First held in 2005, the Groovin’ the Moo has been growing size and popularity as a musical festival for alternative acts that is held in oddish locations. First held in Gloucester, the 2013 version has been through or will be held in Maitland, Canberra, Bunbury, Townsville and Bendigo. There’s a common line-up at all venues, with local bands opening. 6 bands played in 2005 – at least 27 bands appeared on the 2013. On the weekend, I effectively chaperoned 5 teenage girls to the 11 hour concert in Canberra. They were far more familiar with many of the Canberra line-up than I was, but there were enough acts to keep me interested.
The big names (those that I’d heard of anyway] included Regurgitator, the Kooks, They Might Be Giants, Tame Impala, Temper Trap and Flume. The first three acts, in particular were fabulous. The ‘Gurge were wonderful. They played at twilight and played during the setting of the sun. Their blend of thrash, tongue in cheek lyrics and ebullient stage craft simply delighted the crowd. A great Australian band – the crowd went beserk. They Might Be Giants played some new stuff, but wheeled out their big hit “Dr Worm” (but not “You’re not the Boss of Me”). Really, really solid set and great show men. The Kooks were simply awesome. They fed off the crowd enthusiasm and just rocked out.
The suprise act for me was Matt and Kim. I had absolutely no idea who these guys were. I’ve spent plenty of time since looking at their clips on YouTube and reading up on their history. Boyfriend and girlfriend, Matt and Kim put on one of the most unique and wild live performances I’ve had the pleasure to see. Matt plays a keyboard and Kim thrashes a very simple kit with the vigour of John Bonham. She takes it to a new level with multiple ascents of her bass drum to engage the crowd with foul mouthed exhortations and gyrations that have to be seen to be believed. Her venture into the crowd, standing on the hands of an adoring audience was visually stunning. Two people creating so much noise is remarkable, even if some of it is computer generated. If you ever see these guys playing near by – get out and see them.
The beer list was appalling. I was being the responsible chaparone so was grateful for the presence of some mid-strength beers, but gees – I may as well have drunk water. Carlton Dry 3.5 (apparently especially made for festivals) is the worst beer I’ve drunk. It’s water with some carbonation and light dusting of beer flavouring. I’m convinced that when a beer states on a label “Smooth Finish” it really means no discerbible flavour. Once ticked off, I actually moved to real water for the rest of the day.