Hard to resist the power and the passion

Midnight Oil will end on a high with new music that's hard to resist

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THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Daniel Boud.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Daniel Boud.

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Australia's protest rock heroes Midnight Oil set to quit touring.

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The Aussie rock scene has always been an incredibly tough gig and one of the most enduring bands is Midnight Oil.

The sheer power and passion of their lyrics, their music, stage presence and the message carried in every song and album has enthralled us ever since the Oils exploded out of the post-punk scene back in 1978, blazing a trail of blistering gigs through Australia's pubs and clubs.

In the four decades since they have created an unparalleled string of classic tracks including I Don't Wanna Be The One, Power & The Passion, US Forces, Best Of Both Worlds, The Dead Heart, Blue Sky Mine, Forgotten Years, Truganini, Redneck Wonderland, Say Your Prayers and the 2020 APRA Song of the Year, Gadigal Land (featuring Dan Sultan, Joel Davison, Kaleena Briggs and Bunna Lawrie).

Their Diesel & Dust LP topped the critics' 100 Best Australian Albums Of All Time and its worldwide hit Beds Are Burning is one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock'n'Roll according to the U.S. Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame.

In 2017 Midnight Oil returned from a long hiatus with a pub gig at the legendary Sydney venue, Selinas.

In the middle of the set, frontman Peter Garrett borrowed some famous lines: "rage, rage, against the dying of the light". And that's exactly what they've done ever since. They sold out 77 shows in 16 countries on their epic Great Circle tour.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Tony Mott.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Tony Mott.

They toured Europe again, did a memorable gig in the outback, then returned to the studio for the first time in over 18 years and recorded 20 new songs. The first batch of that material, The Makarrata Project, debuted at #1 on the same weekend that longtime bass player Bones Hillman died.

Despite that blow, and a global pandemic, the band and their First Nations Collaborators still mounted their acclaimed Makarrata Live shows early this year.

But the Oils have announced that this chapter of their career will come to a memorable close next year with the release of the other 12 new songs they recorded with Bones and a series of big gigs. Both are aptly titled Resist.

The band also announced that this will be their final concert tour while making it clear that this does not mean the end of the Oils. Each of the members will continue their own projects over the years ahead. They remain very open to recording new music together in future and supporting causes in which they believe, but this will be their last tour.

Resist will be a fitting, forward-looking, statement for a band whose cry has always been "it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees". The tour will see them performing classic Midnight Oil songs from across their repertoire while also showcasing some urgent new works.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Robert Hambling.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Robert Hambling.

As the title makes abundantly clear, Resist engages with the issues of today and tomorrow - like the lead single Rising Seas which tackles the climate crisis in typically uncompromising fashion.

Resist will be Midnight Oil's 15th studio release.

Peter Garrett said: "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. 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."

THE GOOD OILS: Peter Garrett belts it out. Photo: Tony Mott.

THE GOOD OILS: Peter Garrett belts it out. Photo: Tony Mott.

Rob Hirst said "If I look back, I see a blur of familiar names and faces: Jim, Pete, Martin, Bear and me, slamming loud prog-pop in a Chatswood garage; Giffo, magnificent, rocking back and forth at his first Royal Antler gig; Bonesy, headphones on, singing, lounging on the deck learning our catalogue.

THE GOOD OILS: Rob Hirst in action. Photo: Tony Mott.

THE GOOD OILS: Rob Hirst in action. Photo: Tony Mott.

"I see our managers in their offices - Gary, Zev and John; our tour managers in their cars and buses - Constance, Neil, and Willie Mac; our producers in their studios, Keith, Lez, Glyn, Nick and Warne; and our crew on countless stages, Michael, Oysters, Ozzy, Doc, Nick, Jock, Gerry - and so many more.

"I see our folks-in-the-engine-room that the outside world has never seen: Stephanie, Wayne, Diana, Arlene, Jonesy, Craig, Geoff H, Chris P, Peter T, and Mel C.

"I see our wives and trusted friends, and the tiny faces of the 'Baby Oils', watching us from side of stage, from Sydney to Sao Paulo to Saskatoon.

"But mostly, blinded by stage lights, I see the first two rows of a thousand gigs: Midnight Oil fans, pumping, jumping, singing louder than the band. But I don't look back."

Jim Moginie said: "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. 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.

"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."

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Oliver Eclipse.

THE GOOD OILS: Midnight Oil have announced a new album and their final tour. Photo: Oliver Eclipse.

Martin Rotsey said: "A huge thank you to all our fans around the world. We've shared so much together from the swelter of Sydney pubs to magical nights under starry skies. Your energy took us further than we could ever have dreamed.

"To those down the front in the maelstrom, those at the back of the room singing their hearts out, and all of those onstage, backstage, and back home who helped make everything possible, we send our thanks."

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