Bagarap Empires

Fred Smith - Bagarap Empires cover


Blue Guitar A blues ballad set in a bar room in post coup honiara
Dark Shadow "the dark dark shadow never shows his face"
When She Cries A tender ballad written from the perspective of a young Bougainvill rebel soldier
Mr Circle A pidgin circle song about revenge and the cycle of violence
Century Girl An epic ballad on the experience of the 20th century
Words and Dreams "... that which goes on down below may burn in ways we never know"
Sweet Anne Marie "A beautifully written song about the history and aftermath of war and strife in Bougainville"
Bougainville Sky A sweetly 'Pacific' feeling pidgin ballad about the return to "normalcy" in Bougainville
Kusi and You A widows lament from the Bougainville crisis
Bagarap Empires The sorrow of an archipelago in distress
The Infinite Ocean A gentle rolling torch song about beginnings and ends and in that regard infinity


"One should seriously consider purchasing Bagarap Empires. Especially if you are, or would like to be, a songwriter, just to hear how good it sounds when its done really well"
Mike Cooper, fROOTS magazine (UK)

"This is a rare, compelling work...a quirky, engaging and powerful album."
Rowan Callick, Australian Financial Review

"Wonderful songs, different and clever arrangements, and powerful performance make "Bagarap Empires" one of most appealing efforts released by a contemporary songwriters in recent times."
Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio, Italy

"An album full of haunting, stirring, compassionate, sardonic and dark beauty"
Deiter Bajzek, Folk Alliance Australia Newsletter

"Once in a blue moon, a drift of music so unlike any other enfolds your sensibilities and reaffirms the power of song. Fred Smith, a name as common as its owners talent is uncommon, is the force behind quite a stunning marriage of ethereal poetry and hard-nosed realism lyrically, and relentless rhythm and fragile shimmering melody and harmony. This would be enough in itself but Smith also sings of a region of the world few others do: the South Pacific islands, in particular Bougainville, PNG and Honiara. The songs are not tourist vista fare, but are gleaned from his experiences from having lived in the region for two years. A rare find."
Warwick McFadyen, The Age

"Bagarap Empires is an intelligent compassionate and sardonic Australians response to his experiences as a Peace Monitor in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands"
Doug Spencer, Producer, The Planet, Radio National

"There is a line of dark humour and pathos running through these stories that makes his tunes avoid the earnest tones of many a folkster. His dead pan delivery, reminiscent of the mighty Ed Kuepper, is coupled with stripped arrangements, an updated pop sensibility and a way with a simple melody which makes the whole seem fresh yet familiar... Fred Smith is well on his way... ".
Ralph Douglas, Muse Magazine

"The ballads are beautiful, the words are dark."
Georgia Curry, Canberra Times