Back in December, Midnight Oil announced a bunch of outdoor concerts set to take place across February and March. The shows are centred around the band’s latest record, The Makarrata Project; the band’s first record in almost two decades.
Today, the band have announced a stacked lineup of First Nations collaborators who will be joining them on their Makarrata Live shows this month.
They will be performing with Dan Sultan, Alice Skye, Troy Cassar-Daley, Tasman Keith and Leah Flanagan. Joining Midnight Oil’s live band will be backing vocalist Liz Stringer and saxophonist Andy Bickers. Coloured Stone’s legendary frontman Bunna Lawrie will join the band at their WOMADelaide performance.
Sultan, Skye, Cassar-Daley and Flanagan will also perform guests slots of their own on select nights.
“We’re fortunate that so many of the collaborators on our mini-album can join us onstage for these shows and we remain hopeful that one or two more of our friends might be able to jump up with us here and there as well,” said drummer Rob Hirst.
“The message of these songs feel increasingly relevant as public awareness of The Uluru Statement continues to grow. It’s time for Australia to stop dragging the chain on this issue and we call upon the government to begin the process of constitutional recognition for First Australians and to also heed their call for a Voice to the federal parliament.”
Due to the passing of Midnight Oil’s longtime band member Bones Hillman late last year, Sydney bassist Adam Ventoura will be joining the band on tour.
“It will be a moment heavy with emotion to go onstage without our long-time brother in music, but Bonesy always made it clear he wanted these gigs to go ahead without him so we know he will be with us in spirit”, said frontman Peter Garrett.
“We’ve just started rehearsing with Adam, who, amazingly, has been living under our noses in Sydney. There’s something primal about his playing that caught our ears that makes the band sound great.”
The Makarrata Project is a collaborative mini-album that centres the voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, whilst aiming to educate those who listen on these experiences. Across the seven tracks, the band have called on First Nations artists like Jessica Mauboy, Dan Sultan, Kev Carmody, and the late Gurrumul, among others, to lend their talents to the project.
The album closes with a reading of the 2017 Uluru Statement From The Heart by some of these collaborators.
Of the record, Garrett said “It’s great to see this new music striking such a chord, particularly in NAIDOC Week which invites all Australians to embrace our true history.”
“Hopefully these songs and the amazing contributions of all our collaborators will get us thinking seriously about The Uluru Statement From The Heart. It’s a roadmap to a unified nation. If you haven’t read it yet you really should”.
Check out the full list of collaborators below, and sus the event dates here.