The Jade Holland Band has returned from a two-week tour of the Middle East, performing for Australian and New Zealand troops in Iraq in partnership with the Australian Defence Force.
Holland, who has toured the Middle East three times previously, 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 Holland.
“The troops 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.”
“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.”