Midnight Oil at Brixton Academy
After a lengthy hiatus, Australian rockers Midnight Oil pick up where they left off, presenting Brixton’s 02 Academy with a high-energy show that caters to long-time followers as well as those new to their music. With their timeless lyrics, the band remains relatable with their messages still resonating in 2019, arguably even more so considering our current political climate. Of course, vocalist Peter Garrett can’t resist making social commentary with references to Brexit and the runners for next PM; however, his audience interaction is joyful, appropriately timed and never too preachy. There are heavy themes explored through meaningful lyrics, however, Midnight Oil are faultless in their execution, with Garret’s stage presence driving an immense amount of energy, especially given the fact that the band members are all in their sixties.
The frontman’s signature dance moves are on unapologetic display, emphasising the relentless vigour of this performance, which successfully blends its politically laced messages with a sense of fun and excitement. The set list reads like a greatest hits album and only serves as a reminder that this cult band still has a lot to say and, with their assured performances, they certainly say it well.
For any band to sound as good as or even better than they do on their albums says a lot and Garret retains his strong vocals with guitarist Jim Moginie and bassist Bones Hillman complementing one another flawlessly. Crowd-pleasers Beds Are Burning and My Country are played perfectly and the set list as a whole has been carefully considered, interweaving ballads and low-tempo tracks with high-energy numbers.
This is an intelligent group that manages to morph meaningful messages with catchy tunes but it is the raw talent of the band that brings it all together. This is what live music should be about – offering a communal experience that is both enlightening and entertaining. It’s a shame it’s taken so long for Midnight Oil to reform, however, their impressive performance shows no sign of time having passed.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Midnight Oil’s website here.
Watch the video for Beds Are Burning here: