Raunchier Thirsty Merc at Hoey
LIVE, Thirsty Merc’s catchy radio hits translate to rousing crowd pleasers as frontman Rai Thistlethwayte and the band give them a rocking new feel.
Bass guitarist Phil Stack, spoke to us ahead of their national tour about the live difference in the Merc sound on tunes like In The Summertime, Someday Someday and the latest single, Tommy and Krista.
"It always sounds more rockier, raucous and exciting than on the radio," Stack said.
"Rai gets to run around on stage and I get to use the octave pedal on my bass – which makes it sound like there’s another bass player on stage.
"The Merc has jazz and soul elements, mixed with rock and radio-friendly pop elements," he said.
‘Life-changing’ and ‘best show ever’ was the response of music reviewer Kristy Muir of Sunshine Coast Daily to the Thirsty Merc live show at Eumundi last summer.
"Thistlethwayte is a natural frontman... surprisingly engaging performance... ecstatic response," wrote critic Shannon Andreucci, commenting also on how the songs were given new life in live music arrangements with different instruments.
When Stack spoke to us, the band was heading into rehearsals to take a fresh look at their material for their latest tour.
"We love being in the studio – there are so many things you can do to make the songs as good as you can get them," Stack said. "Live you can get better and better – you can improve on the record. Rather than trying to simulate a vocal choir, you can do something different – it’s better to reinvent the song rather than do it half-arsed."
Their album – released last year – has three hit singles – Mousetrap Heart, All My Life and now, Tommy and Krista, which now has a charming Boogie Nights-inspired video clip.
"Tommy and Krista has been getting such a good response for such a long time, but the video’s had more YouTube hits than anything we’ve done before," he said of the song, described by critics as a Mellencamp-styled ballad of first love.
However, radio airplay and hits doesn’t mean Thirsty Merc are sitting at home, raking in money.
"Bands don’t make money off albums. Where bands succeed in Australia is the live market – it’s different to how it was, but it’s also addictive. We’re doing what we’ve always wanted to do."
"We always have raucous times in Coffs – but nothing I can talk about in print."
Catch Thirsty Merc for yourself on Thursday, September 8 at the Hoey Moey. Tickets are $25 pre-sold or $30 at the door. Also at www.offbeatoperations.com.au, the Hoey, Park Beach Music and Coopers Surf Palms Shopping.