LIVE REVIEW: Groovin' The Moo 2017
It was that time of the year again when Bunbury is transformed into a youth wonderland. As usual, the 2017 edition of Groovin’ The Moo sold out, and much to the relief and delight of the 20,000+ people in attendance, the forecast suggested a moderate day without any rain.
A host of sensational acts filled in the early time slots, with emerging local hip hop artist Ziggy kicking off the proceedings. Big Splash Winners Pow! Negro delivered a trademark energetic performance, with the aggressive vocals of passionate front man Nelson Mondlane perfectly complementing the outfit’s fusion of jazz elements with psychedelic hip hop. There’s no doubt they’re a band to keep an eye on in the coming years.
The early afternoon featured the dream rock of Methyl Ethel, suave hip hop prince L-Fresh the Lion with his thought-provoking lyrics, the adored Amy Shark and LA-based genre blending singer-songwriter K.Flay, before punk rock veterans Against Me! hit the Triple J stage with their anarchic style.
Then it was time for the glorious Art Pop of the gorgeous Montaigne, with her mesmerising vocals and surreal, ethereal and worldly sound. With the words “PLS LIKE ME” written on her face and hands, it’s hard to imagine anyone not becoming enamoured with her by the end of her spirited set. She was indefatigable, bouncing and collapsing all over the stage, all the time somehow maintaining her extraordinary vocal performance. She also took the opportunity to announce her upcoming album tour for her debut LP, Glorious Heights. We caught up with her last week to chat ahead of her tour, you can expect the interview to be released during the week! The Perth leg is scheduled for the 29th of July at Capitol.
In a Southbound déjà vu, Montaigne was followed by the friendly vibes of The Smith Street Band, with their “instrumental, not hip hop, rap” and the lyrical genius of front man Wil Wagner. They played a mix of songs, predominantly from their hugely successful album Throw Me in the River and their latest album release, More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me.
Tash Sultana began her sat to a surprisingly unenthusiastic crowd, jamming in oblivious silence to fans who couldn’t even hear her. Eventually she was informed that the sound wasn’t on, much to the bemusement of onlookers.
Indie pop rock outfit Jungle giants and UK confessional hip hop artist Loyle Carner kept the good vibes going with their sets, before Milky Chance ushered in the night with their combination of folk, reggae, alternative rock, harmonica playing and electronic dance music. The German outfit honestly exceeded expectations, with lead singer Clemens Rehbein delivering an incredible vocal performance.
But the evening was just getting started, taking a groovy turn with the wonky electronic pop of the duo behind the 2009 hit ‘Wild Strawberries’, PNAU. The plan was to spend half our time at PNAU and half our time under the Moolin Rouge for soulful electronica songstress George Maple, but we were too entranced by PNAU’s fun tunes and psychedelic backdrop.
It was the perfect preparation for UK electronic duo Snakehips, who proved to be the highlight of the night with their high-energy set. With a welcomed hip hop undertone at a festival sadly lacking in hip hop and trap, the set was truly lit, with the crowd bouncing to a number of killer remixes, including ‘Bad and Boujee’, ‘Soulja Boy’ and of course some Kendrick and Drake.
Unfortunately, it meant we missed glam rockers The Darkness, who were the highlight for the many festival-goers more inclined towards band music than DJ beats. With their light hearted approach to quality music and hilarious banter, (including suggesting that Canberra were louder and got more into it, sparking a “fuck Canberra” chant), the charming UK outfit turned out to be among the most entertaining acts.
Immensely popular English rockers The Wombats drew a huge, excited crowd, which detracted from Hayden James’ turn out. After checking them both out, we decided to see what Mootown Stage had to offer, and it didn’t disappoint with DJ Bobby Chance and his ear for mixing songs from completely different genres that share something in common bringing the year 7 disco vibes.
And just like that, it was time for the final acts of the night. Under an orange moon veiled by mist, the abrasive Aussie rockers Violent Soho destroyed all their gear and threw whatever they could into the crowd. They also invited Chris from The Smith Street Band on to the stage to launch a ceremonial rugby ball into the crowd.
Finally, US producer and comedian Dillon Francis adequately filled the final slot, although I couldn’t help but miss the lively hip hop undertone of Snakehips as opposed to the pop vibes of Francis.
And so concluded another fantastic day in Bunbury. With an amazing line-up highlighted by Snakehips, Montaigne, PNAU and Milky Chance, surprisingly bearable weather (we didn’t even need our jackets afterwards!) and a great energy with less idiots than some years, GTM 2017 was a day to remember. Oh, and the pretty lights added to the tent was a nice touch.