Thirsty Merc snubs Dubbo - Regional tour itinerary omits 'home' town

They are counted among Dubbo's favourite sons, but local band Thirsty Merc has snubbed the city for their upcoming tour of regional Australia.

Dubbo was a glaring omission in the list of 35 regional centres the band announced for their Slideshows album tour last week, despite the band's close ties to the city.

While towns such as Bathurst, Wagga Wagga and Port Macquarie made the cut, the band will not return to their old stomping ground despite a large and loyal fan base.

Jenny Jenkins from Dubbo record shop Music Matters said the band's enduring popularity was evident in strong sales of their new album.

"It is doing really quite well and there's no doubt that's because of the strong ties between the band and Dubbo," she said. "A lot of the kids know that two of the band are local and they feel they have that connection with them."

Thirsty Merc began as a duo in 2002 when lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte and bass player Phil Stack teamed up as session and live jazz musicians in Dubbo.

Not long after they were joined by local guitarist Matt Baker and drummer Karl Robertson and soon became a popular addition to the city's live music scene before eventually moving to Sydney.

Mrs Jenkins said the decision not to tour Dubbo would prove to be a big let-down for the band's many local fans.

"It is quite disappointing," she said. "No doubt if they came here they would have been very well received but I can understand there may have been problems with the logistics of it.

"It is quite a shame because they are so popular but in their defence they are a really nice bunch of blokes and I can't speak highly enough of them."

However while it is clear the band will not be visiting Dubbo, the reasons behind the decision are not. A spokesperson for the band's record label, Warner Music, did not respond to the Daily Liberal's requests for comment.

However in a recent statement released by the Warner Music Sean Carey, who replaced Mr Baker as the band's lead guitarist, said the band's second album and upcoming promotional tour were the beginning of a new chapter for the pop-rock band.

"It's a huge buzz to be finally touring our new album," he said. "These shows are going to be really special with new sets, new songs and a great new feel."

jeremy.scott@ruralpress.com

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