House Concert No.4
Fred Smith & Liz Frencham
1 October 2011
It was a change of pace once again for our fourth house concert on 1 October
as Fred Smith and Liz Frencham were in town as part of Fred's 'Dust of Uruzgan' tour.
Despite it being on the evening of Grand Final day, it was once again a 'full house',
with even a couple of cats supporters here. Missing was the rainbow curtain,
replaced by a (beautifully ironed) bedsheet providing a screen for the projection of
Fred's collection of photos from his time in Afghanistan.
Fred Smith is one of Australia's most remarkable artists, who, as well as being a prolific
and dynamic song writer, has a 'day job' as a diplomat with the Foreign Affairs Department.
It was in that role that he spent 18 months in Afghanistan, in Uruzgan Province,
where his job was to help improve relations between the local tribal leaders and the
Coalition Forces. Whilst there he wrote a collection of powerful songs about
his experiences and the realities of life for soldiers in this difficult war.
These songs have been released on his CD 'Dust of Uruzgan'
On tour with Fred is his friend and long term musical collaborator Liz Frencham,
whose ethereal voice and wonderful double bass playing provide
a perfect accompaniment to Fred and his poignant compositions
In order to better show the moving photos that Fred coordinated with many of his songs,
the lighting had to be kept low. The subdued lighting cast some wonderful backdrop shadows.
The thought provoking photos added a depth and power to the songs.
The photos brought home the fact that wars affect the whole community,
not just those on the front line.
However, Fred's sense of humour, both in some of his songs, and stories of his time in Uruzgan,
allowed moments of lightness to intersperse the sadness in many of the songs.
Fred has appeared at numerous Australian and international folk festivals and has released
six solo albums prior to 'Dust of Uruzgan'. To find out more about him and to listen to
some of his music, go to his website at www.fredsmith.com.au
Liz is an impressive singer/songwriter in her own right and has released two solo CDs
and has collaborated with Fred on another two under the name Frencham Smith.
To find out more about her and her music, go to her website at www.lizfrencham.com