Big Name, No Blankets

Big Name, No Blankets


Warumpi Band is the original First Peoples rock band to sing in language, known for their anthems ‘Blackfella/Whitefella’, ‘My Island Home’ and ‘Jailanguru Pakurnu’. Big Name, No Blankets is inspired by their rise to the top through their politics, presence, and potent rock ‘n’ roll riffs.  

Written by Andrea James in consultation with Sammy Tjapanangka Butcher (founding member of Warumpi Band) and directed by Dr Rachael Maza AM and Anyupa Butcher, this epic epic rock ‘n’ roll theatre show celebrates the phenomenal journey and impact of Sammy Tjapanangka Butcher and Warumpi Band. True to their roots, the show weaves in culture from Central Australia and Northeast Arnhem Land and two ancestral languages — Luritja and Gumatj (Yolngu Matha) — as the band navigates divides between bush and city, white and black, fame and family.  

Sammy Tjapanangka Butcher is the journey’s charismatic narrator, who weaves intimate storytelling with larger-than-life rock ‘n’ roll songs. Discover how Sammy (vocals) and his two younger brothers, Gordon (drummer) and Brian (bass), went from jamming on a flour drum in Papunya in the 1970s to wild nights conquering pub rock and touring the world. Big Name, No Blankets invites you into the world of these central desert legends. Stomp your feet, clap your hands and get swept away by this big-hearted story.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by Creative Australia, its Arts Funding and Advisory Body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by RISING, Sydney Festival, Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Festival.

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