Groovin the moo, Oakbank.#muddy
Words by Lewis Brideson
Groovin the Moo returned to Oakbank racecourse on Saturday for a super sloshy instalment to the regional music festival. There was rain, low temperatures, and a whole lot of mud – but these are the things we put up with for the love of music. Scratch that, we did more than ‘put up with’ the weather - it was embraced. Mud-surfers a plenty.
In commemorating one hundred years since Gallipoli, Groovin the Moo worked alongside the local RSL, and began the festival with Mt Barker’s ANZAC Service. It was then up to a collection of Adelaide favourites (awfully similar to Laneway’s) to open the stages. Fresh off his ‘Laika version’, Jesse Davidson began the groove with Brokers brothers Ben and Mikey on drums and keys, as well as Dom Symes on bass. Meanwhile, Sparkspitter crammed the Moolin Rouge tent full of encircling licks and rhythms as tight as ever. It was a shame both sets were only 15 minutes.
Our local Triple J Unearthed winner this year was Chris Panousakis AKA Timberwolf. With his well-deserved set Timberwolf truly owned the stage and gave one of his best performances, howlin’ out new tracks off his Flux EP, which is currently pre-orderable. Then, of course, was Tkay Maidza with her DJ, Elk. Tkay’s sweet smile doesn’t stop her raps attackin’ and beats packin’ heat. Her stage presence and charisma was as strong and contagious as ever.
The rest of GTM included a selection of festival favourites. In one sense the line-up was safe, somewhat lacking hidden gems and acts Australian audiences have not experienced. Then again, it’s what makes it so popular. It supports home-grown music, with few international acts, and its genre bases are heavily covered (Exhibit A: San Cisco and Northlane performed on the same stage).
The morning saw The Delta Riggs warm things up with bluesy-woozy indie rock, DMA’s induce nostalgic Brit pop sing-a-longs, Saskwatch deliver some soul, and The Dancing Accountant give walkers-by a rendition of his unique mud-dancing. Meg Mac took to the main stage without working front of house speakers, but made the techies roll up their sleeves as she rolled up hers. The set was that much more powerful because of the anticipation, her soulful melodies making the crowd erupt. Along with her adorable between song banter, she delivered some wise words: “be warm, wear a jumper”. Peace front-man Harrison Koisser had the right idea, combining Adidas trackies with jangly guitars. Freddy Crabs of Sticky Fingers obviously didn't get the memo, wearing nothing but short-shorts and a gold chain. However, Sti Fi’s sweaty mosh-pit probably radiated enough heat to stay warm as it was that dense and squishy.
Sydney crew One Day were an intimidating force with their large collection of hip-hoppers, dishing up a solid set despite being cut off before Love Me Less. Ball Park Music threw some Diane Young and a slice of the Friends theme song in the mix, whilst The Preatures covered The Angles. San Cisco had a few tricks up their sleeves, inviting The Preatures’ Isabella Manfredi up to the mic, as well as giving Scarlett a break from drumming duties to get down and boogie up front.
A$AP Ferg made his way from Harlem to steam up the Moolin Rouge tent and get them muddy booties shakin’. However, the title of ‘Trap Lord’ should be reserved for RL Grime. The LA Trap Lord injected the grimiest of grime into punters’ eardrums. Those 808s hit hard. New Zealand and Australia’s electronic acts were needed to cool us down again. Broods offered synth pop with luscious vocals, and Flight Facilities once again provided the first class experience. Hugo and Jimmy mixed up their flight path this time for a new GTM set with the always captivating Owl Eyes. Hot Dub Time Machine and Carmada both had people bopping, but Hermitude truly brought their beats to life. With portable synths and samplers, they used GoPros to project every saw lead, drum hit and vinyl scratch. They proved they were performers as well as beatsmiths, and also threw the odd bit of Flume, Ganz and Lion King into the mix. Although, it was their new tracks that really unleashed the sub to hit chests.
Scattered throughout the day were international acts, from Canadian dance-punk star Peaches to Brit rockers You Me At Six, and Brit popper Charli XCX. However, the night ended with Australia’s own. First were the rock-stompin’ Wolfmother (Andrew Stockdale has been hibernating recently, letting his curls grow out), and finally local veteran rappers Hilltop Hoods. As usual the HillaToppas played their striptease game with the crowd, before warming up all of Oakbank with a big ol’ Cosby Sweater.
As GTM is all packed up and set to roll along to other parts of the country now, we can only hope that we were the muddiest.
Surely we were.