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Polaroids Of Androids


Groovin The Moo @ Maitland Showgrounds

Are we there yet?

Two of the Festival Ladies veterans, Carlsberg and Gemdilem, along with a new addition, Ambascamba, travelled up to Maitland on Saturday the 9th May for the Groovin the Moo festival.

Getting there is half the fun?

Our journey from southern Sydney to Maitland was long, boring and fairly uneventful. The highlight was seeing a guy peeing on the median strip on the F3. He had his back turned to the oncoming traffic, ensuring they could not see his willy. Unfortunately he failed to take into account traffic from the opposite direction which meant that we had full view of him peeing. Priceless.

Gemdilem: Ambascamba did you bring vodka to smuggle in?

Ambascamba: Yes, I brought a water bottle filled with vodka. I’ve squished it into breast shape so I can hide it in my rack.

Gemdilem: Nice one. I have a flat bottle to shove down my pants.

Carlsberg: My bottle fits down my boots. It’s a little awkward but fits.

Gemdilem: Sick. We are all set then!

After negotiating past 10 billion road works, slow arse Saturday morning drivers, and after numerous Maccas stops we finally arrived in Maitland. Due to our lack of organisation we booked accommodation fairly late and as a result the only thing left in Maitland was the Belmore Hotel, one of the furthest pubs from the showground. We looked on the bright side... furthest pub means that we have to walk past lots of other pubs = pub crawl!!!

Gemdilem: Should we have a drink here [at the Belmore] first?

Ambascamba: I’d feel better if we had a beer in us before we walked anywhere. What if there isn’t another pub for miles?

Gemdilem: I think there is another pub two doors down. But better be safe then sorry and have one here!

Were we the only ones at the pub?

At the Festival

After several pub stops we made it to the festival. With our bottles of vodka carefully concealed on our bodies we walked confidently past the sniffer dogs and presented our tickets at the gates. We obviously look innocent because we didn’t even have our bags searched. To think we came up with such elaborate plans to smuggle vodka in and we could have just kept them in our bags!

Ambascamba: Managed to smuggle my vodka in by concealing it in my boob area somewhere. I’m not sure exactly where it went, but what’s important is that I managed to retrieve it. And reconceal it. And retrieve it. Stupid security.

Okkervil River

We arrived just in time to see the end of Okkervil River and managed to catch a couple of songs.

Gemdilem: For some reason I always thought Okkervil River was just one guy with an acoustic guitar playing boring folk music. I was pleasantly surprised. Good live band.

Ambascamba: I liked these guys. I can’t for the life of me remember why. Will make an effort to see them again to find out.

Carlsberg: We missed most of these guys but I would like to see more of them. Plus while watching them I got offered a Chicken in a Biscuit by a guy with a Jim Morrison tattoo. He would have offered me a banana but he’d run out of fruit.

Okkervil River

Dagwood Dog line #1

After much wandering around feeling a bit lost we finally got our shit together and located the food and beverage vans. The plan was to get some mixers to go with our smuggled in vodka.

Ambascamba: Quick perusal of food van options does not inspire me. There’s something interesting going on with big flat potatoes pretending to be pizzas, but the line is too long for something so experimental. Just coke for my vodka for now. Had a mental whinge about the $4 price, but found out later they were doing that $1 can deposit thing.

Carlsberg: $9 for a ‘slurpee’ (not a real slurpee but just ice and post mix syrup) and a can of drink does not make me a happy festival goer. I sucked it up though due to $$$ saved by aforementioned smuggled vodka. Vodka comes out of the boot. It is an excellent hiding place. Subtle, even.

Gemdilem: Pouring vodka into a coke can. Classy? Yes.

Ice and post mix syrup does not make a real slurpee. Fail.

De La Soul

With drinks in hand we make our way back to the main stage for some De La Soul action.

Carlsberg: Old school good times. I would have loved to have seen these guys in their prime as they are amazing. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t know Ring Ring Ring? A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays is a highlight. Given they released their debut album 20 years ago, they have been around since before most of the crowd were born.

Gemdilem: De La Soul are the kings of crowd interaction. They had everyone going crazy with chants of “party over here, fuck you over there”. Hell yeah! Overall a really good performance. Really enjoyed it.

Ambascamba: Just delightful. I’ve had an empty De La Soul-shaped space inside me ever since Peats Ridge got cancelled a couple of years ago. Those dark days are over now. Yes, De La Soul, you will get back to me.

Carlsberg: Someone really needed to tell De La Soul that we were in MAITLAND, not NEWCASTLE. Clearly there is some deep Maitland vs Newcastle rivalry as the charmers behind us continue to yell ‘we’re in Maitland you dickheads’ every time De La Soul made a shout out to Newcastle.

Gemdilem: Art vs Science (if you are reading this) I know who stole your inflatable penguin! The people in front of us during De La Soul wouldn’t shut up about how they’d stolen it.

