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Gig Review: Midnight Oil + Dan Sultan + Alice Skye

Mt Duneed, 20 March 2021

What an extreme privilege we have here to be able to have large, public, in the flesh (NOT streamed) live a rock n’ roll!

On the outskirts of Geelong, at Mt Dunneed Estate, throngs of punters held witness to the finale of one of the most important tours this decade – Makarrata Live.

Performing only a handful of shows around the country, Midnight Oil, have been joined onstage by a large line up of First Nations collaborators seeking to elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart which calls for Makarrata – or “truth telling” – to account for the theft of lands and displace-ment of First Nations people.

Opening the night was the wonderful Alice Skye, a Wergaia woman, originally from Horsham and Triple J’s 2017 Unearthed National Indigenous Winner. Skye was joined by her band to perform a bunch of tunes, predominantly from her debut release, 2018’s Friends With Feelings and would later join The Oils for ‘Terror Australia’ – the tune for which she features on The Makarrata Project.

Next up was the wonderful Dan Sultan. Exploding onto stage also with a full band, they tore through a bunch of tunes from his various studio releases, the high light being ‘Old Fitzroy’ from the 2010 album, Get Out While You Can. Dan would later join The Oils for then tracks Gadigal Land and Change The Date also from The Makarrata Project.

Midnight Oil were prompt to follow, with a soul-felt welcome to country. Igniting the stage The Oils blasted through some old classics – Some Kids, Don’t Wanna Be The One, Truganini and Jimmy Sharman’s Boxers.

Next was a reading of The Uluru Statement From The Heart, accompanied by video art and then The Makarrata Project was performed in full. The Oils had a revolving door of First Nations Guests including – Troy Cassar-Daley, Leah Flanagan, Tasman Keith, Liz Stringer, Dan Sultan and Alice Skye. Other shows from this tour also featured the wonderful Frank Yamma, but was absent form the Mt Dunneed show, as was Jessica Mauboy (absent from the tour) who also contributed to The Makarrata Project. It was an incredible treat to have all these artists in one spot.

If that wasn’t enough, The Oils then treated the crowd of thousands to several more classics culmi-nating with an encore of – From The Bush (Warumpi Band cover), One Country (with a dedication to former bassist Bones Hillman), The Dead Heart and of course Beds Are Burning, joined again by all the First Nations artists.

Such a great show that won’t be forgotten.

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