I know, I know, we already published a review of Groovin’ The Moo in Canberra. You’d think we could have gotten someone to go to the Maitland leg of the festival tour instead of sending two people to the same one, but them’s the breaks. Here’s Jason Strange’s take on the day’s proceedings.
You couldn’t have asked for more beautiful day. Canberra’s warm autumn sun over the lush green fields of the University and over twenty of the best indie, rock and dance acts you can find to entertain.
Kicking off was Triple J unearthed band The Trivs who play an expansive indie rock full of great riffs and intelligent songwriting. Hancock Basement were the first surprise of the day. The Canberra group play infectious indie flavored pop full of catchy hooks and singalongs. Guitarist/keyboardist Nick Beresford-Wylie even threw in a saxophone solo at the end of the set.
Muph & Plutonic were the token hip hop act at the 1:00pm time slot, which seemed too early for the boys. It took a few songs for them to really find a groove but by the end of the set the beats and rhymes flowed across the field nicely.
Melbourne’s Kisschasy were next out to get the growing crowd jumping. Playing hits like ‘Spray On Pants’ and ‘Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm’, the band were the first of many to be plagued by a dodgy generator running the P.A. Award winning Lisa Mitchell snuck out to thunderous applause. The fan favourite’s set seemed slow paced for the festival environment and paled in comparison to her slot at Falls. And the fact she didn’t play her hit ‘Coin Laundry’ seemed odd (perhaps she’s sick of getting coins thrown at her? Apparently that’s happened quite a bit in the past when she plays that song… – Ed.).
British India were on song coming off the back of a new album. The new songs came across well live as did older gems. Their cover of Nirvana’s ‘Lithium’ was the highlight. Electro act Miami Horror got the crowd dancing but I found myself growing bored as their set went along. This also carried over and soured my Spoon experience as I found beer and socializing to be more important.
Convincing a Canadian girl to check out her fellow countrymen (or is that women?) Tegan & Sara, the twins, put on a flawless display of love-riddled pop songs, swapping vocal duties as often as they changed guitars. The duo also suffered some P.A issues but still delivered a great set.
It’s safe to call Grinspoon festival veterans. They know how to get most out of a short time slot by delivering a greatest hits set, highlighting the popularity of their older songs over newer offerings. I know this may be wrong to say but Phil wrote better songs when he was drunk and on drugs.
I will go on record to say I don’t like Luke Steele. Something about him makes me want to smack him in the head. But in the interest of fairness and unbiased journalism I watched Empire Of The Sun’s set. And to be honest, I enjoyed it. They put on a show with the costumes, dancers and videos. I even had a dance, and I don’t dance!
Vampire Weekend write catchy indie pop songs. It’s hard to not like at least one of their tracks. Mixing songs off new album Contra and their smash debut, fifteen thousand Canberrans sang and danced along to the New Yorkers preppy stylings; a faultless set that segued nicely into the most anticipated performers of the day… Silverchair.
After a lengthy absence the ‘chair returned and owned the day with a great set of classic Silverchair anthems. ‘Without You’, ‘Israel’s Son’, ‘The Door’ and ‘Straight Lines’ were dished out and swallowed by the now freezing crowd. Daniel was in a playful mood and seemed to be enjoying his music again. While his Kit Kat joke didn’t go down so well, the songs did. And despite some more sound and guitar problems, the ‘chair proved that they are still relevant and that they still rock.
Groovin’ The Moo was a great little festival. The concept of non suburban city venues is fantastic and the whole event was well organized. All involved should be congratulated.
(To my Canadian friend Melissa, sorry I lost you during Silverchair. I hope you made it back to Canada safely. Thanks for hanging out with me!)