The crowd during De La Soul

De La Soul

Art vs Science – is this your inflatable penguin?


After much vodka drinking it was time for a visit to the Portaloos.

Ambascamba: Portables are really the worst thing about festivals. Why is there no light? These plastic boxes of doom make me yearn for the sawdusty freshness of the composting toilets the hippies favour.

Carlsberg: No girl, you cannot push in. I don’t care if your friend needs to go, so do I. If she is ODing, take her to the ambulance.

Little Birdy / Dagwood Dog Line #2

We decided to skip seeing Little Birdy in favour of food. It ended up being the worst decision of our lives. We should have skipped the food instead. The lines were massive and the only thing on offer was kebabs, hot chips and Dagwood Dog. We literally spent an entire hour lining up for food. Although we didn’t see any of the Little Birdy set we could still hear most of it from the food lines.

Carlsberg: It is very, very lucky that Katy Steele’s voice carries. A lot.

Ambascamba: Little Birdy play a song I don’t hate, and I start thinking maybe I’m too harsh on them. Then they do one of the songs that really shows off the whiney quality of Katy Steele’s voice and my brief moment of non-hate is gone.

Gemdilem: Lines annoy me. Little Birdy sound pretty good. Yeah I can see why some people hate her voice. Hate is such a strong word though, I don’t think I am there yet.

Ambascamba: Luckily I have plenty of bogans in the kebab line to keep me distracted. One young chap with a rats tail tries to cut in. He fails, like his friend before him. I understand mullets, to an extent. They are amusing. But a rats tail? I kind of want to pull it, to see if his head explodes in a shower of coloured streamers, like a party popper.

Carlsberg finally reaches the front of the line only to find out that Dagwood Dogs are a 5 minute wait.

Architecture in Helsinki

We spent most of the Architecture in Helsinki set in the over 18s fenced off bar area (aka the leper colony). We were a fair distance from the main stage but we could still see and hear them.

Ambascamba: Hmmm, this part of the evening is a little hazy. I do remember trotting along happily at one point, kebab in hand, singing along to Break My Stride. Then I guess I had some more vodka. I do know they didn’t play Neverending Story. I would have noticed that.

Gemdilem: Worst Dagwood Dog ever. I told everyone that walked past me not to eat a Dagwood Dog. Danced up a storm with randoms. I love the Architecture in Helsinki party tunes! I thought I’d be sick of their songs by now since the only new song they have is This Beep. But I’m not. Good times.

Carlsberg: Even from the leper colony they sound awesome. I love these guys so. Ambascamba has seemingly been lost to a never ending kebab line, Gemdilem and I eat our soggy Dagwood Dogs, speak to some randoms and sign some tshirts.

Worst Dagwood Dog ever. Don’t let its looks fool you, it tasted disgusting.

The Grates

This was the big one. We pretty much came to Groovin the Moo to see The Grates. Some people would call our obsession stalking... we call it being dedicated fans.

Gemdilem: At the start Patience’s vocals were a little low. Not her fault as you could see her putting in 120%... whoever was in charge of the sound should be fired. Lucky we were there to help out and sing along at the top of our lungs.

Carlsberg: Obviously everyone around us appreciated us helping out with the vocals as much as Patience herself.

Ambascamba: I liked the way Patience’s hair was like the fourth member of the band. (Or fifth, is keyboard dude permanent?). It was practically singing backup.

Carlsberg: Love, love, love Patience's still-blonde hair, cowboy boot legwarmers and the western twirly skirt. Top marks. Her high kicks also seemed particularly high. Must be the country air. The new songs were awesome and the old stuff sounds was fresh as ever.

Ambascamba: I’m not sure what my favourite part was. Possibly the clappy bit in Burn Bridges. Or the county shouty fun times of 19-20-20. It’s all genius anyway, and I am sad that I could not attend the show in Sydney on Friday night.

Gemdilem: So many highlights. I loved every single song. Trampoline is still one of their best songs live. Absolutely loved it. I don’t think I will ever get tired of bouncing around to that song. And Carve Your Name with our delightful actions was also a winner. Awesome set.

The Grates being awesome

Fantastic tambourine action

Patience needs to learn to stand still so I can take a photo of her


After The Grates set was over we wanted to tell them how much we enjoyed the set so we sent them a message on Twitter. Stalking / being a dedicated fan is so much easier these days thanks to Twitter.

Gemdilem: @thegrates Fucking killed it

Thegrates: @gemdilem Thanks! Glad it went off without a hitch. Felt really good : )

Gemdilem: @thegrates We really enjoyed the set. After party is at the belmore? Hitting that?

Thegrates: @gemdilem We’re driving back to Sydney tonight so we won’t be doing any after partying : (

Gemdilem: @thegrates : (

Hilltop Hoods

We stayed around the Main Stage for the Hilltop Hoods. It was sometime during Hilltop Hoods we ran out of mixers and we decided doing shots of vodka (using the vodka cap as a shot glass) was the best idea ever. Hence the lack of photos.

