Nearly five years ago Midnight Oil returned with a sweat-drenched pub gig at Selinas where frontman Peter Garrett exhorted "rage, rage, against the dying of the light".
The band's final chapter opens with the release of a new album, Resist, in mid-February and a tour which kicks off at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on February 23.
Yes, you read that right. The Oils are calling it quits.
Resist will be a fitting final statement for a band whose call has always been "it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees".
The final chapter of Midnight Oil's career will come to a memorable close with the release of the other 12 new songs they recorded with Bones and a series of big gigs.
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.
"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?'," frontman Peter Garrett said.
"Having always tackled every tour like it's the last - this time it actually will be."
Rob Hirst says: "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. 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."
Peter Garrett continues: "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."
Jim Moginie: "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."
Martin Rotsey: "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."
Tickets to Midnight Oil's final tour, Resist, at Newcastle Entertainment Centre on February 23, go on sale at 10am on Tuesday, November 30, through Ticketek.
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