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Midnight Oil Have Reformed–Legendary Band Prepare For 2017 World Tour

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Although they were led by one of the most imposing figures in rock and roll history—during a performance he once reached down and lifted an offending fan in mid-air with one arm—over the course of their career Midnight Oil were as much heart as they were muscle.  Firebrands of ecological and social justice, the Australian band took on everything from environmental disasters to cultural neglect and somehow managed, in the process, to never sound preachy or pedantic.

But in 2002, after twenty-five years together, the band called it a day.

Singer Peter Garret entered into politics, giving him the most high-profile role after the ‘Oils disbanded, but and while the other members of the band went off to do their own projects, they found themselves together again in 2006, when they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and again in 2009 playing a few reunion gigs.

And now, seven years later, the original lineup is back.

On their official Facebook page they wrote: We wanted you to be the first to know that the five of us are planning to do some gigs in Australia and overseas during 2017. It will probably be at least the end of this year before we know exactly where or when – but if you want to be first to hear about any dates, head over to and sign up to the mailing list. You can grab your free download of ‘Forgotten Years’ live from Canberra while you’re there and catch up on some other big news too. Hope to see you soon … from Bones, Jim, Martin, Peter and Rob.

Although a new ‘Oils album doesn’t look likely at this point, it has been confirmed that Garret is set to release his first solo record.

If you go through their discography, you’ll find that every song Midnight Oil recorded was fueled by a surge of power and velocity and whether the subject matter was about the plight of the Aboriginal citizenry, mining disasters or unwelcome military intervention in foreign affairs, this was not a band who were ever going to write a song that would be played at your Senior Prom—this was an outfit who were playing fight songs for people who were up for the fight.

Garrett was a twitching mass of a man who waved his powerful arms convulsively around like chopper blades, his body a heaving, propulsive unit of coiled energy that, once loosened, sounded like a bolt of lightning cracking the sky in half.  His moves were feral and uninhibited and he moved across the stage with possession and sheer physical electricity.

Garrett may have been the public brand—his unmistakable bald head, spasmodic dancing and quivering open palm outstretched to the heavens were the recognizable iconography of The ‘Oils—but the band’s secret weapon (and in many ways its principal songwriter) was drummer Rob Hirst, who pounded away with athleticism, drive and rhythm that kept every number menacingly afloat.  Meanwhile, the duel guitar attack of Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey added a rolling texture to the ‘Oils work, making numbers like “Forgotten Years” and “Hercules” instant classics.