AC/DC will tour their homeland of Australia late next year “or in March, 2016”, fans at the global launch of new album Rock Or Bust were told.
A Sony Music representative made the announcement as he encouraged those who made the pilgrimage to the town of The Rock, New South Wales, to pre-order the album for a chance to win tickets to Antipodean shows.
“You will win tickets and flights to your nearest capital city to see AC/DC when they tour Australia, which will be either late next year or in March 2016,” the representative told about 1000 people who braved 40 degree heat to hear the album’s 11 songs, and to see the new video for the title track.
While AC/DC were thought to have booked some venues this year, before rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young’ dementia forced him into retirement, no concrete touring plans have been announced for Rock Or Bust.
Interestingly, the new video – due to be released on Tuesday – depicts the band performing ‘in the round’, with a circular stage in the centre of a small arena. Rumours surfaced last week that AC/DC would perform in that configuration at stadia and arenas around the world next year.
During the ‘Rock Or Bust’ clip, the camera briefly lingers on Rob Richards, the drummer who filled in for troubled Phil Rudd during the shoot in London. Rudd seems almost certain not to tour. He will shortly appear in a New Zealand court on charges of threatening to kill and drug possession.
There has also been speculation his replacement will be someone new, rather than previous skinsmen Simon Wright and Chris Slade.
The Rock’s normal population is 850 and today’s turnout fell a little short of an expected trebling of that figure. The launch of the album was held in conjunction with the south-western New South Wales’ town’s weekly market day, with a sausage sandwich vendor shouting “dirty snags, sold dirt cheap” to arriving fans.
A stage in the blocked-off main street, manned by Sony staff, sold CDs and vinyl items from AC/DC’s back catalogue, along with more obscure releases such as Ray Hadley’s country music compilation.
Although officially the “global launch” of Rock Or Bust, it was not the platter’s first public airing, with listening parties held last week in New York and Buenos Aires.
Aside from the first two singles, “Sweet Candy” and “Hard Times” were the songs that seemed to garner the best response from attendees. Rock Or Bust is released on November 28 in Australia and December 2 elsewhere.