5 acts that need to tour Australia ASAP

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It's been years since we've seen these artists down under. It's time that changed.

The world is getting smaller. Flights are cheaper, the internet makes everything from homesickness to navigation easier (though some would argue less exciting) and we can source travel advice on social media instantly, rather than tracking down and fumbling through a recent enough edition of Lonely Planet.

But not everyone loves to travel great distances, that includes bands. And being one of the most isolated countries on the planet – certainly in relation to musical hotspots like the UK and US – means that the trip can be a little too daunting for some acts.

It’s not always necessarily fear of flying that is the issue here. Sometimes the thought of being that far from home, or the prospect of some kind of (non-existent) mutant breed of jet lag that manifests after more than 12 hours in the air is too much to bear.

We’re not convinced we’ll ever get to see Jonathan Richman, Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin or Tom Waits in the country again. And while a few of the inclusions below are seriously ambitious, history has told us to never say never.

Here are just five artists we need to see in Australia, pronto. Goodness knows there are plenty more. 


There’s a new Rancid album coming out in just over a month’s time. It’s their ninth record and their fifth since 1998, which was the last time the band played in Australia.

This is not lost on Rancid’s fanbase. The cries for an Australian Rancid tour on social media have been deafening for years now, and some promoters have even admitted to begging the band to make a return to our shores. But it hasn’t happened, and hope is dwindling by the day.

As is so often the case, we have no idea why the band won’t come and see us. But, with a new record under their sleeve and a long time between whatever might have happened on that last trip to keep them away – maybe we’ll see them soon?

Frank Ocean

After abandoning his first and only Australian tour after just one show in 2013, Frank Ocean hasn’t even looked like coming back to make up the dates he bailed on. The guy had a vocal tear, so we can’t exactly blame him for pulling out, but that doesn’t make it any less gutting for fans.

It was worse when the singer went to ground for what seemed like an eternity, releasing no new music and making no public appearances for a couple of years. The good news is that Ocean is no longer lying low and is even out on the road from the end of this month.

Will this activity see him make it to Australia? God, we hope so. 


It’s kinda weird to have an Australian on this list, but it has been over six years since Sia’s last Australian shows and we want her back! At least for a little bit.

The Adelaide-bred pop genius has lived in LA for a really long time now and to say she’s made the most of the relocation is perhaps the greatest understatement ever committed on this website. She’s written a ton of legitimate smash hit songs, both for herself and for others, and it appears as if she’s done everything on her own terms.

This probably means that she’ll only come down here if she really wants to. She has been performing live recently though, with a big tour of the US late in 2016. So she’s clearly open to the prospect of touring, it’s just a matter of whether she sees the value – personally and professionally – of taking the show any further abroad. 

Paul McCartney

This one hurts the most, because it so very nearly happened. Paul McCartney cancelled two scheduled Melbourne performances in 2002, stating that he felt it was inappropriate to stage a concert in the wake of the Bali Bombings. Rumours abound as to the actual reason for the cancellation, but rumours don’t give us a night of Beatles classics straight from the source.

In a landscape where audiences are willing to dig deep for tickets to see their idols, a Paul McCartney tour would surely make a lot of money for a lot of people these days. But the former Beatle clearly doesn’t want to take the risk, because he’s dodged us for almost a quarter of a century now.

It stings even more right now, because McCartney was just in Japan last weekend to play three shows at the Tokyo Dome. That is so close to us, Macca. Why you gotta be like that?

Kate Bush

We can dream, right?

Kate Bush did 22 shows in London back in 2014 and, from all reports, they were amazing. She was reportedly open to playing Coachella, but the organisers didn’t want her.

It’s probably not going to happen, but it’s so much more likely in 2017 than it has been in years.