Mick Thomas presents: Vandemonian Lags - New Songs From the Prison Without Walls
Popboomerang Records are very proud to release the new double album from Mick Thomas called Vandemonian Lags: New Songs of Transportation from the Prison Without Walls
The 19 song album features songs written by Mick Thomas and a host of other Australian luminaries such as Ben Salter (Gin Club), Darren Hanlon, Jeff Lang Van Walker, Liz Stringer and Adam Gibson (the Aerial Maps) and many more who all appear as vocalists on the album along with iconic Aussie artists and acts such as The Spazzys, Tim Rogers, Glen Richards, The Wolfgramm Sisters, Weddings Parties Anything and many more.
The album is thematically a dark and at times humorous snapshot of Tasmania’s convict past turned into song.
The project is being backed by Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart for their Dark Mofo mid-winter festival. Check out Also check out: www.founders-storylines.com
Some background to the album and project:
“Only the names have been changed…..
Six of the nineteen song titles that comprise this album contain the name of a character. At one stage it might have been more. As the stories came through, as we pored over the lives, be they miserable or triumphant, of the people sent to the Tasmanian gulag not so far back, they often just became known and defined by the simple two word name of the principal protagonist. Thus a story of civic distinction and war time heroism would be simply ‘Keith Eltham’. Or a tale of generational adversity and heartache would be simply Emphraim Quamby.
Sometimes the names became integral part of the songs themselves such as that of the Doghertys of Western Tasmania where the name is one of the focal points of the narrative. The family’s insistence on an idiosyncratic pronunciation is one of the actual defining elements of their history and therefore the song. Considering Selfs is also a case where the name of the character provides the song title in an indispensable way. Jane Gilligan provided the rhythm for the phrasing and meter of that song as did Ikey Mo and Martha Hayes.
But in many cases the names meant little in themselves and were little more than a simple form of classification and distinction – as you would hope names pretty much work in a practical sense throughout a modern egalitarian society. So really it’s not the names themselves that define the characters but the lives they enjoyed and endured. It was their access to the rewards of a new society that would become the focal point of their adopted land, where their traditional birthrights as paupers or pillars of the community hopefully meant less than it had – and thankfully for so many, nothing at all. “
Mick Thomas - May 2013