Live Reviews — May 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Groovin’ The Moo 2013 – Bendigo, Australia

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Groovin the Moo

During its nine years in existence the Groovin’ The Moo Festival has made a name for itself on being Australia’s most popular regional festival. The festival tours around Australia and brings massive international and local acts to towns that they would not usually have the chance to see. This year’s event brought in bands such as Tegan & Sara, The Kooks and The Temper Trap to headline the one day event on May 4th.

Two things were learnt during Bendigo’s Groovin’ The Moo; Animal Onesies are certainly this year’s fashion trend and secondly GTM is a fantastically ran festival. Surprisingly Bendigo (a country town two hours north-west of Melbourne) handled the 15,000 attendees with ease as there was only a limited amount of traffic across the country town and the queues into the festival were non-existent.

As Aussie acts warmed up the main stages, Matt & Kim were the first international act to grace the gold rush boomtown. The Brooklyn indie pop duo proved to be one of live music’s hidden secrets and provided a fun afternoon full of balloons, confetti and even sampling some unusual tunes (including Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” & Ludacris’ “Move Bitch”) between songs to keep the party going. Matt and Kim were very vocal during their set which included a lot of dirty talk. As the duo performed set-highlight “Now” they had the entire crowd moving while the base dropped to the climatic gleeful chorus.

Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim

Immediately following the duo of Matt & Kim was Australian hip-hop sensation Seth Sentry. The 2012 Oz Artist of the Year award winner had a large crowd gathered to hear recent hits such as “Float Away” and “Dear Science”, although it was his signature track and debut single “The Waitress Song” that the Bendigo attendees went wild for and sang in unison. As Seth delivered freestyle raps to the locals on the main stage the Moolin Rouge tent were hosting a head banging-body crashing set courtesy of post-hardcore rockers The Amity Affliction

Frightened Rabbit gave the festival a relaxing vibe in true Scottish indie folk style. Unfortunately the five-piece’s set was lacking material from their first two albums; instead the crowd were treated to more of the band’s recent work including “The Woodpile” which highlights front man Scott Hutchison’s strong Scottish accent.

Groovin the Moo stages

The band that brought us quirky sitcom Malcolm in the Middle’s opening theme, aka They Might Be Giants, had their jokes lost in translation while Tame Impala were quite the opposite with their limited on-stage banter. The Kevin Parker project have shot up in popularity since their 2012 LP ‘Lonerism’, winning many end of year accolades last year from music empires NME, Triple J and Rolling Stone. The Australian rock band put on a psychedelic performance with crowd favourites ““Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”; though they are not for everyone they were an excellent choice to be the sunset band of the evening as the warm weather slowly turned into cold chills.

Twin Canadian sisters Tegan and Sara were impressive with classics “Walking With A Ghost” and “The Con”. The duo finished up their 50 minute set with the openly sad song “Now I’m All Messed Up” and “Closer”, which has the sisters exploring new territories of sound with a synth-pop sound. The Kooks brought the sing-along to Groovin’ The Moo as the British boys belted out a spree of catchy delights starting from “Ooh La” and concluding with “Naïve”, which had the sold out Bendigo crowd shouting “True or false it may be, she’s still out to get me”.

Bringing the main stages to a close were Melbourne hometown heroes The Temper Trap. The brilliant performance was a reminder on how the band’s talents suit the festival scene. Dougy Mandagi’s flawless falsetto was prominently displayed during set opener “Love Lost” and “Soldier On”, where in the latter the instruments take a backseat within the mellow tune. The Temper Trap delivered hit after hit showcasing songs including “Trembling Hands”, “Rabbit Hole, and “Fader”. As the cold wind swept through the Bendigo Showgrounds, Dougy asked the crowd if it was cold enough before leading into “Science of Fear”.

The captivating show came to a closure with the one-two knock-out punch of “Drum Song” and “Sweet Deposition”. “Drum Song” had Dougy pour water over his drums that were front of stage and drumming along to the instrumental track which had the water flicking everywhere, creating a magnificent spectacle which looked like something from the Beijing Olympics. The brilliantly orchestrated rock song that was destined for festivals and to be the soundtrack of girlfriends sitting on shoulders will be forever “Sweet Deposition”, a perfect closer for the day long Groovin’ The Moo festival which is only going from strength to strength. 

Groovin the Moo crowd