Groovin The Moo 2014 @ Maitland Showground
Reviewed on Saturday April 26
Groovin The Moo 2014 boasted one of the most diverse festival bills in Australia so far this year. Inclusion is the name of the game – it’s an all-ages, all-genres, all-hairstyles affair (shout out to ‘Mohawk Man’). But the flipside is a median age of around 16 and a sea of exposed pecs and loose singlets.
Perhaps the thing that all the sets had in common was the audience’s feeling of, “Uh, you know that one song… trust me, you’ll know it when they play it.” Thief was a perfect example, finishing his set with ‘Broken Boy’, the only track everyone could remember the words to scream along to. One benefit of having half the crowd under 18 is its terrifying enthusiasm for everything.
Kingswood started the first muddy circle pit of the day to ‘Medusa’, while Robert DeLong delivered a bizarre set involving a joystick, but unfortunately he bordered on irritating glitchiness live. Illy was unapologetically Illy, and Illy is exactly what fans got. He delivered a particularly strong set for someone with a broken thumb, including a mashup of Flume and Van Morrison. ‘Tightrope’ was in contention for best song of the day.
Parkway Drive proclaimed themselves the “heaviest band here” before showing why they are an Australian festival staple; ‘insane’ the only word to describe ‘Carrion’. Non-metal fans flocked to Vance Joy who did well to compete with the up-to-11 volume of Parkway, though a less-than-enthusiastic rendition of ‘Riptide’ seemed to reveal the dark side of triple j fame.
Surprise set of the day was an honour reserved for Violent Soho, and not just because they lit up at 4:20pm on the dot. Energetic, tight and fun to move to, they were good enough to have punters screaming “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” – ‘Covered In Chrome’ – all night.
Architecture In Helsinki brought the groove with sax, trumpets and a trombone for ‘Heart It Races’ (“you know it, trust me”), while Wave Racer celebrated a very happy birthday to a pumping tent – he is one to watch. Dizzee Rascal rarely puts a foot wrong, this time educating “youngsters” on “original Dizzee”, but almost lost the crowd by refusing to play ‘Bonkers’ until his second (yes, second) encore. The Presets closed the main stage as only they could, while Disclosure kept the fire burning, and for the first time all day the crowd knew every word.