Confidence Man throw the ultimate dance party at All Points East 2023
The Australian electro-pop outfit deliver the dance-heavy goods to All Points East festival in London
Confidence Man at All Points East / credit: @khaliphotography
Everyone seems to be obsessed with Confidence Man right now, and it’s easy to see why. The Australian electro-pop outfit – consisting of vocalists Janet Planet and Sugar Bones, and intriguingly masked instrumentalists Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild – are curators of the perfect, delightfully silly party.
With dance routines, tongue-in-cheek choruses and warm golden strobes, their incredibly fun live shows are in high demand for very good reason.
Although an hour-long set may seem a long time when looking at an All Points East festival schedule, the four-piece makes light work of the packed big top tent.
Trading in theatrical concepts and oversized shoulder blade black suit jackets, vocalists Janet Planet and Sugar Bones kick things off with some Adams Family-style strutting during piano-house heater, Toy Boy.
At times it feels like a workout class, or a session on the iconic PlayStation game Just Dance, especially as the pair hit each move to achieve the highest score.
Their show – camp, carefree, and full of costume changes – is one of the most fun gigs you’re likely to experience: late summer banger Now U Do (produced by DJ Seinfeld) is paired with galaxy-travelling visuals as friends scale shoulders and a unicorn head is hoisted in the air.
Even when the pair leave the stage to change outfits, the hedonistic vibe is unaltered, as the keyboardist plays a ravey track while strobes flash. Of course, the crowd lap it up.
Feels Like A Different Thing sees them return with colour-changing add-ons (luminous boobs for Janet) and sporting sunglasses, both adding an otherworldly, futuristic element to the show.
As they flail their arms behind them, it’s like they’re getting sucked into the on-screen vortex, much like the audience who feel like they’ve stepped through a portal.
“The choreo is insane!” shouts one audience member close to us as Janet and Sugar spell out the word ‘cool’ YMCA-style for C.O.O.L. Party, an upbeat track that would’ve worked brilliantly on the Barbie movie soundtrack.
Continuing to lovingly poke fun at the 90s pop scene, Sugar grabs a bottle of champagne and sprays it over the crowd. The Daniel Avery-assisted techno punch of On & On (which subtly satirises music’s repetitive but catchy formula) comes with Strictly-style lifts as Sugar and Janet score all 10s from the crowd. The most industrial track of their set, it suits the darkening sky that’s creeping in from outside and proves that Confidence Man can do both moods: underground puncturing or sun-drenched hedonism (see Holiday).
Contrastingly, the satirical Don’t You Know I’m In A Band (a hilarious but kind-hearted nod to Right Said Fred) gives Sugar his own main character moment. After waving his top in the air I’m Too Sexy-style and flinging it into the crowd, he does a headstand, has a dance-off with Janet and climbs into the audience – while singing in his lower register, of course. The energy is tireless.
As if they’ve not already given it their all, they instruct everyone to get down (literally) for a sit down during the build-up of acid-tinged Repeat. The thousands-strong audience happily oblige, jumping back up together and pogo-ing on the spot for the remainder of the song – a real moment.
Put simply, letting loose is unavoidable at a Confidence Man show. If you’ve not come to party, don’t bother coming at all.
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