Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Midnight Oil to play benefit gig

Peter Garrett
Midnight Oil last played at a benefit in aid of tsunami victims

Veteran rockers Midnight Oil are to reform and play alongside Kings of Leon at a benefit concert in Melbourne for victims of the Australian wildfire.

He said the event, on 14 March, would "give people affected by the terrible events what they dearly need".

Lead singer Peter Garrett was elected to parliament in 2004 and became environment minister in 2007.

Another Sound Relief concert, featuring Coldplay, will be staged at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the same day.

'Unique event'

Garrett, with his distinctive bald head and lanky frame, rose to fame as the frontman for the 80s band who had a worldwide hit with Beds are Burning in 1987 before disbanding in 2002.

He said the gig will be the first time the band have performed together since 2005 when they played a concert to raise cash for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

"I have hardly sung a note since the Oils last played at WaveAid, but this event is so unique and important that it will be terrific to now catch up with my mates and put on a performance that gives all those people affected by the terrible events what they dearly need," he said.

Other acts playing in Melbourne include Jack Johnson, Gabriella Cilmi and Wolfmother.

The concerts will raise money for victims of Australia's worst wildfire disaster, which has claimed at least 210 lives and devastated rural towns in the southern state of Victoria.

Organisers hope to raise at least A$4m (1.8m) for the Red Cross bushfire appeal.

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