[Live Review] GROOVIN THE MOO 2017 (Maitland)

Maitland Showground
Saturday April 29, 2017

If there is one thing I can say about Groovin The Moo, it is that you always live up to my expectation. Each year the lineup delivers a diverse mix of rock, dance and pop that gets the event into my diary, and each year the amount of flesh on show increases. I’m not saying this as a negative aspect of the festival, just my observation over the years.

First stop on arrival was a sausage sandwich, conveniently available at the entrance of the car park. The aroma of those sausages masked the cow pats on the ground, and they were a great way to fill the stomach cheaply. Well done guys.

Northeast Party House brought the heat into the Moulin Rouge Tent, our very own mid-afternoon dance party. ‘The Haunted’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ were huge, a great way to remind me that a dance beat can move me as much as rock. It was a difficult decision to leave NEPH but Against Me had just started, and I needed to see these guys. The tag, ‘With Force’ should be attached to AM as this is how it is delivered. The stage presence, the message in the lyrics, just great stuff.

Architects from the UK blew the dance beats out of the Moulin Rouge tent with their brutal hardcore. It was intense, and being in the pit shooting it, you felt the you were being assaulted. I’m not complaining here, I love this type of shoot, it’s just that you can physically feel the pressure building.

Back over to the main stages for a trio shot of The Smith Street Band, Amy Shark and The Jungle Giants. The punters love The Smith Street Band, there’s no doubting that, and to see the honest connection between them and the band is a joy to watch. Amy Shark had her early time slot moved to the main stage in order to fill in for the unwell Tash Sultana, and I came away feeling a bit underwhelmed. The later time slot did not work for Amy as a more puncher, driving set was needed. The Jungle Giants rode us into the sunset with their uptempo party cuts plus a few new tunes from their upcoming release.

With the sun dipping behind the hills, Maitland began to loose its heat, and the nakedness began to loose its appeal. Over the years, Groovin The Moo’s dress code has progressed from shorts with half the arse exposed, to under and side boobs. This year, it was lingerie / body suits covered with something sheer. Ohh, let’s not forget the nipple pasties and g-strings. I get it, but I don’t want to because I find it quite disturbing and disappointing.

Thundamentals dropped ‘Never Say Never’ early to a crowd that had packed into the Moulin Rouge tent. The temperature may have chilled outside, but the steam was building as the boys introduced us to the tracks off their latest release, Everyone We Know. Over on the main stage, Pnau have returned to the festival circuit and yes, we still love those ‘Wild Strawberries’.

The Darkness were at their ‘sock-rock’ best with Justin Hawkins playing it up for the crowd. It’s hard not to enjoy something that rocks you hard while putting a smile on your face. When Hawkins wails, “I believe in a thing call love,” we are totally with him. Awesome stuff.

To wrap it all up – great lineup, questionable dress sense… stay classy Maitland.

Reviewer and Photographer : Kevin Bull

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