Everyone’s favourite regional touring festival Groovin’ The Moo kicks off this week and this year’s line-up is full of some insanely good acts. From hip-hop and electronica to your dad’s old rock records, there’s pretty much something for all tastes. Here’s five acts worth seeing, no matter what you’re into.
You’ll have to get to the festival pretty early to catch Baker Boy but it’ll be a good choice. The energetic Indigenous rapper burst onto the scene last year, and went from climbing up the Triple J Unearthed charts to supporting Dizzee Rascal on his Australian tour. He flawlessly combines aspects of his native Yolngu Matha language with a smooth flow in English, and confidently moves between the didgeridoo and the mic. His live show is electric, with crowds bouncing from the moment he steps on stage. Reggae-tinged ‘Marryuna’ is sure to get the crowd primed and ready for the rest of the day.
Not everyone loves Confidence Man the first time they hear their records, but nearly everyone who sees them live loves them. They’ve got an infectious energy that perfectly suits their unique brand of pop/electronic beats. Think choreographed dance moves, lots of jumping and great crowd engagement. With their debut album released just a few weeks ago, expect lots of fresh onstage antics to go with the new tunes.
Everyone knows Paul Kelly. He’s your parent’s favourite Aussie songwriter, and his voice probably soundtracked every family road trip you’ve ever been on. The man never ages and neither do his classic songs. While Groovin’ is generally a pretty youth-dominated crowd, I can confirm Kelly’s set went off at Splendour in the Grass 2017 and would predict it to do so again. ‘How to Make Gravy’ and ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ are guaranteed singalongs, but it’s worth hanging around for his new tracks too.
Sampa the Great
Sampa the Great is an artist who is severely underrated by the general Australian public right now, so it’s great to see her on this line up. She recently won the Australian Music Prize for last year’s mixtape Birds and The BEE9, beating out the likes of Jen Cloher and even Paul Kelly. Her jazz-infused brand of hip-hop/rap has drawn Lauryn Hill comparisons, and they’re well deserved. Definitely look out for Sampa in the late arvo slot if you want to catch one of Australia’s next big artists.
Portugal. The Man
Alaskan band Portugal. The Man are currently running on the high of last year’s hit ‘Feel It Still’, but that doesn’t mean they’re one hit wonders. Having released an album almost every year since their formation until 2013, their discography is full of undiscovered bangers. Last year’s Woodstock continued this trend, bringing ‘Feel It Still’ plus a range of other tracks that showcase the band’s tight musicianship. With six members, their live shows are well-polished but a lot of fun. Catch these guys for a taste of a band that knows exactly what they’re doing, and how to give the crowd the best performance.
She’s not technically a musician at the festival but if you get the chance definitely catch Lillian Ahenkan AKA FlexMami doing her thing as a festival marshal! She’s the ultimate all-rounder: DJ, model, journo and influencer are just some of the titles she goes by. Having seen her DJ and support a few times in Sydney, I’m confident she’ll be spinning a sick mix of hip-hop and electronic tunes to keep the crowd pumping between acts. Head across to the Plot Stage to catch a longer set if you get the chance – this industry super woman does not disappoint.
Groovin’ the Moo Tour Dates 2018
Wayville – Adelaide Showground, SA – Friday 27th April
Maitland – Maitland Showground, NSW – Saturday 28th April
Canberra – University of Canberra, ACT – Sunday 29th April
Bendigo – Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Showground, VIC – Saturday 5th May
Townsville – Murray Sports Complex, Townsville Cricket Grounds, QLD – Sunday 6th May
Bunbury – Hay Park, WA – Saturday 12th May