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Vandemonian Lags


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Tasmania’s convict history turned into song

Tasmanian convict history has been turned into an extraordinary musical journey by an all-star line-up of Australian rock and folk performers including Mick Thomas, Tim Rogers, Jeff Lang, Ben Salter, Darren Hanlon, Van Walker and Liz Stringer.

Commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) for its inaugural DARK MOFO Festival, Vandemonian Lags features a suite of powerful new songs with stunning rear projections and dramatic narrative evocations from Tim Rogers and Brian Nankervis.

Backed by an all-star band featuring Van Walker, Mark Wallace, Sal Kimber, Michael Barclay and Andy Reid.

DEVISED BY Mick and Steve Thomas


As the front man for seminal Aussie group Weddings Parties Anything and an established solo artist in his own right, Mick Thomas is renowned as a storyteller. Boasting an ear for rich, warmly weathered folk, he has a knack for nailing the minutiae of Australian life without resorting to clichés.

Steve is a Hobart-based writer and filmmaker who works in drama and documentary for television, online and stage. In 2005 he co-wrote and produced The Tank with his brother Mick. Billed as a ‘joyous, bluegrass musical adventure’, it toured Australia over 12 seasons and four years. Steve has also won numerous awards for his television and online documentaries.

Best known as the front man of legendary Australian rock band You Am I, Tim Rogers has described himself as a ‘pockmarked streak of pelican shit’. Not the colossal ego you usually associate with rock stars – but then again he has never been one to do or say what is expected of him. In a business filled with phoney rebels and wannabe artists, he is the real thing.

Brian is a writer, producer, actor and comedian and is co-creator and host of Australia’s most enduring rock music show, Rockwiz. The Rockwiz national tours, co-hosted by Brian, have been attracting thousands of punters around Australia.

Jeff Lang has been called ‘The Godfather’ of Australia’s back-to-basics blues movement. A guitarist, singer and songwriter, Jeff has built a reputation with his startlingly original performances, working without a set list and allowing the unique energy of each night to shape the songs.

Best known as a founding member of The Gin Club, Giants of Science and The Wilson Pickers, Brisbane singer-songwriter Ben Salter has also been a solo performer in his own right for more than ten years. He has played throughout Australia and Europe, where his striking vocal range and captivating lyricism have drawn comparisons to Neil Finn, Elliot Smith and Nick Drake.

Darren Hanlon is a gifted storyteller who wins over large and small audiences alike with his particular brand of urban folk. He has released five solo albums, three EPs and eight singles on Candle Records and Flippin Yeah Industries as well as several compilation tracks. He has toured with Billy Bragg, David Dondero, Tim Kasher, The Violent Femmes and The Magnetic Fields.

Liz Stringer’s innate musicality merges with a true storyteller’s soul to create a powerful and unique presence. She has seamlessly fused folk, country, blues and bluegrass in a manner that can be gentle, but which can also pack dynamite when the mood calls for it.

Born on the northwest coast of Tasmania, Van first heard the music of Bob Dylan around adolescence and began picking guitar and writing songs. Drawing on the storytelling tradition of Ray Davies, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine, he has created a sound with a laconic familiarity that speaks to the heart with effortless intimacy.

One of Australia’s great accordion players, Mark is a foundation member of the seminal Australian band, Weddings Parties Anything and has supported many of Australia’s top roots artists.

Sal Kimber is one of Australia’s most exciting emerging singer-songwriters. Based in inner Melbourne, Kimber has been quietly stealing hearts on the city’s live music scene for the past five years. Her unique style has captured a strong following and garnered many awards.

Michael Barclay is a ‘honey-voiced’ percussionist who has toured Australia and the world with Maurice Frawley, The Zimmermen, Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls and Weddings Parties Anything.

Andy is a founding member of The Band Who Knew Too Much, who play exciting Australian songs propelled by energetic jazz-like, wood-chop rhythm! Add some strong local lyric, with gang vocal delivery and their unique sound is complete. They are a highly energetic act that is at home singing on the festival stage, busking unplugged in the city streets, or anything in between!


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