Groovin The Moo Bunbury Review
Words by Scott Martin
On Saturday May 12th at the wide open Hay Park in beautiful Bunbury Western Australia GROOVIN THE MOO was held for the 8th time. The weather was perfect for a great day out with a wide variety of musical genres with a great mix of local, national and international talent. This was my first ever experience with Groovin The Moo, let’s see if it lives up the hype.
The first act I saw was Arno Faraji. I wasn’t familiar was his music before his set, but boy am I a fan of it now. Arno beautifully blends hip-hop and electronic music together and creates a thrilling environment for the fully-charged audience. He loves his crowd interaction as well, telling the audience to say ‘yeah’ if they’re broke. A deafening ‘YEAHHH’ was replied back.
After, another WA local act – Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. Their grunge rock sound was very different to the bouncy Arno Faraji, but commended the audience’s attention in much the same way. They were playing hard and fast, focusing more on the music than stage theatrics.
To the covered stage of Moolin Rouge next for Carla Geneve next. Carla’s unique voice and low-key instrumentals (but man her chorus’ went hard!) were perfect for the chill vibes in the Moolin Rouge. Especially after hearing Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.
Baker Boy literally came out to freakin’ sirens. Within moments, his rapping, dancing and general stage theatrics had the crowd going wild. I noticed bulky security guards were nodding their heads. Then stopping when they realised they should be focusing…then back to nodding their heads again. The track Cloud 9 was a particular highlight. The use of the stage during the final track was a wonderful crescendo of the entire set. Rather than having some tracks as dances and some with featured artists, the final track accumulated these aspects by mushing it all together. At one point Baker Boy began playing the didgeridoo while the dancers were breakdancing around him. How cool is that! Act of the festival so far.
After Baker Boy it was time to chill. I went to the VIP bar for an energy drink and listened to Ocean Alley. Like Carla Geneve; Ocean Alley are a really interesting mix of loud chorus’ and chilled out instrumentals. A good band to listen to while recharging your batteries. The crowd went nuts for Confidence & Yellow Mellow. I will say I wasn’t expecting a cover of Baby Come Back with hints of ‘Slide’ by Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean & Migos!
Vera Blue was incredible. One negative thing that I will say about GTM this year was the line-up set times was a bit wonky. To have Vera play so early in the day was a particularly upsetting example of this. Regardless, I and plenty others of her fans came out in droves to belt out her hits with her.
I’m convinced Alex Lahey will never give a bad performance. Love You Like A Brother was the perfect song to open an enthusiastic set, but Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder had the Western Australian crowd going crazy.
If you couldn’t see Tkay Maidza performing, you would still know she was absolutely chuffed to be there. You could hear her smile in her vocal performance, which was, of course, excellent. Brontosaurus, in particular, got the crowd hype, as well as her African-inspired dance moves. It was heart-warming sharing her enthusiasm in between sets, as Tkay would giggle continuously, telling the audience ‘This is so sick! I’m having the best time’. So were we, Tkay.
Winston Surfshirt was as chill and smooth as always. A really groovy cover of ‘Roses’ was a highlight, as well as Be About You, of course.
After Winston, I found some old friends and we went to see Sampa The Great together. Sampa did the impossible: got me to dance in front of people I know. Her soulful grooves were perfectly at home in the Moolin Rouge tent as the sun finished setting. Sampa’s inspiring performance of Lauryn Hill’s Doo Wop, Rhymes To The East & F E M A L E were highlights.
Baker Boy was dethroned by Paul Kelly as being my favourite act of the entire festival. After performing his opening track ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, Kelly made a point of the Bunbury crowd being the loudest of the national tour. It was great to see Paul smiling throughout the entire set, clearly impressed by the level of fandom he has in regional Western Australia. Returning the favour, he absolutely gave it his all. I can die peacefully now having heard ‘How To Make Gravy’ live.