Confidence Man are the most buzzed band in Australia right now. Propped up by considerable support from triple j, including a nomination for Unearthed Artist of the Year, the enigmatic quartet sold-out the Melbourne and Sydney shows on their ‘Ring’a Ding Ding’ tour – an indicator of their rapid rise in popularity. After all, they’ve only released the three songs so far. Consisting of Janet Planet, Sugar Bones, Reggie Goodchild, Clarence McGuffie and with Hans Spritz joining them on stage, it’s no secret Confidence Man have developed that popularity through a dynamic live performance. So, I thought I’d go along to see what all fuss is about. And boy, I certainly found out!
Confidence Man were joined on the tour by the eclectic Broadway Sounds and the groovy Love Deluxe. Sydney producer Love Deluxe released his terrific debut EP earlier this year, featuring the funky hit ‘Cool Breeze Over The Mountains’. It was surprising that he didn’t play more songs of his own during his DJ set to kick-start the evening. When Love Deluxe did play his original songs, there was an evident reception, as the dance-floor began to fill. Ending the short but sweet DJ set with the title track from his Silk Mirage EP, the crowd all of a sudden pushed to the front of the room to conclude Love Deluxe’s performance in style.
Broadway Sounds picked up where the funk-filled set of Love Deluxe left off, bringing tunes that span continents. The trio consisting of Phillips, Jones and Ma infuse funk, soul and afro-beat into a furiously high energy performance. If they were heard but not seen, anyone would think Broadway Sounds were a 10-piece; there’s just so much going on. ‘Sing It Again’ exemplified the band’s rapid pace and frantic instrumental use. All three members provide vocals, while also jamming away on synths, percussion, guitars and the odd saxophone freak-out. Broadway Sounds were brilliantly eye-catching and incredibly enjoyable to watch. They were also the perfect foil for what was to come throughout Confidence Man’s performance.
Confidence Man began in their characteristically mysterious manner. The group’s production specialists, Reggie and Clarence, were the first to grace the stage. Without vocalists Janet and Sugar, and on-stage addition Hanz, the black bee-keeper suit-wearing producers played an extended introduction instrumental. It was not long before Janet and Sugar made a typically extravagant entrance to massive approval from punters. With only three songs out in the world at the moment, it was interesting to see how Confidence Man filled out their hour-long set.
The performance almost mirrored what a Confidence Man album would sound like. There were interlude type instrumentals where Janet and Sugar disappeared from the stage, albeit to make a return with bottles of champagne in hand. Then throughout the gig, band ripped through tracks such as ‘Better Sit Down Boy’ and ‘Bubblegum’, while Janet and Sugar put their synchronised dance routines to the test. It may seem simple, but not many groups have a similar dance routine to what Confidence Man have. It’s so refreshing and immersive that you can’t help but be mesmerised by how they perform, and it’s a part of the reason they are one of the best live acts in Australia.
Confidence Man also played a bunch of bangers from their forthcoming debut record. Every new song sounded crazy good, and probably more dynamic than the tunes they’ve already shown off. As good as the new tracks sounded, Confidence Man were always bound to finish with ‘Boyfriend (Repeat’), which they’ve been playing out to some of the biggest festival crowds in the world over the past year. It’s fair to say the band have got their routine for the song down pat, getting the whole room to the ground at one stage before jumping with euphoria. Confidence Man truly know how to put on a thrilling show, and it may not be long before they’re headlining Australia’s finest festivals with performance like that.