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Thirsty Merc soaks up Bigpond's Band on Demand

In order to publicise its range of sport, movies, music and games "on demand" content offerings, Telstra today held its Bigpond Band on Demand concert at Martin Place in Sydney.

In order to publicise its range of sport, movies, music and games "on demand" content offerings, Telstra today held its Bigpond Band on Demand concert at Martin Place in Sydney.

Perhaps a bid to show the public how versatile Bigpond and its on demand services really are, the company had four bands at the ready -- Evermore, Thirsty Merc, After the Fall and Sneaky Sound System -- but only one was chosen to play based on a public online and SMS vote.

Polls opened at 12:01am today and closed at 10:30am, with the chosen band -- Thirsty Merc -- taking the Martin Place Amphitheatre stage at 1:00pm. The entire process and its last-minute nature must have been a logistical nightmare for Telstra, but it proves an important point -- consumers should be able to access the content they desire without delay.

"Gone is the passive consumer who would take up whatever was delivered through conventional mediums. As customers become more demanding -- we're responding," said Justin Milne, Bigpond's Group Managing Director.

While the votes were being tallied, all four bands anxiously awaited the results at a hidden location in Sydney's CBD.

In an interview with CNET.com.au following the show, Rai Thistlethwayte, Thirsty Merc's lead singer, described the atmosphere in the waiting room as being "like a school reunion". "We knew everybody", he said, adding that it was great to catch up with the other bands.

Thirsty Merc in action at Bigpond's Band on Demand concert.

Were the other bands disappointed at not being chosen to play the concert? "They were happy to go back to bed!," Thistlethwayte said jokingly.

Asked whether they were worried about the shifting music consumption landscape -- from brick and mortar stores to the internet -- the band told CNET.com.au their only concern is getting their music to the greatest number of listeners.

"Music's music -- as long as people are hearing it, I'm happy," said Phil Stack, Thirsty Merc's bass guitarist.

Three more band on demand concerts will take place during September: Warringah Mall in Sydney on September 2; Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, September 14; and Federation Square, Melbourne, September 29. More information can be found on the Bigpond website.