Various venues, various years
Parcan and amp
A trickle of publicity. Infrequent tour dates. No Countdown appearances. Just worn-out vinyl and homemade mix tapes.
Overcrowded venues. With their biotoxic mix of aggro, volume, spew and carcinogenic haze. No place for coin-collecting koalas, or couples on first dates.
The bloke in front built like Sergeant Small. Shouting every chorus into his mate’s eardrum. The same mate who pinched your hard-earned spot, just moments before the house lights dimmed.
Your favourite song rarely played. Pleas for longed-for encores unheeded. The bar wrung dry two cans into the set – pleasing few but the unsmiling New Breed bouncers.
Drummer Rob Hirst once quipped that he only joined the band to extract himself from the audience maul – and he was right: it was tough being a Midnight Oil fan!
And of course, there was always that nagging fear. The fear that any show from about 1984 onwards might be the Oil’s last. So you stayed alert for snippets of tour news via the street press and hoardings.