“You’ve not heard of Confidence Man? Oh, you’re in for a treat,” so says one glittered-up punter wearing a lobster headdress to another in fancy dress as a frog at The Park stage on Friday afternoon (June 24). This isn’t a fever dream: it’s the pre-show chatter before the Australian band’s packed-out set, which is a smorgasbord of big beats, serious shapes and attitude. This crowd is that perfect mix: newbies on the hunt for some fun, and existing fans eager to share – a heady combination.
Their debut show at Glastonbury comes off the back of their second album ‘Tilt’, a subtle but eccentric upgrade on their showy electro-pop bangers that have made them a burgeoning name not just in their local scene, but around the world. The venues they now play in the UK are exploding in size, taking music that thrived in dark sweaty clubs to dominate opulent theatres and beloved festival stages like this.
Credit: Parri Thomas
No-one else could grasp this opportunity quite like Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, the lead duo out front, moving and grooving while Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild on decks and drums organise the chaos. Every single second of every single song is stuffed with ridiculous moves: hip-shakes, high-kicks, champagne bottles being popped and swinging shirts above their heads. ‘Toy Boy’ and ‘Break It Bought It’, two of their sassiest and heavy songs, are elevated by their moves. Their motto is clear: “If you’re not going to dance, get off the dance floor. It pisses me off’,” they said in a recent interview.
The songs are certainly elevated by the moves, but they hold up on their own. ‘Feels Like A Different Thing’, a mish-mash of ravey breakbeats and piano stabs, is now their signature tune, alongside ‘Holiday’, which is as ambitious and OTT as anything they’ll ever do. Their debut’s songs, like ‘Boyfriend (Repeat) and ‘C.O.O.L Party’, are enjoyable, though rely on quick tricks as opposed to ‘Tilt’s superior creations.
They let the songs do the talking, though, forgoing the usual pleasantries and stomping around, basically suggesting that the crowd don’t know how lucky they are to be in the presence of performers as elite as these. For new fans and old, this was an immense treat.
Confidence Man played:
‘Out the Window’
‘What I Like’
‘Does It Make You Feel Good?’
‘Break It Bought It’
‘Feels Like a Different Thing’
‘Luvin U Is Easy’
‘Relieve the Pressure’
‘Don’t You Know I’m in a Band’
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