The darlings of the Australian indie folk scene, The Middle East, announced during their set in Splendour’s G.W. McLennan tent last night that the performance would be their swan song. After just one EP and one album, it appears they’ve had enough.
The split comes as something of a shock given the overseas interest they’ve been courting since their North American tour in 2010, and the recent success of their I Want That You Are Always Happy national tour, where they managed to sell out a string of dates across several capital cities. But some months ago, Rohin Jones, one of the sextet’s two front men, was already speaking of discontent with the band’s demanding schedule and the time they were spending away from home. They also appeared hesitant to play the ever-popular ‘Blood’ on this recent album tour (noting at their Adelaide gig that this was the only crowd to be treated to a performance of the song on the tour), perhaps also showing signs that all was not peachy.
Fortunately, they delivered for Splendour fans, not only playing the crowd favourite, but also expressing their gratitude.
For those already mourning the break-up, however, it’s worth noting that this is the band’s second split; they also split up in 2008 only to re-form eight months later, so take heart that this might not be the last we hear of Townsville’s best known export.