Czech Republicans release a brand new rebel song about convicts on their way to Van Diemen’s land revolting against the guards, stealing their ship and becoming pirates.

Prague based Foggy Dude are churning out the music at the moment and it is all of unbelievably high quality. One of my favourite bands they continue with new single ‘Black Rain’, a self penned rebel song about convicts on their way to Van Diemen’s land (now Tasmania) and their revolt against the prison guards aboard ship. They were overthrow the guards steal the ship and go off to become pirates. Based on real stories from the time it’s an energetic and dark tale told well. The emphasis in the music switches seamlessly from Folk, almost Trad even, to more Rock and Punk and grunge-y chorus. The songs title ‘Black Rain’ refers to the storm that helps the convicts claim the ship and covered up the resulting bloodshed.

The transportation of criminals to Australia began in 1787, only 17 years after Captain Cook first washed up on Australian shores. Eleven ships left in May 1787 from Portsmouth with 736 convicts for the eight-month journey to Botany Bay. Forty would never live to see the ships arrival. They were the lucky ones. Transportation was more often a punishment for those seen as the lowest of the low not those convicted of particularly grievous crimes. In fact 80% of those sent across to the other side of the world were guilty of theft and most of those were repeat offenders. Others were targeted too, especially political radicals with Luddites, Rebecca Rioters and the Tolpuddle Martyrs sent away. The Irish were a victim especially of the system and up to when transportation ceased in 1853, over 160,000 Irish prisoners arrived in Australia. 25% of the entire amount (English 69%, Welsh 1.2 % , Scottish 5%). Most came directly from Ireland such as the Fenians but others arrived after conviction in England and a few, such as those tried as soldiers who had mutinied in the British Army, arrived from places like India. Only 15% were women and sentences were for 7 years, 14 years, or life.

The Irish political prisoners never bowed down while on the island and In 1869 only a small group of hardcore fenians remained. By then many had been pardoned but for those thought of as influential or dangerous they were to remain in servitude for the rest of their days. These fenians though had other plans and n 1874, prisoner James Wilson secretly sent a letter to New York City to John Devoy to organise a rescue plan. Using donations collected from Irish-Americans, a previous escapee, the Boston based John Boyle O’Reilly, purchased the Catalpa and sailed off Rockingham, in Western Australia. On 17th April 1876 Wilson, Thomas Darragh, Martin Hogan, Michael Harrington, Thomas Hassett and Robert Cranston boarded a boat and were then taken aboard the Catalpa and escaped, via several close calls, to New York.

The video was filmed in the bands favourite hangout – Pub 10. Definitly a place to head to for any Celtic-Punk fans visiting this beautiful city. The song was recorded by Kryštof Skřipec and Ondřej Skřivan and mixed and mastered by Kryštof and produced by Foggy Dude.

Chains are ringing
Wood is cranking
50 men and
50 women
Huddled wrecks
Below the decks
Awaiting for their
Winds rise
Tension fills the air
Demons in disguise
Start to swear
Van Diemen’s land is calling
Onto thee
But a storm is coming
To set us free
Black rain
Black rain
Black rain is falling down on me
Washing away our freedom’s blood
Chains are rattling
Wood is crackin
50 men and
50 women
Rebels to rise
Under the skies
Awaiting for their
The fight starts
For the demons head
With our bravest hearts
Will soon be in our hands
We took the power
From the enemy
Black flag is our
Stream it on Spotify

Contact Foggy Dude


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