Review: Groovin The Moo - Maitland, 2017

Photo: Sian Sandilands

Photo: Sian Sandilands

It was questionable as to what Maitland’s Groovin the Moo would have in store for the day after arriving at the showgrounds, only to find out the ever-talented Tash Sultana would not be making an appearance.

With Sultana being a favourite act of a vast majority of attendee’s, one could only hope the remaining line-up would deliver performances so exceptional that audiences would be fighting back tears. The day began with an early kick off from Ocean Alley, psych-rock reggae aristocrats from Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Lead singer Baden Donegal’s soulful lyrics ran out as crowds entered the showgrounds and the positive vibes began to flourish. Following next was Perth trio Methyl Ethyl, who delivered an upbeat performance, with a surprisingly decent sized crowd despite the early time-slot.

Highlights of the Triple J stage were undoubtedly Allday and The Smith Street Band. As usual, Allday brought a performance rich with stage presence and a crowd mostly consisting of females. The Smith Street Band came bounding in with a set full of energy, with classics; I don’t wanna die anymore, Young and drunk and Surrender encouraging some serious moshing amongst the crowd. Hats off to their acknowledgement to anyone in the audience struggling with mental health, what legends.

Playing at sunset was The Jungle Giants, who had a fun little set and even showcased some of their unreleased tracks; warming up the stage for what was yet to come.

Viewing the festival from a VIP box for most of the day was an epic viewing platform, so it was pretty obvious to see the crowd going into a frenzy when German duo, Milky Chance commenced their set. Stolen Dance was a crowd pleaser as well as Cocoon, which provided a smooth transition to the masters of dance music (and probably the highlight act of the day) PNAU. Taking us back a few years but turning the notch up on their live performance, PNAU delivered a set like no other with almost every soul at Groovin going wild to tracks like, Wild Strawberries, Embrace and Chameleon.

Delivering a performance like no other was English pop-rock gods, The Wombats. Initially suffering a few technical issues, the kings of metaphors quickly made up for it with an spirited set that promised all the favourite tracks. Beginning with Give me a try, playing through to Jump into the fog, Tokyo and Your body is a weapon, they did disappoint. 

Finally came the act that we had all been waiting for, dousing the crowd in toilet paper as they entered the stage and reminding us their still young at heart; Violent Soho. Viceroy was the opening track to their set and a taste of what was yet to come. It was hard to recognise a face amongst all the head banging, as the boys rocked into all the favourites, Blanket, Saramona Said, Covered in Chrome and more, plus a little surprise from Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson, joining in at the end for a Soho cover of More Than You Are. Overall, it was yet another epic string of acts from Groovin The Moo that keeps festival-goers coming back for more.   

Written by: Jacinta Rets