On average, music group Thirsty Merc, who will be in Tasmania this week as part of their ‘Take Me Back’ anniversary tour, get to Tasmania a couple of times a year, band member Rai Thistlethwayte informs me. Rai has high praise for the state exalting the beauty of Hobart, the East Coast and Devonport.
The group are particularly impressed by the fact Tasmania, with minimal development, compared to some places has retained a quaintness not found everywhere. This is pertinent to the group as the environment and how people interact with it are important themes in Thirsty Merc’s music. Other themes of their music are the combined deep experience of being human, age, loss and mortality. The more sombre of theme is juxtaposed with a celebration of the upbeat in a song like the popular ‘In summertime’.
Of the song writing process Rai says the group believe in being receptive to ideas but lyrics are not overly thought out or analysed because that would give them ‘analysis paralysis’ and make the music too ‘formula’ and too much like ‘painting by numbers’ to the detriment of creative expression. Rai tells me in saying that, he does keep a notebook handy in case ‘a bolt of creative lightening’ should strike. Rai says he himself doesn’t know how or why these lightning strikes of creativity happen however they are often the spark for songs.
Rai is also gifted in photography and a keen traveller. Of the latter he has been lucky enough to see plenty of Australia due to his dad, a teacher and outback pilot who would fly his own plane around the country with Rai as his passenger. The plane being quite a different mode of transport than the Thirsty Mercedes, which guzzled too much petrol, that the band is named after.
Rai says one particular song, ‘Tom and Kirstin’, has been a perennial favourite the band with its nostalgic theme of young love.
You can see Thirsty Merc when they perform in Tasmania at the following dates and venues:
Friday, 4 May 2018
Republic Bar, Hobart TAS
Saturday, 5 May 2018
Club 54, Launceston TAS
Sunday, 6 May 2018
Forth Pub, Devonport TAS
Tickets available now from Moshtix