February 17, 2017 / 6:19 AM / 9 months ago

Australian rock band Midnight Oil to play first world tour in 20 years

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian rock band Midnight Oil said on Friday they will play their first world tour in 20 years, vowing to continue their political activism during the six-month, fifty-show world tour.

File photo - Australia's Environment Minister Peter Garrett performs with his band Midnight Oil during the Sound Relief bushfire benefit concert in Melbourne March 14, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

The tour, scheduled to begin in mid-April, will take the band to 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand and to countries in Europe and South America.

The band’s frontman Peter Garrett - a former Australian government minister between 2007 and 2013 - said the group would not shy away from speaking their mind, taking a swipe at new U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Healthy democracies sometimes need to react against craziness and ugliness and selfishness and stupidity,” said Garrett.

“You’ve got that in ample abundance in President Trump,” said the Midnight Oil frontman.

The band is no stranger to controversy.

An impromptu lunchtime protest performance in front of Exxon Mobile Corp’s New York offices criticized the company for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1990.

In 2000, when playing at the official Sydney Olympics closing ceremony, the band performed while wearing clothes emblazoned with “sorry”, a direct reference to the then Australian prime minister John Howard‘s refusal to apologize to indigenous Australians for their historic mistreatment.

In 2008, then Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd issued an apology to the country’s marginalized indigenous people, which aimed to herald a new era in race relations.

Midnight Oil has released 17 albums, with sales of more than 10 million worldwide.

Reporting by Aaron Bunch, Editing by Karishma Singh

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