Musings on the Moo – An ode to music, midriff tops and mud

I’d like to begin on a positive note, and express my sincere appreciation for the massive number of people who made Groovin’ The Moo Maitland 2014 a sell-out event.

With all the recent Australian music festival calamities and cancellations, it’s nice to see this franchise is still kicking along. Whether the crowd was there for the ‘dingers’ or the singers, I’ll never be quite sure, but I wishfully think it was a whole community of music lovers out there to support live music.

Once again, festival organisers had pulled the perfect mix of well-loved local and big-name international acts. Unlike some other Australian festivals, it was relatively easy to stage-hop back and forth in order to catch your preferred acts.

One of the stand-outs of the day were Brissy boys, Violent Soho, who killed it on the Moolin Rouge stage, smashing out a string of crowd-favourites which left the whole tent buzzing. It seemed the offbeat musical antics of Architecture in Helsinki weren’t enough of a match for Thundamentals, who had the crowd in their hands with their sing-along choruses.

Perth rockers, Karnivool had a small but heavily devoted mosh-pit, with most punters opting for the electronic dance stylings of The Kite String Tangle. New Zealanders, The Naked and Famous pulled the crowds back over to the open-air stages, but it was clear most listeners were there to hear their popular commercial hits and the energy of the crowd died down in between these songs.

The Jezabels’ packed a punch to the heartstrings with their emotionally-charged ballads. Front woman, Hayley Mary may cut a tiny figure on stage, but from her small frame emits the most amazing, powerful voice.

“For this reviewer, however, it came to be a journey of self-discovery. I have now learnt if I ever ask myself the question, “Am I too old for this?” the answer is ALWAYS yes”

Lovable larrikin from the UK, Dizzee Rascall kicked the night into a higher gear, drawing a massive crowd. His ‘highly-twerkable’ hits did not disappoint listeners, who bounced and danced along, and Dizzee’s interactions with the crowd were met with a roaring cheer.

UK electronic dance act, Disclosure closed the night in epic proportions, their insane popularity became visibly evident with majority of festival-goers flocking to catch them in the Moolin Rouge tent. It’s clear they were definitely one of the biggest drawcards of the day.

Needless to say the musical side of GTM was totally on-point and proved to be a really enjoyable experience for all.

Almost as entertaining as the acts on stage was the festival fashion. It certainly made for some very interesting people-watching. There were the usual shirts-off-muscles-out herculean men strutting around like cocks (of course, I mean roosters). Then there were the standard few dressed up in cow costumes, the ones who had fallen to the bewildering call of the ‘onesie’, the desperate trend-followers who didn’t do the math of heeled boots + mud = bad. I’m going to go out on a bit of a judgemental limb here and state that some people have NO BUSINESS in midriff tops and short-shorts. Seriously. It was everywhere at this year’s festival! I can only deduce that the girls in question either a) don’t own a full-length mirror, b) have an incredibly obscure self-image, or c) need to get some better friends who will not let them go out in public in such a mess of fashion don’ts. Sidenote, butts apparently do get hungry and they WILL eat denim shorts.

Fashion faux-pas aside, the actual atmosphere of the festival was overall quite positive and fun-loving. Spirits were high, the drinks were cold, the toilet lines were bearable and the rain held off. Police reports after the event praised cooperative crowds and a decline in delinquency.

For this reviewer, however, it came to be a journey of self-discovery. I have now learnt if I ever ask myself the question, “Am I too old for this?” the answer is ALWAYS yes. You probably ARE too old for this. When you are at a music festival and you start to think “What is WRONG with these kids” and “I should leave early to beat the traffic…” you know you’re in the wrong place. Back to the early-bird special and bingo for you, Grandma.


Review by Brittany Herron. Brittany is a contributor to Newcastle Live. If you would like to contribute a review please email

Written by Newcastle Live

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