First Nations artists to join Midnight Oil for WOMADelaide show

Dan Sultan, Alice Skye and Troy Cassar-Daley are among the First Nations singers who will join Midnight Oil for their Makarrata Live concert at WOMADelaide next month.

Feb 04, 2021, updated Feb 04, 2021
Dan Sultan collaborated with Midnight Oil for The Makarrata Project. Photo: Robert Hambling

Dan Sultan collaborated with Midnight Oil for The Makarrata Project. Photo: Robert Hambling

Makarrata Live, in King Rodney Park on March 8, will be a concert performance of music from the band’s recently released mini-album The Makarrata Project, which features songs around the theme of Indigenous reconciliation and is intended to raise awareness about The Uluru Statement from the Heart seeking constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians.

For the album, Midnight Oil collaborated with a number of Indigenous artists, including Sultan, Skye and Cassar-Daley. Other First Nations collaborators joining them for the WOMADelaide concert include Bunna Lawrie (founding member of South Australian band Coloured Stone), Tasman Keith and Leah Flanagan.

Bunna Lawrie.

“The message of these songs feels increasingly relevant as public awareness of The Uluru Statement continues to grow,” Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst says The Makarrata Project.

“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.”

Midnight Oil also announced today that Sydney bassist Adam Ventoura, who has previously toured with Cold Chisel’s Ian Moss, will step into the shoes of band member Bones Hillman, who died late last year.

“It will be a moment heavy with emotion to go on stage 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,” frontman Peter Garrett said in a statement.

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“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.”

Midnight Oil are playing two concerts in WOMADelaide’s sunset concert series, with their first performance, on March 6, featuring songs from their 28-year back catalogue. It will be opened by vocal duo Vika and Linda Bull.

Adelaide band Siberian Tiger and Melbourne’s The Teskey Brothers will also perform sets at their March 8 concert.

The full line-up for the March 5-8 concerts was revealed in early December, with other artists including Sarah Blasko, Archie Roach, Tash Sultana, and Lior and Nigel Westlake with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Pitjantjatjara/Torres Strait Islander artist Miiesha and Melbourne-based singer Kaiit were also added to the line-up this week after Sampa the Great was forced to cancel her Australian tour dates.

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