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Minutes to midnight: Oils announce Resist tour will be their last

Culture

Arriving with their 15th studio album Resist, Midnight Oil have announced their last hurrah before calling it quits on touring, playing three dates across Queensland in April 2022.

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The band have never been strangers to political activism, saying Resist is a 12-song statement for the future, leading with the battle cry “it’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees”.

Its lead single ‘Rising Seas’ is a plea for climate action, the video showing Scott Morrison waving a lump of coal in parliament between clips of natural disasters.

Their extensive Australia-wide tour will see them play in Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, and Brisbane before moving south to Bluesfest 2022. 

“We all know time refuses to stand still for anyone but after many years together the band’s spirit is deep, the music and words are strong, and our ideas and actions as bold as we can make them,” lead singer Peter Garrett said.

“We’ve reached people in ways we never could have imagined. Our desire to create and speak out is undimmed.

“We hope everyone who hears this album and gets to one of the shows will come away charged up about the planet’s future, saying ‘why stop now?’.

“Having always tackled every tour like it’s the last – this time it actually will be.”

Midnight Oil disbanded in 2002, with Garrett pursuing a career in politics, becoming Labor’s Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts under Kevin Rudd.

Following Garrett’s resignation from the ministry, the Oils screamed back onto the music scene in 2017 with their ‘Great Circle’ tour which sold out 77 shows in 16 countries.

In 2020, they re-entered the studio to create The Marrakata Project which debuted at no.1 in the ARIA Charts, highlighting injustices suffered by First Nations people.

During the same period, Midnight Oil’s longtime bass player Bones Hillman passed away.

We’ve played intensely physical gigs since our humble beginnings back in 1977 and we never want to take even the slightest risk of compromising that,” guitarist Jim Moginie said.

“A lot has happened over the last five years. Much has been achieved and with the passing of Bones much has been lost, so it now feels like we’re at the end of a cycle.

Midnight Oil’s Resist tour poster (Image: Supplied)

“These will be sad and beautiful gigs but luckily we’re still capable of blowing the roof off any stage and that’s what we intend to do.

“You could call this a farewell tour, but Midnight Oil will still continue in some form or other as we’re brothers, family. We stand as one, dependent on each other and grateful in all the important ways that make great bands great.”

Throughout its 30 year history, the band has used their music to demand social change, decrying issues such as global warming, Indigenous rights, and gender inequality with singles ‘Beds are Burning’, ‘Blue Sky Mine’, and ‘US Forces’.

Their Resist tour will be no different, focussing on emission reduction and setting aside a portion of proceeds for charities tackling the climate crisis.

The band said in a statement that the Oils are not disbanding, but will continue their own projects in the future, leaving the door open for recording new music together.

Midnight Oil’s Resist tour will begin in Newcastle, NSW on 23 February and end in Sydney on 21 April, for more information visit Frontier Touring. 

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