Grooving the Moo prides itself on being the “only regional festival in Australia” and rightly so. From it’s humble origins in 2005 at the Gloucester Showgrounds and Narrandera in NSW, 8 more shows have since been added across all states and territories (bar Tasmania).
On a cloudy Saturday morning, hordes of eager festival goers gathered at Southern Cross station for the Bendigo instalment of GTM. Even the two-hour v-line journey couldn’t dampen everyone’s spirits as the shuttle bus connection arrived at 12pm on the festival grounds to clearing skies and sunshine.
The acts didn’t disappoint either so here are 10 highlights from the 10th anniversary of GTM:
Announcing Australia’s new Hip-Hop Queen
She may already have taken up Iggy Azalea’s mantle. Short in stature, but fiery in nature; 19-year-old rapper, Tkay Maidza entered the stage to the drum roll made famous by Miles Teller in last year’s smash hit film, ‘Whiplash’. A faulty mic didn’t deter the Zimbabwe born from unleashing the enormous, ‘Brontosaurus’ and getting the party started. The booming basslines and Tkay’s motor mouth vocals were an intoxicating mix and impossible not to dance to. Then radio hit, ‘M.O.B (Money Over Bitches)’ came on and sent the crowd into a frenzy. An exciting prospect for the future.
Sticky Fingers Caressing our Souls
Selling out a barely promoted three-show tour, months in advance, is surely the definition of popularity. Sticky Fingers achieved this before their March shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were formally announced. A clear crowd favourite, the band, brought the festival to the next level with their fusion of reggae/indie rock. Big reactions to ‘Caress Your Soul’ and ‘Gold Snafu’ kept the fever pitch high as Aussie hip-hop Collective, One Day, even joined the band on stage for the latter.
San Cisco’s maturing sound
Friends since early childhood, Fremantle’s San Cisco have a sound that is reflective of their close bond. Largely playing songs from recently released sophomore LP, Gracetown, their music has really evolved since their self-titled debut 3 years ago. With a big crowd began milling around the Moulin Rouge stage, the indie-pop four-piece delivered a warm and charming set. Drummer, Scarlett Stevens added a string to her bow by coming up from her drum kit to sing a duet with (front man) Jordi Davieson on ‘Super Slow.’ A band on the rise, San Cisco continue to prove they are mature beyond their years.
Lovesick for Peace
UK Indie rock quartet, Peace, came out and played a no nonsense set from start to finish. Front man, Harry Koisser sounded a little out of sorts, apologising for wearing a dressing gown by stating, “I just woke up”. Whether he was drunk or actually suffered from sleep deprivation, he and the band let the music do the talking and it was glorious for all and sundry.
DMA’s Take Us Back to ManchesterLooking more like UK football fans than musicians, the DMA’s came out on the Moulin Rouge stage to raucous applause.
The three mates from Newtown, NSW have amassed a loyal following with a sound clearly derived from their Brit-pop heroes of the 90s.
New singles, ‘Laced’ and ‘Feels like 37’ were received well but it was their breakthrough single, ‘Delete’ which had everyone singing along. Blur’s own, Dave Rowntree even praised the song on Brit radio station XFM last year. That’s some endorsement.
It’s not just the music that makes for a good festival; the costumes are part and parcel of the whole experience. GTM 2015 showcased this in spades. Whether it was cow onesies (an obvious choice) or multiple “Where’s Wally” costumes, there was a whole cast of colourful characters on display this year.
Much has been written about Canadian electronic artist, Peaches but her provocative show truly has to be seen to be believed. A performance artist as much as a musician, Peaches knows how to capture an audience’s attention and hold it throughout her set. With her highly sexualised songs, scantily clad dancers (both male and female) and anatomical props (I.E. an inflatable penis), the visuals are just as important as the music. Peaches successfully manages to entertain even if you don’t know or like her music.
Raving With Generik
Competing with big names is no easy feat but DJ Generik had this monumental task at 9pm, playing in between RL Grime and Flight Facilities on one stage and Hilltop Hoods on another. Tucked away in a tent at the back of the festival grounds, he wasn’t even listed on the official line-up. For those that were up for a boogie in the rave cave though, Tyson O’Brien’s addictive brand of slick tech house was just what the groove doctor ordered.
What once used to be a fairly basic selection festival fare has now turned into a selection of highbrow food stalls for all tastes (strict dietary and/or hipster requirements included). Names like Owen Noodles, Baby Burgers, the Taco Truck, Kaiser Sausage and Cajun Kitchen have now become well known brands on the festival circuit. Most popular food item: Baby Burger’s chips with their patented mayonnaise sauce.
It’s worth mentioning again, Mother Nature really did come up trumps in Bendigo (especially after the mud slide that was Bunbury, WA a week before). Ominous grey clouds threatening to ruin the day quickly cleared at midday for the sun to come out and brighten everyone’s day.
Check out the full gallery from the festival here.