THIRSTY FOR FUN

A stint do­ing it tough in the US has given Thirsty Merc singer Rai Thistleth­wayte a re­newed ap­pre­ci­a­tion for life Down Un­der

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - Thirsty Merc, Coolangatta Ho­tel, tonight

Sleep­ing on mates’ couches, do­ing $50 gigs in pi­ano bars, trawl­ing the in­ter­net for money-sav­ing food tips – the life of a mu­si­cian chas­ing the Amer­i­can dream bears a strik­ing sim­i­lar­ity to the back­packer ex­is­tence.

Rai Thistleth­wayte, like thou­sands be­fore him, en­coun­tered the stark re­al­ity of pur­su­ing a mu­sic ca­reer in the world’s most lu­cra­tive mar­ket when he set off for Los An­ge­les al­most four years ago af­ter his band Thirsty Merc split with their record com­pany.

The pop rock ra­diofriendly band had sold more than 200,000 al­bums and sin­gles in Aus­tralia when they de­cided to take a break.

Thistleth­wayte, then 31, packed a bag and bought a ticket to LA. “I ... had never lived over­seas like a lot of my mates be­cause I had been given this great op­por­tu­nity to make orig­i­nal mu­sic with some of my best friends and tour that for years,” he says. “I wanted to do the travel thing, but com­bine that with mu­sic. I didn’t think it was go­ing to be as ter­ri­fy­ing as it was; you are just haem­or­rhag­ing your sav­ings and ev­ery Aus­tralian mu­si­cian or ac­tor over there has prob­a­bly gone through that.’’

Thistleth­wayte and his band mates re­con­nected last year for an acous­tic tour of Aus­tralia and found them­selves en­joy­ing it. The 20 Good Rea­sons rock­ers then launched a Pledge Mu­sic cam­paign to raise funds to make an­other record, Shift­ing Gears. Fans ral­lied and Thirsty Merc reached their goal – be­lieved to be about $50,000 – in two days. The band have just kicked off a 41date tour of Aus­tralia.

There was some doubt whether the tour would go ahead af­ter a car ac­ci­dent killed one mem­ber of their team and in­jured their drum­mer. A per­cent­age of the pro­ceeds from ev­ery ticket sold for the rest of The Good Life tour will go to­wards their fam­i­lies.

Thirsty Merc will be ap­pear­ing at the Coolangatta Ho­tel tonight.

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