The final leg of the Groovin’ The Moo festival hit Bunbury last weekend, Bunbury’s very own Coachella was among us. There was no need to wear two jackets or fear a downpour of rain this year for we were blessed with clear skies and sunshine. 2018 lived up to expectations and left everyone with aching muscles, glitter in places you wouldn’t expect and new musical memories.
First up was Freo local Carla Geneve. The crowd was small but she rocked out as if the venue was jam-packed. Carla Geneve’s amazing voice and powerful lyrics never failed to take my breath away. Although her set was short, she included many personal favourites, such as Empty Stomach and Juliet, and ended with Greg’s Discount Chemist, which was a crowd pleaser.
Buzzing with excitement, we headed over to Ocean Alley. The band kicked off their set with Come Down and the crowd was stoked. Ocean Alley had such a chilled and mellow vibe that was adopted by the whole audience as everyone swayed and sung along. There crowd was a sea of smiling faces and everyone was bustling with excitement. They featured their Triple J Like A Version, Baby Come Back, and a few crowd favourites like Overgrown and Confidence. As someone who had not listened to them much prior to seeing them, I thought they definitely lived up to the hype. However, the short set time caused the band to have to exclude favourites like Happy Sad and Flowers and Booze, which vividly upset a majority of my friends.
When faced with clashing set times of amazing artists, one must make an important decision. In the case of Skegss and Vera Blue, we settled on a bit of both. Skeggs kicked off their set with Spring Has Sprung and the crowd was elated. Everyone jumped and danced around as they shouted along to the tune. It was hard not to, the bands surf/garage rock had such an enjoyable vibe about it that it was infectious.
After a few more songs from Skeggs, we dashed off to find friends and witness the goddess that was Vera Blue in action. Dressed in a red lace ensemble that matched her fiery hair, she was a force to be reckoned with onstage. Vera Blue hit all the crowd favourites, Magazine, Mended, Lady Powers—the lot. She looked right in her element as she danced around on stage and let the crowd sing parts of the song for her. Hold was a definite highlight from her set. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many people in one area sing so loud.
I happily caught the end of Alex Lahey’s set, which was fine with me considering I had seen her three times before. There’s just something about her music live that just never gets old. Lahey ripped out the favourites with Lotto in Reverse, Every Day’s the Weekend and Backpack.
Upon seeing the line-up, I questioned why Dean Lewis would be playing at a music festival, but that was definitely made clear after his set. He smashed out a mix of old and new songs that simply made you feel happy and in love. Dean Lewis makes music that causes you to think about how much you love your friends and how happy you are to be with people who enjoy music just as much as you do. On a contrasting note, the crowd was surprisingly aggressive in their enthusiasm, who would’ve guessed?
Coming from such a crazy crowd, those watching Portugal. The Man seemed stiff as boards (at least where we were standing). Regardless of this, the Alaskan band rocked out hard and the crowd went wild when an obvious favourite Feel It Still came on. Personally, I was stoked to hear Live in the Moment and Modern Jesus live.
As the sun began to set, Winston Surfshirt took to the stage—a golden hour for a golden band. Their funk hip-hop tunes are so captivating, but the best part of their set had nothing to do with the songs at all. During On A Lock Winston ran from the stage and disappeared behind the crowd, inspiring a friend of mine, who’s slightly obsessed, to run off and find him. Next thing we know, Winston’s coming through the mosh on someone’s shoulders singing and interacting with the crowd as he makes his way back to the stage. Unbeknownst to us, our friend was the one carrying Winston. According to Nic, Winston wanted to get on someone’s shoulders, so he popped a squat and carried him to the front. We were all on such a high that the day could have ended there and we would’ve been happy. I mean, how could you possibly top that moment?
The star act of the day for me was most definitely Royal Blood. Before watching their set the only songs I knew were I Only Lie When I Love You, which totally went off, and Where Are You Now? But after hearing them play I was left wanting to know them all. They lifted spirits high and the crowd’s energy was amazing. We were all in awe of the talent and amazing sound that was created by two guys; it’s truly amazing that there’s only two of them. It was quite a long set in comparison to the others, but they constantly delivered.
After snaking our way through what felt like the population of the entire festival at Flight Facilities, we made it to Ballpark Music for our finale. Equipped with beach balls and confetti, they went out with a bang. Ballpark have such uplifting songs and you can’t help but feel good as you sing and dance along. They were definitely a great way to end a splendid day.
Even though I got home at 2am and had to work a ten-hour shift that day, I’d do it all again. Until next year, GTM.
Photos: Rouchelle Gilmore