Midnight Oil are coming back.
The politically charged, globally famous, hit-filled, muscles-up-back-bald-head-up-front band which took an indefinite hiatus while Peter Garrett – the bald head up front – entered a political career, have announced a series of gigs in the near future.
In a Facebook post at 7am on Thursday, telling fans "we wanted you to be the first to know", Midnight Oil announced "the five of us are planning to do some gigs in Australia and overseas during 2017". The five in this case being the longest running version of the band: Garrett, Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey and Bones Hillman.
No dates have been announced and according to the band's fan site "we won't know exactly when, where and what we'll be doing before next January at the earliest", but that there will be a return is no longer in doubt.
"In the mean time please just ignore any rumours," the band has posted.
While this means the Australians definitely won't be making it on to the "Greychella" line-up of rock veterans - Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters - set up for a three-day festival in the California desert in October, a Midnight Oil tour in 2017 would be the first in more than 15 years.
The reformation and tour announcement also confirmed another rumour, that Garrett, a former Federal cabinet minister in the Rudd/Gillard governments, will be releasing a solo album. Those songs will be separate from any Midnight Oil show or possible recording.
"The songs that [Garrett] wrote alongside his memoir are more personal in nature," the band statement says. "Hence the decision to record them for a solo release. Expect more news on his album over coming months."
While Garrett is making a return to music, the rest of the band have many commitments they will need to put aside eventually for a full band tour, with Rob Hirst involved in several bands, including the "surf combo" The Break with Rotsey (who has played on the Garrett solo album) and Moginie; Hillman an in-demand session and touring bassplayer from his base in Nashville; and Moginie as likely to turn up with the Australian Chamber Orchestra or Sarah Blasko as his Irish music bands The Tinkers and Shameless Seamus.
Having announced the eventual tour, there's a bonus for fans of a downloadable live track,Forgotten Years, from a 2009 warm-up gig before the band's brief reformation for the Sound Relief fundraising concert.
"Next year we want to make a racket just like this," closes the band statement. "And we hope to see you there."