TRUE STORY: The Dust of Uruzgan features Fred Smith performing a collection of songs in Ipswich.
TRUE STORY: The Dust of Uruzgan features Fred Smith performing a collection of songs in Ipswich. Contributed

Give the gift of a good show

IT'S that time of year where it really starts to get hot and humid.

The shopping centres are crowded, car parks are hard to find, mangoes are plentiful and most of the community groups have had or are about to have their Christmas breakups.

It is the time of year when your diary gets so full you can only wish it was all over.

One of the things I find as the family gets older is that it's harder to work out what presents to buy, especially for the young ones.

Should I be buying the family presents at all?

I reckon that an ideal gift to purchase for your loved ones is a ticket to a concert or a play.

The Ipswich Civic Centre has a fantastic production coming in March.

The Dust of Uruzgan, featuring singer songwriter Fred Smith, should be a great night's entertainment and a worthwhile gift for both you and the family.

The production is a collection of songs Smith wrote while working as a diplomat alongside Australian soldiers in Uruzgan Province in Southern Afghanistan. Smith's show combines songs, humour and commentary with a stunning set of images from military and civilian photographers.

A balladeer, masterful and entertaining storyteller is how Smith has been described.

He has been compared to great Australian songwriters such as Eric Bogle. Smith's songs are stories put to well-crafted music telling the real-life experiences of more than 20,000 Australian troops who have served in Afghanistan.

The Sydney Morning Herald described the show as "...the music of Fred Smith comes straight from the front line - raw, ribald, but also capable of moving grown men to tears.”

Smith has spent the past 15 years working everywhere.

He has worked in peace-keeping missions in Afghanistan and the South Pacific, toured America and travels the Australian music festival circuit. He has released about eight CDs, two of which won National Film and Sound Archives awards. In his early music career, he performed comic and satirical ballads in bars and festivals and was once described as "Noel Coward Meets Louden Wainwright”.

Smith was the subject of Australian Story on ABC TV in 2013 and was recently interviewed by Richard Fidler on ABC Radio. Both programs provided a great insight into this musician/diplomat and his music. The programs gave you an insight to Smith the "man” and the reason for his music.

The Dust of Uruzgan provides a real-life insight into the work our defence force personnel are doing in Afghanistan and it is a tribute to Smith that he is providing that insight through storytelling and music. He has also released a book of the same name published in September by Allen and Unwin.

The Dust of Uruzgan opens for one night on Saturday March 25 commencing at 7.30pm at the Ipswich Civic Centre. Visit www.ipswichcivic or phone 38106100.

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