Overpriced carni food, men in singlets, short shorts, bearded old men and mud – welcome to your Groovin’ the Moo 2014, Canberra! Australian music festivals are not the ideal hangouts for accountants and lawyers (unless they are going through a quarter life crisis).
However, there is a cleansing moment, at some point during a day full of music that is inevitable. One beer, then two, then Architecture in Helsinki, and relaxation reigns supreme.
30 acts, 2 stages and 12 hours of music = unavoidable happiness! This is why everyone loves music festivals. The line-up had a little something for everyone. Karnivool and Parkway Drive for the heavy headed, Disclosure and the Presets for the club hounds, Illy and Dizzie Rascal for those who like talking fast, and all matter of pop and rock acts in between.
My day started somewhere between Loon Lake, whose guitars and jokes were in fine distorted form, and the more crowded front of stage bouncing of Illy fans. Illy also managed to win me over with a cool cover of Paul Kelly’s classic, To Her Door.
Vance Joy was the first set I managed to watch from start to finish, and I am glad I did! A little dose of sensitivity is always nice before a party. The ambush that took place when the first chords of ‘Riptide’ were strummed was a sight to behold. The amount of food and drinks that were dropped in the process was another.
Architecture in Helsinki got my vote for feel good act of the day, in part because of the consistent quality of their set, but mostly because of their brightly coloured suits, Andy Warhol background and Contact High.
The vocals of the Kite String Tangle (Danny Harley) were extremely impressive. He managed to cover Lorde’s Tennis Court in electronica form, with vocals identical to the original (bare in mind he is a boy and she is a girl), a feat the crowd aptly rewarded with applause.
One set that took a while to get going was The Naked and Famous. Slow and unknown songs to start a set are always a risky move. However, as darkness falls, an expansive crowd forms and Hearts Like Ours comes on, everyone has their respective cleansing (and sing-a-long) moments.
The act I was most looking forward to seeing was the Jezabels. And, although I knew more of their songs than any of the other acts, it was the sexiness (especially her dancing) of Hayley Mary that stood out.
As you might expect the demographics of the crowd changed substantially for Dizzie Rascal (think flat brimmed caps). The intensity of the atmosphere also lifted to extreme heights. Fast, heavy and loud bass with a hell of a lot of ‘bouncing’ and ‘jumping’ made Disclosure almost seem tame. However, in terms of a having a good ol’ fashioned boogie Disclosure set was by far the most enjoyable.
If you ever think overpriced carni food, men in singlets, short shorts, bearded old men and mud are not your thing – think again.