Groovin The Moo As Told By An Acrostic Poem
Photo by Melissa Wilson
The touring festival is something that’s delightfully unique to Australia. We’re small enough to make sure everyone gets a visit but big enough to make sure we still pull in the big players. GROOVIN THE MOO has all but conquered the travelling festival world, as we’ve seen Big Day Out, Future Music and Stereosonic die before our very eyes. In 2017, Groovin really pulled out all the stops and hit us with one on of their best lineups to date and their stop at Maitland Showground well and truly delivered.
Between the brilliant music, delicious food, the increasingly outrageous outfits and the colossal pile of discarded yoghurt sacks that were once filled with hard liquor, here are the most memorable moments of this year’s Groovin in an acrostic poem because, much like what must have passed through nearly everyone attending when they were deciding what to wear, why the fuck not?
G – GLADES ARE COMING FOR THE TOP
If you arrived at Maitland Showground at any time past midday, you would have missed the glory that is Sydney alt-pop trio GLADES. However, it didn’t look like that many people missed out because the tent was essentially packed to the brim. It didn’t seem like Glades would have been phased either way though – Karina, Cam and Joey were living their absolute best lives upon that stage. It’s a small trait that seems to sometimes get lost as bands move further down the time slot, so let’s hope as Glades continue their meteoric rise to the top that they cling on to what they clearly love so much.
R – REALLY OVER ROCK BANDS THINKING THEY CAN SHIT OVER EVERYONE ELSE
Yeah, I get it. THE DARKNESS playing Groovin is both gimmicky and brilliant. They have one all-conquering song that allows for arguably one of the biggest mosh sing-alongs Maitland Showground has ever seen. However, mid way through their set that was admittedly packed with 10 minute guitar riffs no-one asked for, lead singer Justin Hawkins – donning a metallic blue jumpsuit that was very Gaga circa 2008 – felt it his duty to tell the bass pounding out of the tent that SNAKEHIPS were tearing up to “shut up, c*nts. Tell ‘em to shut up!”
O – ON THE OFF CHANCE TASH SULTANA CALLS IN SICK, AMY SHARK RISES TO THE OCCASION
2016 in Australian music was all about two women in particular – TASH SULTANA and AMY SHARK. So, when the former had to pull out due to a vocal injury, the latter – who was scheduled to play an earlier timeslot and thus a smaller crowd – stepped up to the plate and she SERVED. Having just dropped her stunning Night Thinker EP, Amy Shark lived up to expectations and certainly surpassed them. Her music is quite sombre and moody, but her stage presence is anything but. She’s enigmatic. She’s electrifying. This woman is a STAR.
O – OUT OF CONTROL CROWDS
Definitely wasn’t expecting to see one dude pick up another dude and throw said dude at the back of a girl’s head, but yet I saw this happen anyway.
V – VIOLENT SOHO LIVED OUT THEIR DREAMS ON STAGE
While being the band that soundtracked the above atrocity, VIOLENT SOHO, as always, brought a raucous, explosive and powerful close to the event. Their abrasive, grungy flavour gave the festival a much needed kick but not without them bringing out Phil Jamieson (of Grinspoon fame) to perform a version of ‘More Than You Are.’ “Thanks for letting us live out a dream of ours, Maitland.” You’re welcome, boys.
I – IF ALL ELSE FAILS, PLAY ‘CHAMELEON’
Look, is ‘Chameleon’ offensively overplayed? Yes. Does that mean it still doesn’t absolutely bang at a festival? No f**king way.
N – NO DOUBT ABOUT IT – THE WOMBATS STOLE THE SHOW
British legends The Wombats have an obvious affinity for Australia. Despite the name, they’ve been back three times over the past year and a half and not once do they lose their infectiousness. They are, at base level, a band whose music is just enjoyable. It’s not trying too hard to be thought provoking or even artistic, but it doesn’t have to be. In 2017 more than ever, any bit of senseless fun you can engage in is worth it. While the music of THE WOMBATS is by no means mindless, they injected Maitland Showground with the dose of fun it needed.
Words by JACKSON LANGFORD