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14 January 2022 @ 8:30 pm

3 BAND BONANZA REUNION: The Happening Thang, The Cartwheels & The Western Distributors

Three bands with a common thread and the added talent of Western Distributors’ Clare O’Meara providing the fiddle for The Happening Thang, this is destined to be the best start for the 50th CM Festival and will commemorate the connection and history of these fabulous singers, musicians and song-writing talent. The Happening Thang’s only show in Tamworth so a must-see/hear concert! Hear their classic “I Don’t Wanna Go To Work” with the original line-up that took out the Golden Guitar for Best New Talent and then the following year handed the baton on to a very young Keith Urban.


The Happening Thang grew from an inner-city Sydney loungeroom into a classy country music band taking on the whole of Australia (and Canada) on their path to stardom over the following 8 years. Their family tree has produced bands in northern Victoria with The Cartwheels (formerly The Sparnetts) and currently The Western Distributors in Sydney.  Multiple awards and upbeat energy meant The Happening Thang were snapped up as regulars on The Big Gig, Ray Martin Midday Show and the Bert Newton Show in the early ‘90’s. Their song-writing legacy and original sound can be heard on The Happening Thang self-titled album and follow up Saddlepop a year later.

Nothing could stop this talent, so The Sparnetts and The Cartwheels came next for Dave Patterson forming a formidable song-writing duo with Wendy Phypers and remain favourites for anyone who recognizes brilliant song-   writing. Jeff Mercer (Guitar/Steel) and Rob Souter (Drums) went on to tour for many years with Slim Dusty thus regulars each year at the CM Festivals in Tamworth. Andrew Travers still pens the songs for The Western Distributors and their signatory harmonious arrangements with singer Cathy Wearne will take you on their post-Happening Thang journey.  Travers’ No One Will Miss Me taking out Best Country Song on the Country Music Charts for 6 weeks in 2017 and 2nd album Off In The Distance released early 2020 producing another 12 original tracks for The Western Distributors.

Reunions have become rarer and rarer for but for the Tamworth Country Music 50th Anniversary The Happening Thang are back with founding members Andrew Travers, Cathy “Miss Cathy” Wearne, Dave Patterson and guitarist Jeff Mercer – all four having played for each album and each reunion and all those dates around Australia and overseas.