GROOVIN THE MOO... English two-piece Royal Blood (Ben Thatcher and Mike Kerr) stole the show at the Adelaide leg of Groovin the Moo festival, joining Australian acts Paul Kelly, Grinspoon, Ball Park Music, Vera Blue and more. GROOVIN THE MOO... English two-piece Royal Blood (Ben Thatcher and Mike Kerr) stole the show at the Adelaide leg of Groovin the Moo festival, joining Australian acts Paul Kelly, Grinspoon, Ball Park Music, Vera Blue and more.

Entertain Us (1-5-2018): Groovin the Moo review

BRITISH duo Royal Blood rocked Adelaide during their Groovin the Moo set on Friday, April 27.

They were one of many highlights from the festival, which started its two-weekend tour at the Adelaide Showgrounds on Friday.

Royal Blood — Mike Kerr (bass guitar/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums) — strutted onto the stage to a jazzy backing track.

But when Kerr picked up his guitar and Thatcher took the kit it was all business, leaving the crowd with ringing ears and wondering what effects pedals Kerr uses to extract lead guitar sounds from a bass.

There was little time for stage chat during the festival set time-limit, but they managed to squeeze in some call and response lighting games with the crowd, who were rewarded with a crash of Thatcher’s enormous gong for their loud cheers.

Royal Blood may have taken the title of my favourite act, but Australian veterans Paul Kelly and Grinspoon were hot on their tails.

They may differ vastly in sound but one thing was evident, both 63-year-old Kelly and 41-year-old Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson have still got it.

The acts attracted crowds ranging from underage ragers who were almost certainly not alive when Grinspoon’s debut album Guide to Better Living was released in 1997, to fans the same age as Kelly.

The audience heard Kelly’s timeless hits including From Little Things Big Things Grow, To Her Door and bittersweet Christmas favourite How to Make Gravy.

As if he needed anything to make him sound better, Kelly played directly after the worst act of the festival, Lady Leshurr.

I had to endure the most painful 40 minutes of music in my life from the English rapper to ensure a front-row position for Royal Blood.

Lady Leshurr (Melesha Ogarro) had a dreadful, Nicki Minaj-esque twang, juvenile, repetitive lyrics such as “have you got clean panties on?” and claimed to love performing yet didn’t start singing until at least five minutes into her set.

Her DJ overused airhorns and claimed Ogarro could DJ too, but as soon as she stepped up to the turntable she broke something. Unconvincing.

The queens of GTM would be a tie between Vera Blue, who despite releasing one of the best albums of 2017 was robbed of a decent timeslot and a gig on the main stage, and no-nonsense rock chick Alex Lahey.

Despite their timeslots overlapping, I caught most of both.

Vera’s angelic voice, whimsical dance moves and incredible Karla Spetic oversize shirt and silver Doc Martens combo worked brilliantly.

Then Alex’s high-energy, honest rock tunes had the crowd enthusiastically singing along.

Before Vera Blue’s set was another Australian pop princess, 19-year-old Mallrat, who warmed up the crowd with her recent singles Better and UFOs.

In the 11.30am slot, Adelaide rockers Young Offenders did well opening the festival, but it wasn’t until 12.35pm when indigenous rapper Baker Boy took the stage the people of Groovin really started groovin’.

There are two extremely impressive things about Baker Boy: his ability to rap at high speed in both English and his native Yolngu language, and his dance moves.

Closing my evening was Brisbane indie five-piece Ball Park Music, who before the festival, I thought shouldn’t have closed in place of Royal Blood.

They won me over with their soulful tunes which had me dancing my way out of the gates.

They also had the best band tee-shirt of the festival, a Bunnings “Ball Park Warehouse” shirt. I should have one arriving in the mail any day now.

After enjoying 12 hours, 15 bands and the best vegetarian nachos ever, I have little cause for complaint.

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