Carlsberg: I’ll be honest. I am over Aussie Hip Hop. They did say something really witty about Adelaide unfortunately I don’t remember what it was.

Gemdilem: Why did the Hoods have to grow up? The new songs suck. Not enough partying or stupidity. Biggest come down ever. Hilltop are not The Grates. Not their fault.

Ambascamba: Drinking straight vodka still didn’t help me enjoy Hilltop’s new stuff. And I think I’m sick of their old stuff. It’s a shame, they used to be such fun.

Carlsberg: Why do I know all the words to their old songs? Why does no one around us know any of the words to the old songs? Why do so many of their fans seem like such bogans?

Gemdilem: They ended with Hard Road. I enjoyed it but not sure if it was because of the song or the fact that they told us it was the last song and it would all be over soon.

Carlsberg: I have Dagwood Dog in my hair.


We ventured over to the dance tent for the first time to hang out with the kids, carve up the dance floor and maybe even see Muscles have a nervous breakdown.

Carlsberg: Holy shit, the dance tent is massive. About four times the size of the ‘main’ stage. The kids are going crazy to some DJ dude who is on before Muscles. His name escapes me, which is surprising, as his name is plastered all over the screen constantly.

Gemdilem: Ambascamba is not sure if she knows Muscles so Carlsberg and I fill her in before Muscles takes the stage. We try to do Muscles’ croaky voice while sing songs to her… I think we pull it off. The kids near us stare at us like we are aliens from the planet uncool. Muscles finally takes to the stage.

Carlsberg: Muscles has no new songs. This is ok, we are just happy he hasn’t had a nervous breakdown and is on his 09 comeback tour. Muscles someone still loves you, and wants to have your babies.

Gemdilem: Same old songs. How much longer can he keep doing this for? Where are the new songs and the new album? Saying that his songs are still as catchy as ever and we dance up a storm.

Ambascamba: Dance music. It is not for me. But credit where credit is due, that song about ice cream is charming. You’re right, Mr Muscles, it WILL save the day.

The Living End

We left the Dance Tent half way through Muscles’ set to see the second half of the Living End’s set on the Main Stage.

Gemdilem: Too many instrumentals. Boring. My attention span is too short for these guys. The guys climbing the pole were more entertaining.

Ambascamba: I used to love Cheney so very very much. Now I just love his guitar. Less so what he does with it. Please, just play the old stuff so we can all sing along and jump up and down and pretend we’re in high school again and try not to notice that the older you get, the younger you dress. Really, Christopher, you’re just making us all feel old.

Carlsberg: I have nothing more to say, except the new songs are rubbish. What is this White Noise crap?

Ambascamba: They finished with West End Riot. It was good, but really, too little too late.

Carlsberg: I can still taste Dagwood Dog.

Big bass guitar finale

The crowd during The Living End


Carlsberg: Totally fun times. Plus I discovered that boots are perfect for hiding vodka bottles when little rack is present.

Ambascamba: Despite the long drive in slow traffic and the slightly frightening country people, Groovin the Moo makes for good times when there’s a decent line up. Three and a half stars.

Gemdilem: Great performances from The Grates and De La Soul. And despite the terrible Dagwood Dog it was a good festival. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Slurpee tongues

It wouldn’t be a review by the Festival Ladies without a terrible southern cross tattoo photo

See you next year Maitland?

Filed Under
De La Soul
Okkervil River
The Grates
Architecture In Helsinki
Little Birdy
Hilltop Hoods
The Living End


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so should I make "I <3 the festival ladies" t-shirts or what?

1 decade ago


rate it!

The ultimate way to finish up the 2008 Festival Season.

1 decade ago


We definitely need tshirts... I've actually been campaigning for tshirts for a while but our publicist thinks they would be tacky... Bella you are now in charge of all publicity and marketing issues...

Tomo it's 2009 in Australia... you forgot to adjust your calendar when you came back from Polski-land...

1 decade ago


i am fragile. let me be.

Wait! we had a publicist?

1 decade ago


veterans. ha!

i forgot about the tongues. and a lot of other things.

1 decade ago


people keep putting me in charge of things recently! whats that about?
but sure, I will be your publicist from now on. HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS!

1 decade ago


YAY!!! publicist!!! :) hehehe...

1 decade ago


Why is no-one talking about the horrible elbow in the foreground of the southern cross photo? What is that thing?

1 decade ago

Keely K

Oh jesus christ! What IS that! i almost just threw up my museli bar. chewy, not crunchy. or yoghurt top. those things are filth.

1 decade ago


That inflatable penguin is from JetCreations! WOO!

1 decade ago


You're pathetic, Jason.

1 decade ago

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