9 artists we want to see tour Australia in 2018

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These incredible artists are well overdue for an Australian visit.

When we decided to write about artists who were overdue for an Australian tour last year, the universe played its finest trick yet and actually granted us two of the biggest names on the list.

So, why not try again?

We're not including artists we covered last year, because you can just go and read about them in the link above.

In an attempt to keep the list under control we have limited it to just artists who are currently touring (with one big exception) and, theoretically, could make the trip. So, Kate Bush is off, as is Missy Elliott, Daft Punk and Tom Waits.

But here are nine artists that we think are a little more likely to make the trek down to Australia in the next year or so.

Smashing Pumpkins

Come on, you know this one is possible.

Billy (sorry, William) Corgan and his Smashing Pumpkins were in Australia for Soundwave just a couple of years back, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we want is the classic Smashing Pumpkins. The James Iha, D’arcy Wretzky Smashing Pumpkins.

Corgan has reached out to the original members of the band and the reception has reportedly been fairly warm. There’s no telling if an original line up would sound better than the band he has now (who were pretty great in 2015), but we wanna see it nonetheless.

Corgan isn’t shy of the spotlight and a reformed Smashing Pumpkins could be one of the biggest music news stories of the year should it come to pass. 

Björk

It’s time. The DJ sets in 2016 don’t count.

Björk's Big Day Out slot in 2008 was transcendent – despite the protestations of some of the Rage Against The Machine faithful – but that was a decade ago now.

We need Björk back in Australia. Preferably playing her own shows, where we can luxuriate in her brilliance for hours and let her blow our tiny minds to pieces over and over again.

David Byrne

While it has only been a few years since Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was in Australia with St Vincent, it’s been nine years since audiences across the country got to see him on his own.

His 2018 tour is said to be particularly special, with the artist himself proclaiming, “This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense”.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see Byrne back in Australia some time soon, he’s not afraid to tour and he knows he’s got the fans down here. Whether he can bring the full scale of the production he’s using for his American shows remains to be seen.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

They are well and truly back in action after a little four-year hiatus, so it’s time to start thinking about the next time Yeah Yeah Yeahs are going to pay us a long-awaited return visit.

Late last year, the band reissued their classic 2003 album Fever To Tell in the form of a massive boxset and, at their recent comeback shows in the US, they played almost the entire record.

If they were to bring that show to Australia, it would be in stark contrast to their last visit for the Big Day Out in 2013, where the band drew from their entire catalogue in fairly equal measure.

But we don’t really care what they play. We just want more Yeah Yeah Yeahs in our lives and on our stages.  

Beyoncé

It’s only been four-and-a-bit years since Beyoncé was last in Australia, but those years have seen her transform completely. She has always been a pretty spectacular pop star but she became a real game-changer with her hugely ambitious self-titled and Lemonade records in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

After pulling out of Coachella (for two incredibly good reasons) last year, she’s making her comeback at this year’s event. After that, she’ll probably release a seventh record before taking her role as Nala in the remake of The Lion King.

Can she even fit a tour in around that? Let’s hope Australia factors into the plans somewhere if she can. And she’s welcome to bring her husband after the excellent record he put out last year as well.

Jack White

Before today Jack White has been a little bit quiet of late. This is a man who is always up to something, but his recent time out of the spotlight suggested he must be cooking up something pretty exciting. He has now released two new songs and announced that he'll have a new album, Boarding House Reach, out some time later this year.

He is one of the headliners for the 2017 Governors Ball, which suggests he is ready to spring back into action in the live arena too. Let’s hope he knows that we are ready to embrace him down in Australia once more, for the first time since his very excellent tour six years ago.

Radiohead

Radiohead Australian tours are always pretty widely spaced out. They’re also always heavily rumoured before they actually transpire. Could 2018 be the year we get Thom and the fellas back to Australia for the first time since 2012?

While you’d imagine the bulk of the European and US touring for their excellent A Moon Shaped Pool record is completed, the band are still playing shows. They’ve got six shows lined up for South America in April.

If there’s gonna be an Australian run, it’ll have to be soon. The band have confirmed they are focusing on solo projects now and that won’t give them much time to take that long flight down here.

Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley

Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley played Bluesfest 12 years ago and my feet are still hurting from all the dancing. He then returned with Nas for Good Vibrations seven years ago, but we haven’t seen him since.

While there are no shortage of artists playing the music of Bob Marley & the Wailers around the world right now, the Damien Marley show is a far more energetic and varied experience than just a tribute to his departed dad.

Thankfully 2017 was his most active year as a live performer to date. Surely it’s just a matter of time before he makes his long-overdue return to Australia?

Sleaford Mods

Okay, this one is a little out of leftfield. If you’re not already acquainted, Sleaford Mods are a British duo that are a kind of mash up of punk rock, electro and slam poetry without being anywhere near as horrific as that reads on paper.

Their English Tapas record was one of the best of last year and if you’re not afraid of colourful language and the rantings of a pretty angry middle aged man over minimal electro beats then you’re going to find something really charming about this band. Again, they’re so much better than any words can make them sound.

They’ve never been to Australia in the ten or so years together. My sources say we shouldn’t hold our breath. But what’s life without hope?

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