"Nomadsland" is One Word

I first heard Rob James' song Nomadsland, en route to a gig at Newcastle with GANGgajang.

The demo (the first of many thousands) actually sounded like GANGgajang. We were destined to record the song and eventually did by October 2000.

Rob was commissioned by the City of Perth to create a thirty minute orchestrated version of the song for their Australia Day Centenary of Federation sky show on the twenty-sixth of January 2001.

It was pre-empted by the West Australian float in the Centenary of Federation day parade on 1st. January 2001, which blasted it out as it lumbered up Oxford Street.

Sydney-siders are used to seeing a parade on Oxford street but how unlike the Gay Mardi Gras it was.

There was nary a ten meter high head of anti-gay, religious fascist Fred Nile's head on a platter with an apple in his mouth to be seen.


This all hastened the release of the single and everything became urgent.

Although often seemingly whisker close to degenerating into anarchy or having power seized by a benign/benevolent dictatorship (from within or without), GANGgajang is in fact a wonderful working model of democracy in action.

The Internet has made it more so.

Over the years I have created a number of the GANGgajang cd cover and poster designs.

For Nomadsland, I emailed the work in progress to each of the band members and acted upon their input.

Rob was talking a red desert feel.
I thought I had the perfect cover.
A painting I'd done called "Voss."


Cracked red earth, blue sky, an enigmatic flat tray-top covered wagon with stone-age wheels, a seated blue-faced man in hat with corks, a white dog next to him and a blackbird in the sky.

It had a very positive response but someone wasn't sure about the dog.

Sure I can remove the dog no problem.
Is the blue guy really necessary?
Lose "Bluey" too?
Yes, I see, the lyric does say "walking through time in Australia", so I guess the weird vehicle does send out the wrong message.
Lose the vehicle?
But the blackbird's OK ?
Yea the blackbird's great!
We love the blackbird, don't we!
Don't we?
Lose the blackbird, right?
That left the cracked earth and the blue sky, and it was all that was needed.

I then carefully placed the words "GANGgajang" and "Nomad's Land" and sent it off for quick cyber approval.
Every one liked it but wanted to view various "positionings" of the words.
Eventually with that fine-tuning out of the way it looked like a wrap.

That is of course until the point was raised concerning the apostrophe placement in Nomad's.
One faction believed it should read Nomads'.
There was polarization of opinion.

High school histories of successful academic results in English were dredged up to support the credibility of one camp over the other.

It escalated to the point where Chris did the only thing he could think of to break the apostrophe stale-mate.
He called the hallowed Professor of English at Sydney University to seek his learned opinion.
I think what the good professor said in essence was,
Nomad's was singular.
Nomads' was plural.

I didn't really care as it seemed to work both ways to me.
I just wanted to put it to bed.
I did two different versions so I was pretty much covered either way.
Or so I thought.


Word came down the line.
Thanks to Rob a solution had been found.
"Nomadsland" is one word.
Of course.
Like "Queensland."
I laid it out and was finally ready to send it to the record company when Chris called.

Just one more thing...
We think that Nomadsland should be written in charcoal!

I was about to short circuit until I saw it in my mind's eye and had to admit (and not for the first time)...

Bailey was right!