a group who recently released two collectors box sets housed in recycled steel tanks, this benefit show – dubbed “Oils At The Reef” – will be staged at The Tanks Art Centre. A very limited number of tickets will go on sale via frntr.co/MidnightOilREEF at 10:00am this Wednesday September 27 and are limited to strictly two per buyer.
The show will be recorded and filmed for later broadcast by tour partners Triple M and Foxtel’s MAX as part of radio and TV specials that will draw focus to the plight of the greatest natural wonder on this planet – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. All proceeds from the show will go to a non-partisan scientific research organisation called Great Barrier Reef Legacy. People can find out more about their work at greatbarrierreeflegacy.org.
“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most beautiful and intricate ecosystems”, said Oils drummer Rob Hirst. “It’s also a magnet for tourists, and a major contributor to the local economy so the fact that it’s under threat from climate change and unsustainable development should concern all Australians. We believe we should support the work of scientists and listen to them when it comes to what we should do to protect this precious environment.”
The nearly 3000 reefs which make up this amazing organism were declared a Marine Park in 1975 and listed as a World Heritage Site in 1981. Since then State and Federal Governments of all political persuasions have gradually expanded protection culminating in 2012 federal legislation which received bipartisan support to expand the Marine Park system and increase environmental safeguards within it. However those gains have recently been under threat from federal government moves to allow trawling, mining and pipelines in some previously protected areas. Adani’s massive proposed Carmichael coal mine would also place the reef under threat if it was allowed to go ahead both in terms of its huge carbon impact and potential damage from increased shipping traffic. Current land use practices and expansion of industry around the reef also pose unacceptable threats to its health at a time when parts of it are already struggling.
“Midnight Oil have always used our music to talk about things we believe are important”, says band frontman Peter Garrett. “We believe the future of the Great Barrier Reef is clearly on the line. We’re at the eleventh hour for our most important natural asset. As the largest living organism in our world the reef is a treasure of extraordinary beauty itself but it’s also a symbol of greater questions we all have to answer. Some parts of the Reef are already being killed off by catastrophic climate change and other parts would be damaged by bad federal government policy that prioritises short term corporate profit above all else. So we’re looking forward to getting together with our friends in Cairns and all doing our bit to share some information, provoke more conversation and make change while there’s still time.”
Australian fans will get 22 other chances to see the Oils live at last as The Great Circle 2017 Tour winds its way around the country from next Monday through until November 17 when the circle comes to a close back at the Domain in Sydney. While most dates have sold out limited tickets remain for some shows. See www.midnightoil.com/tour-dates for up to the minute info. To avoid being ripped off by online scalpers, PLEASE only buy tickets from the authorised sellers listed on the band’s website. The only authorised re-sale platform for this tour is TWICKETS where fans can buy and sell ‘extra’ tickets at face value. Please click here to access the Twickets Midnight Oil page.
“Oils At The Reef” will not be the first time this year that Midnight Oil has fused live music with causes that matter to them. During the Brazilian leg of their tour they did a guerrilla set aboard the famous Rainbow Warrior to draw focus to the issue of mining on reefs at the mouth of the Amazon River. They also played environmentally oriented events like Switzerland’s Paleo Festival and the Ostrava Festival in the Czech Republic – click here for video – while in Canada they agitated for Greenpeace who are currently fighting a huge legal battle that threatens their very survival in that country.
However, most of 2017 has been spent playing incendiary rock shows which have turned back time for fans across the globe. Here’s just a small taste of what the critics have said:
“Collectively, the Oils proved more than ready to take on all comers for the title of the world’s most exhilarating live rock band.” – Jeff Elbe, Illinois Entertainer, USA
“One of the best shows in the life of anyone who was there. Power and relevance, at that point, it scared and exalted at the same time.” – Sylvain Cormier, Le Devoir Montreal, Canada
“Garrett and the Oils approached every single song with so much passion that there was no doubt that what the audience witnessed was the stuff of legends, and sadly when it comes to music, there are not many of this calibre left” – Shayne Robinson, City Buzz, South Africa
“The band’s innate belief in the power of connection, and music as a unifying force, triumphs over any despair. That’s the overarching message Midnight Oil conveyed in Cleveland, and perhaps the dominant reason why the band’s comeback has been so important — and so desperately needed.” – Annie Zaleski, Salon.com, USA
“Midnight Oil was there for real. It was not a forced move, passion was present in every sound, Aussie rock can be proud to have this super band… everyone needs a band like this.”– Luis Otavio Carvalho Lopes, Vi Show Brazil
“The full-throttle driving guitar rock, passionate lyrics and musical brilliance never faltered.”– Cate Broughton, Fairfax New Zealand
“As much as the actuality of their texts on the dangers of nuclear power, protection of the planet, American anti-imperialism or the defence of Aborigines, it is the musical quality of their repertoire that impresses.” – Stéphane Davet, Le Monde Paris, France
“Proselytizers place the Australian band in the pantheon of great live acts, and justifiably so.” – Josh Klein, Chicago Tribune, USA
“The Verdict? Something special just happened…That was some return.” – Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
“There’s a passion almost unseen these days and at the heart of it all lies a vast collection of simply exquisite songs.”– Marco Gandolfi, Music News UK
“The task of transforming into words the completeness of the Midnight Oil show on Saturday night at the Espaço das Américas in São Paulo is both pleasurable and arduous, such a diversity of sensations that the show provided the fans.” – Universo do Rock, Brazil
“Midnight Oil brought the power and the passion, full force, as if they hadn’t been gone for the last 15 years. A fantastic show.” – Brooklyn Vegan, New York, USA
“While political issues have always been discussed between songs, tonight was different. Their anger made their songs feel so much more powerful and passionate, and turned their usually strong showmanship into an aggressive set that made us listen to the truth from start to finish.”– Justine McNamara, the AU Review, New York, USA
“Expect all the pounding, sing-along hits, a bit of Trump-bashing and a sideshow by Rob Hirst, one of the all-time greatest drummers on the planet.”– Libby Molyneaux, LA Weekly, USA
“To say that the return of Midnight Oil was triumphant is obvious. Great songs, exemplary form, social conscience, environmental and political commitment intact: this group of songs from the 1980’s and 1990’s were prophetic and did not take a wrinkle.”– Philippe Rezzonico, Radio Canada