Review: Groovin The Moo | Canberra | 29.4.18

Friday, May 4, 2018
Image supplied from GTM. Photo by Mitch Ferris

Every time Groovin the Moo comes to town, Canberra is infused with a massive surge of energy, excitement and good vibes. This year’s sold out event was definitely no exception. Featuring a spectacular list of Australian and international acts, the Canberra leg of GTM drew in crowds and kept them singing and dancing all night long.  Here are some of the highlights from this year’s festival.

Regardless of your taste in music or who you felt like listening to on the day, GTM’s line up had something for everyone. You’ve got the infectious energy of rapper Baker Boy and the silky smooth tunes of Winston Surfshirt right next to the high voltage rock sound of Royal Blood and that head-turning scream of The Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch. Oh, and to top it all off, there’s also Aussie music royalty and master gravy maker, Paul Kelly. As a festival goer, it was such a treat to see so many different artists on the same day.

You know how lots of people say that eating locally sourced produce is good for your health? Well, I’d argue that listening to amazing homegrown music is pretty damn good for you too.

Yes, I am probably biased when it comes to this but GTM featured some incredible local musos. Most notably is the raw and unforgiving grunge sound of Moaning Lisa. The band holds a special place in many Canberrans’ hearts and seeing them play on the Triple J stage was very special to witness. Moaning Lisa’s anthemic track ‘Carrie (I Want a Girl)’ was definitely my favourite of the set and is sure to be a crowd favourite.

On the other end of the spectrum is Genesis Owusu, whose confidence, stage presence and eccentric music makes him such a unique artist. Owusu’s performance at The Plot was so entertaining because he went from zero to 100 real quick. His smooth and slick performance of ‘Blue Pill’ was a complete contrast to ‘Void’, a loud hype track that sent the entire tent into a wild frenzy. Influenced by hip hop, jazz, rock and more, Genesis Owusu is a wild card and is definitely an artist that you need to look out for.

I really loved Vera Blue’s set. Everyone knows that Celia Pavey has an incredible voice and a knack for writing music that is easy to fall in love with. From the emotionally charged ‘Hold’ to the powerful electro-pop track ‘Lady Powers’, Vera Blue’s music was a definite crowd pleaser. Everyone at the Moulin Rouge stage was having fun dancing and struggling to hit those high notes that Pavey is known for.

Alex Lahey was also such a blast to watch. Charming, candid and honest, Lahey’s songs connect deeply with listeners because they are so relatable. The crowd sang out loud to bangers like ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself’ and ‘Let’s Go Out’. Even Paul Kelly couldn’t resist lending his voice for a special duet of‘Lotto in Reverse’.

Of course, everyone loved listening to Paul Kelly. Opening his set with ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ and moving on to classics like ‘Careless’ and ‘Dumb Things’, Kelly attracted a crowd who knew every line of his songs. Closing with the emotional ‘How to Make Gravy’, it was clear that Paul Kelly remains one of Australia’s most beloved artists. His ability to connect with audiences of all ages is proof that great music truly never dies.

Though I didn’t get a chance to see every set, what I did hear of Ocean Alley, Coda Conduct, Duke Dumont and Ball Park Music was amazing. Tkay Maidza also receives a massive shout out for her amazing music and for keeping the show going through the treacherous Canberra rain and cold.

One other thing to mention is that the pill testing trial went through at GTM Canberra. I didn’t really see it nor did the police present at the event seem to make a big fuss over it. I personally thought that it was a good option to have on site for festival goers.

As one of the few major festivals that come to the nation’s capital, Groovin The Moo is definitely one of the most sought after events of the year. Despite the rowdy crowds, overpriced food and drinks, and crappy weather towards the end of the day, I still had an amazing time. GTM 2018’s line up was so spectacular that it almost (almost, but not quite) makes up for the fact that I had to go to work at 9 am the next day.

Written by Sallie Rodriguez

You an catch the rest of Groovin The Moo during the below dates:
Bendigo, VIC - Saturday 5 May 
Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showground

Townsville, QLD - Sunday 6 May 
Murray Sports Complex – Townsville Cricket Grounds

Bunbury, WA - Saturday 12 May
Hay Park

More information is available here