Outside Lands Night Show
Confidence Man
Wed, Aug 7
Doors: 7:30 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
Tickets: $29.50
Ages 21 and Up
Confidence Man
Please note - there is a delivery delay set for 2 weeks prior to show.
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Confidence Man

Confidence Man sometimes feel like they've sprung from a classic Hanna Barbera cartoon, such is the sense of a gang of kids flung into a weird world and series of preposterous adventures. Their music is as outlandish: party dance tunes at heart, they're able to traverse from technicolour pop flash to seriously mind-bending exploration and back leaving you unsure of what you just experienced but knowing that every button in your pleasure centres was pressed at once. And that music has catapulted them right across the world, from subtropical parties to Euro techno dungeons, their feet barely touching the ground. And now, after two smash albums, they're ready to go deeper and weirder still…

The story as they originally told it was that founder members Reggie Goodchild and Clarence McGuffie discovered the irrepressible Janet Planet on a Brisbane dance floor, then all three went in search of the ultimate sexy pool-boy and found Sugar Bones. The truth, though, is no less fun, really. Janet and Reggie were originally siblings Grace and Lewis Stephenson from Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane. Now, Brisbane is very much a rock band town, and Reggie, being a musical prodigy got stuck in to the scene. Aidan Moore (eventually to become Sugar Bones) was also playing in psyche rock bands, and their paths naturally crossed: as Aidan puts it "my drummer started jamming with this guy who could play all these instruments and thought 'I fucking hate this guy, who IS this guy?' but quickly we became besties!"

Aidan and Lewis joined forces, jamming out psychedelic rock in the robes-and-spandex wearing Moses Gun Collective for the next five or so years. Meanwhile Grace had been living in Sydney but gravitated back north, and joined too. She recalls meeting Aidan and him having no soles on his shoes, then him getting a job at a sneaker store "because the girl thought he was hot", getting shoes with a staff discount, and quitting. But they all liked to party, and on Sundays, they really liked to party, and that's when they ditched their guitars and started, purely for the fun of it, making dance music. "We didn't actually know any dance music," says Grace, "so it was a massively shonky mess of something like what we thought dance music was, and that was exactly what made it fun. It was a complete pisstake."

But they didn't even really have time to give that consideration before the next ridiculous thing happened, and the next, and the next. It kind of felt like one minute they were goofing off for friends, the next they were going synchronised dance routines on festival stages.

Mixing with dance music royalty, and touring internationally, the band started absorbing more and more influences, and, together with ever more delirious shows, they have built their reputation even further, especially in the UK where they found themselves compelled to move. Now fully immersed in Euro club culture – including falling in love with Manchester's White Hotel, and Aidan running away from a dinner with Grace and Lewis's parents for an impromptu 48 hour stint in Berghain – they are making ever more connections and digging ever deeper into dance sounds.

Working with Daniel Avery on 'On & On (Again)' – released May 2023 on Polydor – came about first because they became fast friends, but was driven by a sense that the combination of his deep and gothic techno and Confidence Man's innate tomfoolery would be "hilarious". DJ Seinfeld had become a friend through cocktail drinking and studio visits, and their eventual collaboration on upcoming single 'Now U Do' fell together in a matter of hours, with the Swede doing the running man in the studio to show approval.

In one sense, the music is a lot more serious now – certainly it's crafted with a better knowledge of what it takes to pump out of club speakers. And Confidence Man have to admit they have a career as such. But all of that is secondary to the fact that somehow, some seven years on, they haven't really stopped doing what they were doing in those Sunday party sessions back in Brisbane. It may be less "shonky" now but this is still a bunch of friends having a cartoonish carry on that turned into a very excellent adventure.