• Backstage Pass
    • Sunday 20 June

Speakers - Backstage Pass Mentor

Rai Thistlethwayte

Thirsty Merc's lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte was not even 5 years old when his piano teacher mother began teaching him the piano. He played classical music for a while and in his early teens showed a flair for improvising and naturally moved into listening to and playing blues and jazz. He also started writing songs around the age of 15, and played all the instruments on his demos cause 'nobody else was round to play on 'em at such short notice.' After a year of studying jazz piano on a scholarship at Sydney Conservatorium, he left and started working in professional circles. Thirsty Merc was formed in 2002 when Rai and his friend and musical associate Phil Stack decided to do something together.

Since first bursting onto the national scene back in 2003, the sydney-based Thirsty Merc have quickly built up a reputation as one of the country's best live acts. Word-of-mouth and hundreds of shows around Australia - and, of course, a swag of great songs saw the first Thirsty Merc CD (self titled) spend over a year on the ARIA album charts and end up selling over 120,000 copies. Their platinum selling 2007 sophomore album 'Slideshows' featured the hits '20 Good Reasons' (#4 on the ARIA chart) and 'The Hard Way' and its success truly cemented the band as one of the premier bands on the Aussie music scene.

'The Merc' has been back in the studio over the past couple of months in Los Angeles and Melbourne and the boys are excited to announce the release of their 3rd studio album in mid 2010. stay tuned!

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Rai Thistlethwayte

Rai Thistlethwayte