With Midnight Oil back on stage after many a year, we re-visit some Stereo Stories and invite you to an evening of Midnight Oil memories at the Flem-Ken Bowls Club this Thursday.

Leo Grogan is a big Midnight Oil fan. Huge fan. He’s such a fan that he’s put together a spoken-word show to celebrate the Oils.

He’s calling it The Basement Flat Tapes and it’s on at the Flem-Ken Bowls Club on Thursday evening 2 November, just a few days before the Oils hit Hanging Rock and then Melbourne town.

Diehard fans (as if there any other types of Oils fans) will be reading extracts from liner notes, press clippings, gig reviews and especially the Andrew McMillan tour book Strict Rules. Smokie Dawson, of Stereo Stories, will be one of the readers.

“It’s a low-key, local, self made happening,” said Leo, perhaps a little modestly. “It’s for thinkers and drinkers, poets and slaves, readerly and writerly types with a passion for musical musings. And Oilheads!”

And it’s also a fundraiser for a local charity.

More details at the Flem-Ken Bowls Club website.


Meanwhile, from the Stereo Stories archives…

David Oke first saw the Oils at Deakin University, Geelong in March 1982.

Not only was the bass hitting us like a shockwave from the giant P.A. system, but the concrete walkway was resonating too. We could feel the music coming up through our feet…I was transfixed with the skill and showmanship of Rob Hirst on drums, the power chords and virtuoso ability of Martin and Jim on guitars, the rhythm and drive of Peter on bass and, of course, the outspoken, tall and bald Peter Garrett who mesmerised us with his ‘stomp’ and helicopter dancing.

Read more of David’s story.


Andrea Gillum first saw Midnight Oil at the Black Saturday bushfire benefit concert at the MCG in March 2009.

They’d never toured to my hometown of Christchurch, (hardly anyone did), and I arrived in Australia too late. …It was dark and cool that night at the MCG, rain was in the air, finally. The smell of smoke and the haze over the city had drifted away a few weeks before. But as a city, as a state, we were all still in shock. This was not a disaster on the television, or in the papers, it was right here and very real. Midnight Oil were what I can only describe as a powerhouse.

Read more of Andrea’s story.


And from the Almanac Music site…

Smokie Dawson saw the Oils in Kuranda, Queensland, just a few weeks ago.

I turn to my mate Matt and laugh, “This is like being transported back in time!” Along with a few friends, we first saw Midnight Oil in 1982 at the Astor Theatre in Prahran. Matt nods “They are on fire!” Garrett still sounds the same too, but then again the strength of Oils songs was always in the message, not the voice with which they were sung.

Read Smokie’s gig review at Almanac Music.