Anthony Albanese presents award to Midnight Oil: “part of our national soundtrack”

The Prime Minister praised the band as "a force of nature" when presenting them with the Excellence in the Community Award at a Support Act fundraiser in Sydney last night

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presented Midnight Oil with an award as part of Support Act’s Music in the House fundraising event in Sydney last night (August 23).

The event, which took place at the Grounds of Alexandria, was hosted by Zan Rowe, and served as a celebration for Support Act’s 25th anniversary. It marked the first time Music in the House had run in two years.

As part of the evening, Midnight Oil were honoured with the organisation’s Excellence in the Community Award for “their incredible contribution to music, the community and activism in support of the environment, nuclear non-proliferation, Indigenous rights and much more”. Albanese delivered a short speech praising the band’s legacy while presenting them with the award.

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“From pubs and clubs to stadiums, they’ve been a force of nature,” Albanese said, calling the band “very much part of our national soundtrack”, The Music Network reports. He added: “The message was always about bringing people together. They’re a reminder that music enriches us, that it sustains our soul, and broadens our horizons.”

Midnight Oil and Anthony Albanese
Midnight Oil and Anthony Albanese. Photo supplied

Taking to Twitter that evening, Albanese echoed his sentiments, praising Midnight Oil as a “force for good” for the band’s long history of activism and supporting important causes. “They’ve made us think on Indigenous rights, the environment and nuclear proliferation,” he wrote. “They’ve made us take a longer, harder look at ourselves and the nation around us.”

It’s the second time this week Albanese has demonstrated an affinity for Australian music. On Monday (August 22), the PM was spotted enjoying the final show of Gang of Youths‘ tour in support of new album ‘Angel In Realtime’ at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney.

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Earlier this month, Midnight Oil kicked off the final leg of their farewell tour with a performance at the Mundi Mundi Bash festival in Broken Hill. Over the next month and a half, they’ll play shows in Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Broome, Busselton, Swan Valley, Sydney and Canberra.

Four of those shows – two in Melbourne and two in Sydney – were announced last week, with a portion of proceeds going to environmental and Indigenous causes. In both cities, the band will perform their fourth studio album, 1982’s ’10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1′, in full, nearly 40 years after it was released.

The band will also play a show in both Melbourne and Sydney featuring extended sets that draw from every album and EP across the band’s discography. The Sydney event, which will take place at the Hordern Pavilion on October 3, will mark the end of the band’s touring career.

“We’ve always supported causes that we believe are important during our tours so these four extra gigs are partly a way of doing that,” frontman Peter Garrett explained in a statement announcing the shows.

“They will allow the band and the audience to have a different experience each night by digging deep into the back catalogue in venues that are a bit smaller than the ones we’ve usually been playing in over recent years.”

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