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Groovin The Moo 2012 Review

by Daniel Valentine

“You’ve gotta fight, for your right, to party” - Beastie Boys 1986

With the sad news of the death of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch still resounding around the world, one could be forgiven for seeking solace in the form of a music festival. As fate would have it, the time had rolled around again for the fifth year of Groovin’ the Moo’s Townsville leg.

This festival is a fast growing highlight for those in regional areas unable to make it to its bigger counterparts in major cities. This is in no way a reflection on the vast array of talented acts drawn to it and this year’s line up was, once again, brilliant.

A sellout crown flocked to the Murray Sporting ground in spectacular weather to catch the first band, The Medics. Hailing from just up the road in beautiful Cairns, these lads are playing straight off the back of their first full length album release ‘Foundations’. After tearing through a tight, emotionally charged set, you can’t help but guess that these boys are heading for big things.

With the crowd still rolling in, stage front revelry came with increased enthusiasm as San Cisco rounded off their set. They were followed by Big Scary, with Tom Iansek’s vocals sounding vaguely similar to those of 90’s goth prince Robert Smith.

Matt Corby was, by some accounts, highlight of the day. His gruff indie, blues voice, clearly showing that the popular single ‘Brother’ won’t be the last we’ve heard from the boy catapaulted onto the scene by Australian Idol in 2007.

As the day progressed, fuelled by youthful enthusiasm and the occasional beverage, several artists seized the opportunity to capitalise on the ever present teenage angst. Andrew WK with his perpetual party attitude, whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Temporarily slowed by the more emotional sounds of The Getaway Plan, the mosh pit was soon back into full swing with Byron Bay screamo masters, Parkway Drive.

Ball Park Music have really been doing the yards on the touring scene and the hard work is definitely paying off. Looking quite at home, the Brisbane sextet found much love in the crowd with their infectious cheery indie sound leaving a sea of smiling faces to welcome City And Colour to the stage.

With dramatic moonlight setting the scene for something big, Public Enemy exploded into the night . These long term hip-hop campaigners, headed by the charismatic and often controversial Chuck D,  have three decades of music at their disposal and an ability to get a message across. With Flava Flav and DJ Lord, the classic material came through as raw as ever.

With heads still ringing, the dulcet tones of Kimbra wowed the crowd as the Hilltop Hoods prepared to take their positions. The technical prowess of these boys does well to show how far the Aussie hip-hop scene has come. As champions of the scene, the Hoods put forward a good case to convert even the most ardent rocker.

The day had been long and the sun should have taken its toll as Leeds rockers Kaiser Chiefs opened the final set for the evening. This didn’t seem to be the case as the masses mustered energies from some far reaching source to rock out to an electric show. Songs like ‘I predict a riot’, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Angry Mob’ were like a call to action and bodies were hurled about in front of the stage in every direction.

The final note rang into the night and the crowd ambled its way through a sea of garbage scattered fields to buses and taxis. Another year wound up at Townsville and the beginning of a twelve month countdown to see what platter of musical delights the folks at Cattleyard Productions will dish up next.