Midnight Oil have announced a handful of outdoor concerts for early 2021, centred around their latest release, The Makarrata Project, and each featuring a lineup of First Nation collaborators joining them.
The Makarrata Live shows will see the band and their collaborators perform music from the recent mini-album, along with other songs of reconciliation from throughout their career. The shows are intended to elevate the Uluru Statement from the Heart, raising awareness around the ongoing theft of land and displacement of First Nations people in this country.
Shows as part of the Makarrata Live run will kick off in Queensland late February before continuing on to South Australia, NSW, Victoria and the ACT, with each show run in strict accordance with each state’s COVID-safe protocols.
“We’re relieved and excited at the thought of finally playing music to live audiences again”, commented frontman Peter Garrett.
“Lots of the songs which have struck the deepest chords with our audiences over the years, like Beds Are Burning, Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers, The Dead Heart and Truganini, revolve around Indigenous issues so we’re definitely inspired to be playing a set that combines older songs like those with newer songs that share similar lyrical themes.”
Guitarist Jim Moginie echoes Garrett’s sentiments, saying the most fulfilling part of The Makarrata Project came through collaborating with so many First Nations artists.
“I think everyone’s looking forward to seeing what shape all the music from different eras takes as those gifted singers add their voices to it live. We’ve never done anything like this so it feels good to still be pushing the envelope a bit despite everything that’s happened in 2020.”
The Makarrata Project arrived back in October, after the band returned with ‘Gadigal Land’, their first new song in almost two decades. The album, also intended to raise awareness around the Uluru statement, features collaborations with First Nations artists including Jessica Mauboy, Tasman Keith, Dan Sultan, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Alice Skye, Kev Carmody and more.
Makarrata Live will mark the first shows by Midnight Oil since the tragic loss of longtime bassist Bones Hillman earlier this year, aged 62. Drummer Rob Hirst says Hillman urged his bandmates to press on with shows as soon as it was safe to do so, and the shows will be dedicated to the bassist.
See dates and details below. General public tickets go on sale next Wednesday, 16th December at 2pm local time.
Midnight Oil: Makarrata Live shows 2021
Sunday, 28th February
Sirromet Wines, Mount Cotton
Saturday, 6th March (Midnight Oil headline performance)
Monday, 8th March
Saturday, 13th March
Hope Estate, Hunter Valley
Wednesday 17th March
Stage 88, Canberra
Saturday, 20th March
Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong