During the show’s encore – a stop on what Midnight Oil have called their final tour – frontman Peter Garrett took a moment to remember Bailey, who formed The Saints in Brisbane in the early 1970s alongside co-founding members Ed Kuepper and Ivor Hay.
“A lot of people have seen that one of our compatriots who started making music in this town with his colleagues in the Saints many, many years ago passed away quite recently. Chris Bailey,” Garrett said to applause from the audience, as an image of Bailey was projected onto the screen behind the band.
“We didn’t know him that well, but you just have to listen to the songs and realise what they did at the time. This was actually a pretty conservative joint, and they were there to express themselves. They were a great band and he was a great writer and a great singer.”
Midnight Oil then performed a cover of ‘Know Your Product’ – the opening track from The Saints’ 1978 album ‘Eternally Yours’ – dedicating it to Bailey. Watch fan-shot footage of that below:
Midnight Oil have covered ‘Know Your Product’ live many times throughout their career, playing it at least 20 times from as early as 1988, to multiple times on their 2017 Australian reunion tour, to last weekend during their set at Bluesfest in Byron Bay.
Last week, Nick Cave penned a heartfelt tribute to Bailey in an instalment of his Red Hand Files newsletter. “I don’t have the words that will in any way adequately measure the extent of our collective loss,” the Bad Seeds bandleader wrote.
“I can only simply repeat, for the record, that, in my opinion, the Saints were Australia’s greatest band, and that Chris Bailey was my favourite singer.”
Midnight Oil’s ‘Resist’ Australian tour continues this Thursday (April 21) in Sydney. A North American tour will kick off in June followed by a string of European shows in July and finally, three New Zealand dates in September. See dates and details here.