Townsville musician Jade Holland has returned from a two-week tour of the Middle East, performing for Australian and New Zealand troops in Iraq.
The tour, dubbed the ‘Tour de Force’, marks Jade’s fourth leg of international performances, and the third with the Defence Force.
Jade said she was extremely honoured to perform for the troops again, and said it was an opportunity that no artist should pass up.
“This tour was extremely heart-warming and hits home how blessed we are to live in this free country – a lot of the personnel we met and performed for had been there for six months or more, so just knowing they’ve given up so much for us to live in a free and safe country is incredible,” said Jade.
“While we were at Camp Taji in Iraq, we had two shows where we performed for 600-700 people, and I dedicated one song – John Lennon’s Imagine – specifically to the troops. They give us so much thanks and praise for volunteering our time to fly over there, but they don’t realise what it does for you as a musician: just seeing the work they’re doing firsthand is phenomenal, but on top of that it’s a dry camp – so all the people at the shows singing and clapping along are 100% sober. When you have a crowd that does that without needing alcohol, you know your music is really appreciated.”
Forces Entertainment Tour rocks the Middle East – Big thank you to singer Jade Holland comedian Adam Rozenbachs and country band LonesomeTrain for taking time out to entertain #YourADF troops on #OpOkra and #OpAccordion. ADF on Operations and Exercises #ADFonOps Royal Australian Navy Australian Army Royal Australian Air Force Junktime AFL Podcast with Adam Rozenbachs and Michael Chamberlin
Posted by Australian Defence Force in the Middle East on Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Footage courtesy of the Australian Defence Force
“All of these people spend months or years away from their families and it is so unpredictable over there – you never know if or when you’ll see your loved ones again, so being able to show those ANZACs that we are thinking of them and are full of gratitude for what they’re doing is so important.”
Jade Holland and NSW duo partner Jason Willoughby have arrived home from the Middle East and will now spend time song-writing and performing across New South Wales before returning to Townsville.